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Education

Nardin to phase out high school Regents Examinations

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A private, all-girls Catholic high school in Buffalo will be dropping State Regents testing. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley says Nardin Academy is ready to phase out Regents exams over the next couple of years. 

“The tool itself had become ineffective for us,” said Marsha Joy Sullivan, president of Nardin Academy.

Sullivan tells WBFO News the schools newly-named Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Rebecca Reeder, former Nardin High School principal, has been leading the charge to stop the regents testing.

“It really has to do with do with looking at our use of the Regents exams as an assessment of our program and the fact that for quite a few years now, we know that our students have really gone well beyond the content that the Regents exam really focused on,” Sullivan explained.    

Sullivan said they are now ready to "charge forward.” Beginning next school year, the Regents will no longer be offered to incoming first- and second-year students. 

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Marsha Joy Sullivan, president, Nardin Academy.

“It had become an obstacle to growth, both student and faculty growth in our high school, as opposed to a beneficial tool,” Sullivan remarked.

Several other private high schools, Canisius, Nichols, Park, Buffalo Seminary and Gow, do not offer Regents. Next year's Nardin juniors, the class of 2019, will still be required to take Regents/Common Core tests in English, social studies and math to earn their regents Diploma. But by the 2018-2019 school year there will be no Regents testing at the high school.

“We will no longer use them and we will sort of unshackle, if you will, our faculty to be able to be expand on the pace of presentation of content,” Sullivan noted.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Inside the lobby of Nardin.

Sullivan tells WBFO removing the Regents for the high school students will allow for more project-based learning. The school issued a letter late last week to parents and students explaining their decision. Sullivan said when the school announced it to teachers they responded with "tremendous excitement."

“There was near applause, I would say. All our comments back were supportive, so you do something like this and you want to be sure you are messaging it as clear as possible that it’s a real exciting opportunity and it seems to have resonated," responded Sullivan.

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