ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Education Department has created more flexible diploma requirements for high school seniors.

At its May meeting, the New York State Board of Regents approved a temporary expansion of the existing process to appeal to graduate with lower scores ranging from 50 to 64 on Regents examinations.

Typically, 65 is an exam grade that meets diploma requirements. The Board of Regents titled this the “special appeal” for all districts and schools in New York. This was approved in response to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To earn a diploma with a lower score of 50 to 64 on a Regents exam, students must have taken an exam during the June 2022, August 2022, January 2023, June 2023 or August 2023 testing periods.

Students must also have attained a course average in the course that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school and is recorded on the student’s official transcript.

Under this limited rule, a student need only take the examination under appeal one time during the specific administrations listed above to be eligible to appeal. Unlike the ordinary appeal provision, the student does not need to have taken the examination under special appeal twice, nor participated in academic assistance.

The appeal process may be completed any time prior to a student’s graduation.

Special appeals may be applied towards any diploma type including local, Regents and Regents with Advanced Designation.

NYSED also reminded educators that while grading policies are determined locally, the inclusion of Regents Examination scores in final grades is not required or recommended.