More than 50 students from Dutchess BOCES’s component districts took Regents exams August 16 and 17 at the Alternative High School. Exams included English, algebra I and II, global history, U.S. history and government, geometry, earth science, living environment.
This is one of many services offered by BOCES to high school students during the summer.
“Larger schools usually hold their own summer schools, but for smaller schools that don’t have the resources of their own, we offer our services,” explained Audrey Roettgers, the coordinator of Educational Resources (ER).
There are three main parts to academic summer school opportunities at BOCES including the Regional Academic Summer School (RASS), the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA), and the Regents exams.
RASS is held in July and August to support students who are unable to pass classes during the school year. They attend RASS to study and to work for a better grade. The classes available to students range from mathematics to social studies to English. A student can take up to two two-hour classes each day at RASS, with the day ending at noon. This allows the students to still have extracurricular time during their summer, while also affording ample time for their education. This summer, 98% of RASS students passed their classes, said Roettgers.
“The classes are smaller which really helps students get that valuable one-on-one time with teachers,” said Roettgers. “They are also longer than an average high school class, which also helps.”
In addition to RASS, the VLA also operates during the summer. It is done completely online asynchronously. “This program is geared toward students, who for whatever reason, are unable to attend in-person classes and require more flexibility,” said Roettgers. “This includes those with illness or those who have other time commitments.” For the VLA, 100% of students that attended this year passed their classes. VLA is also in session throughout the regular school year.
Educational Resources also offers the August Regents exams. During the school year, students must take these state standardized tests to meet graduation requirements. If they are not able to satisfactorily complete their Regents exam for a class for any reason, BOCES can offer the Regents tests during the summer administration session scheduled each August.
“It’s really important we give kids every opportunity to succeed,” said Roettgers, “Providing that is something that we are really proud of.”