Frequently Asked Questions

If after reading the FAQs and responses you have additional questions, please contact Communications Specialist Tara Mitchell at tmitchell@bhbl.org.

AP Exams | Board Meetings | Budget Vote & Board ElectionsChromebooks | Classes Cancelled | Community ResourcesContinuity of Learning | Marking Periods & Grades | NYS Exams & Regents | Parent Portal Updates | Playgrounds | Prom PlansRemote Learning AssignmentsSchool Meals | School Supplies  | Spring Break | Summer

Q: Will remote learning continue beyond May 15?

On April 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to continue remote learning through May 15. During this time, schools are required to provide continuity of instruction, meals for students and childcare resources every weekday, including days originally part of the previously scheduled spring break.

BH-BL will fully comply with this directive. We will continue moving forward with our plan for remote instruction. Students should refer to their teachers’ guidance on the Launch Page and check their Google Classrooms and email daily, as they have been doing since classes were cancelled in mid March.

As Superintendent McGrath communicated with parents on March 27, the district has developed guidance for the implementation of remote learning. This should address many of the concerns parents have raised as we have made this sudden transition to a new modality of teaching and learning.

If the class cancellation directive is not extended, students will return to school on Monday, May 18. We will continue to monitor all available guidance and directives and keep you informed if this changes..

Q: Do my children need to complete the work assigned by their teachers?

Yes, we are strongly encouraging our students to stay engaged in learning so they are better prepared for when school resumes.  As we transition to a remote delivery of instruction, there will be work that is given and required. The amount of required work will vary based upon grade level and specific course. The amount of required work will increase as we move through this transition period and into a full implementation of remote learning, should this cancellation be extended past April 1. (Parents please see the Superintendent’s March 19 letter for more details.)  It’s important that students stay on track with their grade/course requirements. If your children need help completing the assignments, please reach out to their teachers for guidance.

Q:  How do I best keep track of what my child is working on and the academic progress they are making while at home?

Parents are encouraged to check the learning opportunities while classes are cancelled webpage . Click on the building your child attends and then navigate to the particular class or teacher.  The assignments and activities your child should be working on can be found there. Teachers may also be emailing students directly or using an established online classroom.  Ask your child to share these correspondences with you. If you require more information, please contact your child’s teacher via email and they will respond directly to your questions.

Q: Should I be checking the eSD parent portal during this time?

For grade levels that use the parent portal, there will be much less activity during this time period.  While parents should not expect the same level of grades being entered that they would expect during “normal” times, the system will reflect assignments collected and graded to date.  As mentioned above, please contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns about their level of engagement or progress.

Q. Will the end of the third and fourth quarter marking periods be affected for the middle school or high school?

We are currently looking to make adjustments to the academic calendar. Students will be receiving specific guidance from their building principal once more information is available.

Q: Will students still be required to take the NYS exams? Regents Exams?

The New York State Board of Regents and state Education Department announced Friday, March 20, that the elementary- and intermediate-level state assessments for Grades 3-8 have been suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

“It is most important that during the time of closure, schools are able to continue to focus their efforts toward local school and community needs, as they have been doing, and not be concerned about state assessments. NYSED has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability and reporting requirements,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that states may cancel any scheduled standardized tests for this school year.

This suspension applies to the following New York state testing programs:

  • New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test;
  • New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test;
  • New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
  • New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
  • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
  • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

UPDATED APRIL 30: June & August 2020 Regents Cancelled: On Monday, April 6, Board of Regents  Chancellor Betty Rosa said the June 2020 Regents exams are canceled due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the State Education Department offered this clarification today:

  • SED has modified the requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7-12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations.
  • Students who, during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the assessments in order to be issued a diploma.

To qualify for the exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have earned credit in such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
  • The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or
  • The student was previously enrolled in the course of study leading to an applicable Regents examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated Regents examination but intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score.

If you have additional questions, your child’s school counselor, special education teacher, or building principal can help you. Additionally, NYSED has compiled a list of Regents-related Frequently Asked Questions that students and parents might also find helpful.

Q: Will students be taking the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams?

The College Board, which administers Advanced Placement (AP) exams nationwide, has announced that it will conduct online exams for the 2019-20 school year. The exam content will only cover material taught through early March. This new format is certainly challenging, especially considering the circumstances we are currently dealing with. Despite the changes, BH-BL High School teachers still strongly encourage students to take the exam in their respective courses for this year. Some colleges/universities will only accept AP test results in determining whether to grant credit for the course. It is suggested that students confirm the policies of any college/university they are interested in attending before making a determination as to whether or not to take the AP exams in their course(s). Teacher also understand the uncertainty and anxiety that many students are experiencing. Based on that, it was decided that AP exam in each course will be optional for this school year only. Students can choose not to take the exam and still receive an Advanced Placement (AP) designation on their transcript. For students who have already paid and choose not to take the exam, refunds will be processed. Please understand, the refund process may take some time.

Exam Dates
Most AP teachers and students we surveyed prefer to test earlier, while the content is still fresh.

  • Exams will be given from May 11–22
  • Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1–5
  • Students can take exams at home or in schools, if they reopen.
  • Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
  • View the full testing schedule.

Q: I want to take the AP exam online, what do I do?

The AP tests will be administered as 45-minute online free-response exams at home. Students will be able to take the streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet or smartphone, according to The College Board. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.

Beginning Wednesday, March 25, students and teachers can attend free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These mobile-friendly classes are:

  • Designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools.
  • Will be recorded and available on-demand so teachers and students can access them any time.
  • Will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course.

Students in need of mobile tools or connectivity can contact The College Board.

Additional info and course-specific exam information.

Q: What resources do I have to support my child if they are experiencing anxiety regarding the current situation?

There are a variety of online resources for talking to children about this topic. Here are two to consider:

Q: What if my children need their school supplies, books, or binders to complete assignments? Can we enter the school to collect those items?

Our buildings are open for limited times during the week days for essential business only. Please call the main office to make appropriate arrangements.

Q: What if I have children in grades K-2 and they weren’t assigned a Chromebook? How do we access online/digital learning opportunities for them?

On Tuesday, March 17 the elementary school principals emailed an online survey to the parents of all students in grades K-2 to assess if there were any K-2 students who need to borrow a Chromebook from the district. If you did not receive the survey, please contact your child’s school. (You may want to check the SPAM folder in your email system too.)

Q: What if my child’s Chromebook isn’t working?

If your children are having technical difficulties with their Chromebooks or trouble accessing the internet, please call the main line, 518-399-9141. You will be directed to the IT Department or receive a call back from someone from IT.

Q: Will the class cancellations impact April break?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended class cancellation another two weeks, until Wednesday, April 15. We recognize this date falls in the middle of the regularly scheduled spring break, April 10-17. Given the circumstances, BH-BL is carefully reviewing options that would allow students to continue remote learning for the scheduled number of school days as well as provide time away from classes for spring break. The Governor’s executive order has not yet been released. Once we receive it and review it, we will provide the community with details on the school schedule for the next several weeks. For now, however, area schools are adhering to the Governor’s directive and classes will be cancelled until April 15.

Q: Will the cancelled classes need to be made up during the summer months?

For now, we do not anticipate that the 2019-20 school year will be extended beyond June 26, which is our previously scheduled last day of school. The Governor has waived the 180 day instruct time for the 2019-20 school year. However, things are changing rapidly so we will continue to seek guidance from the State Education Department.

Q: Can my child use the school playgrounds and fields?

While we do encourage children to get outside for physical activity, it’s important that they do not gather in groups. Therefore, in an effort to adhere to the recommended social distancing, all of our campuses, athletic fields and playgrounds are closed to the public. Our security staff will be monitoring our campus.

Q: Has the Jr/Sr Prom been cancelled? Postponed?

At this time, school leaders have not cancelled any of the high school’s traditional, end-of-the year events. BH-BL is adhering to the Governor’s most recent Executive Order, which has remote learning continuing through April 29. If that is the date students are back in the building, we’ll move forward with our events as scheduled to the extent possible. If guidance changes, and remote learning is extended, we will adjust accordingly. BH-BL High School administrators are doing everything possible to reschedule events rather than cancel them. They have already looked at holding the Jr/Sr Prom during the summer months, if that is a possibility. However, it is impossible to provide any assurances given the circumstances.  We continue to make plans based upon the Governor’s directives.

Q: How do students who participate in the Free or Reduced Price Meal program receive meals while classes are cancelled?

The district will continue to provide school meals to students in our district who participate in the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program. A station will be set up near the high school’s student parking lot outside the entrance to the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 through Wednesday, April 15. (Excluding weekends.) “To-go” boxed lunches and breakfasts will be distributed to any student who participates in this program. Backpacks with food for students who normally receive those will also be distributed at this station. If, for any reason, a parent/guardian of a student participating in the Free or Reduced Price Meal program is not able to secure transportation to the high school, 88 Lakehill Road, to pick up meals, please contact the district office at (518) 399-9141, ext. 85002, to make arrangements for delivery.

Q. Who should I contact if I am aware of other needs within the community?

Please let the district know immediately of any students or families that are in crisis or in need during this time. You can call the district office or any school principal. You can also contact  Dacey Bonney, Community Liaison, at (518) 399-9141, ext. 85011 for assistance.

If you are a medical worker or first responder who is in need of child care in order to be at work, please contact the district directly and we will assist you in making arrangements.

Q: Will the district still hold Board of Education meetings?

The Governor recently issued an executive order temporarily changing the laws governing  public meetings during this public health crisis. Board of Education meetings will continue to be held so schools can continue to conduct business. However, the public will only be able to participate by watching on video. BH-BL will continue to live stream all of its Board of Education meetings. The agenda for the meeting will be available 48 hours in advance and any questions about the agenda can be sent to the Board of Education President (boardpresident@bhbl.org)  On the day of a board meeting, a link to watch the live stream will be on our website: https://www.bhbl.org/board-of-education/board-of-education-meeting-videos/

Q: Has the May 19, 2020 School Budget Vote and Board Elections been postponed?

New York state school budget votes and board of education elections will be delayed until at least June 1, 2020, according to an executive order released by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, March 30, 2020. View the executive order here.

The order specifically says, “Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.”