June Board of Regents Emergency Regulations in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 12, 2020

By: Ayanna Y. Thomas

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on K-12 schools, the Board of Regents issued its third series of emergency regulations that went into effect on June 9, 2020. Below is a summary of the significant changes that will impact K-12 schools. 

  1. Amendment to Section 121.5(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Data Privacy and Security 

The date required for public and charter schools to adopt and publish a data security and privacy policy under Education Law 2-d that aligns with National Institute for Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Security Version 1.1 (NIST) has been extended from July 1, 2020 until October 1, 2020. 

Although the deadline to publish a policy has been extended, it is recommended that schools continue to review its contracts with third-party contractors for compliance with Education Law 2-d requirements and prepare a Parent’s Bill of Rights for Data Privacy prior to October 1, 2020. More information regarding Education Law 2-d requirements are outlined in Bond memo: Preparing for Imminent Changes in the New York State Education Law Regarding Data Privacy.

  1. Amendment to Section 100.2(hh) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Child Abuse in and Education Setting 

The date required for employees to complete the child abuse in an educational setting training has been extended from July 1, 2020 until September 30, 2020 or within 30 days of employment, whichever date is later. 

  1. Amendment to Section 100.10(f) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Home Instruction 

Students participating in a home instruction program are exempt from the 180-day instructional requirement and 900 hours of instruction requirement for students in grades K-6 and 990 hours for students in grades 7-12, as long as the program provides continuity of learning for each student. Also, these students are exempted from the unit of study requirements of 6,480 minutes of instruction per school year, as long as the students meet the learning outcomes for the unit of study completed. 

  1. Amendment to Section 100.5(5) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Graduations 

Although the Board of Regents exempted Regents examination and other state requirements in its second series of emergency regulations, a superintendent or school administrator must notify the parent of a high school student expected to graduate in June or August 2020 that they can decline exemption from a graduation assessment requirement. The notification must be sent by letter and by email and text, if available, 10 days prior to the student’s graduation date and translated into the student’s native language.

If the student declines the exemption, the student will remain eligible to remain in school until he or she turns 21, or earns a diploma, whichever comes first. 

  1. Amendment to Section 119.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Charter School Public Hearings

School districts in receipt of an application for the formation of a new charter school, or for the renewal or revision of an existing charter school after June 9, 2020 have until September 30, 2020 or 30 days after receipt of the application, whichever is later to conduct public hearings. Hearings may be held remotely, and public comments must be solicited either electronically or by mail. Additionally, all records or comments from the hearing must be submitted to the charter school’s charter entity and the State Education Department within 15 business days of the hearing. 

If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this client alert, please contact Ayanna Thomas, any of the attorneys in Bond’s School Law practice, or the attorney at the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.