Science Memos, Waivers, and Guidance
This page houses valuable science memos, waivers, and guidance to help assist educators and administrators in the field. Questions about science education in New York State can be directed to ScienceStandards@nysed.gov.
- Implementation Schedule for New Regents Examinations in Mathematics, Science, and English Language Arts - January 2023
- Investigations for the Elementary- and Intermediate-level Science Tests Now Available - October 2022
- Required Investigations for the Elementary- and Intermediate-level Science Tests - May 2022
- January 2022 Regents Examinations Cancelled Due to Ongoing Pandemic - December 2021
- Providing Laboratory Activities for Living Environment Part D Virtually During the 2021-22 School Year - September 2021
- Virtual Laboratory Experiences and the 1,200 Minute Science Laboratory Requirement for the 2021-22 School Year - August 2021
- Flexibility in the 1,200 Minute Science Laboratory Requirement – December 2020
Science Laboratory Guidance
In September 2022, the Board of Regents made an Amendment to Section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to the Laboratory Experience Required in order to take a Regents Examination in Science. Commissioner’s regulations now permanently allow students to complete their science laboratory experiences required for taking a Regents Examination in science through any combination of hands-on and simulated experiences, and includes virtual laboratory experiences. The 1,200 minutes of required laboratory experiences and satisfactorily documented laboratory reports are still required in order to sit for a science Regents exam. Additional guidance can be referenced in the Frequently Asked Questions Related to Virtual Laboratory Experiences and the 1,200-minute Laboratory Requirement.
- Chemical Storage Guidelines – This NYSED publication is intended to provide school faculty and staff with chemical storage guidelines pursuant to New York State Education Law, '305(19) Chapter 627 of the Laws of 1989.
- New York State School Chemical Management Guidance Manual – This publication developed in cooperation with the New York State Department of Conservation provides a framework to accomplish a complete assessment and inventory of the chemicals used and stored by a school district. It also provides guidance on a sustainable chemical management system and chemical hygiene plan.
- Managing Mercury - The Department of Environmental Conservation has created a page to answer many of the most commonly asked questions about mercury. Information regulating air emissions, educating the public on products that contain mercury, remediating and preventing hazardous spills, assisting businesses in finding mercury-free alternatives to needed equipment, monitoring water and habitats to keep toxic levels safe for fish, wildlife and humans are addressed.
School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide:
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) / National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide which includes information related to safety in the high school chemistry laboratory is available on-line. The NIOSH Publication No. 2007-107: School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide, November 2006
- School Chemical Management and Storage Guidelines
Application Form for Commissioner of Education Waiver Education Law §809(5) Treatment of Live Vertebrate Animals:
Education Law §809 (5) provides that no school district, school principal, administrator, or teacher shall permit the performance of certain specified types of lessons or experimental studies on live vertebrate animals in the school or during an activity conducted under the school’s auspices. These activities are prohibited whether or not they take place on school premises. For example, a teacher may not allow a student to conduct the prohibited experiments on live vertebrate animals for a school sponsored science fair even if the experiment is conducted at a research institution.
Under certain circumstances, the Commissioner may grant a waiver from this restriction upon a school’s submission of a written program plan. The school district must obtain a waiver before the lesson or experimentation begins. Instructions for applying for such a waiver and the appropriate forms are provided in the document.
Note: Only projects involving the use of live vertebrate animals as indicated in New York State Education Law §809(5) should apply for a waiver.