Curriculum/Program Guide

English Language Arts | Mathematics | Science & Technology | Social Studies | Art | Music | Family & Consumer Sciences | Business | Health & Physical Education | World Languages | Student Evaluation, Promotion and Placement Policy | Career and Technical Education | Testing

English Language Arts (ELA)

Mohonasen’s K-12 ELA program is committed to preparing students to read and write in the 21st century. Students read literature, as well as different types of non-fiction materials – such as biographies and autobiographies, history and science resources, and even technical resources like how-to manuals. ELA instruction also focuses on writing, speaking, listening and language skills. Students read and write every day, and they work on reading and understanding more complex material as they get older. Instruction occurs individually, in small groups, and together as a class.



The Mohonasen mathematics department is committed to preparing its students for the expectations of the 21st century. Students’ thinking, reasoning and problem solving abilities are developed through exploration of real-world examples of mathematics. Technology is used to enhance learning by allowing students to fully investigate concepts beyond the limitations of traditional approaches.


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Science & Technology

Mohonasen’s science and technology program encourages students to explore the world around them while learning key scientific and technological skills that are needed in the 21st century. Elementary and middle school students are exposed to a variety of topics and ideas through hands-on and problem solving activities. Each year builds on the skills and content learned the year before. At the high school level, students learn college- and career-level content and skills working on real-world problems.


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Social Studies

Mohonasen’s social studies program prepares young people to become informed citizens and full participants in society. The curriculum is designed to lead them to become active contributors to their community, nation and world.


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Mohonasen’s K-12 art program values creativity and promotes the sequential development of the skills needed for students to communicate visually through their artwork.  Clubs, publications, and real-life application provide additional visual and media arts opportunities for our students.


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At Mohonasen, there is a long-standing tradition of rich music instruction and performing opportunities for students of all ages. General music instruction is continuous for grades K-8. Small group instrumental lessons are offered weekly on a rotating schedule in grades 3-12. (String instruments only in grade 3.) Orchestra, band and choir performance opportunities are available at the intermediate, middle, and high school levels.


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Family & Consumer Sciences

The family and consumer sciences program helps students become competent and self-reliant in managing their personal, family, and work lives. It is designed to meet the needs of students interested in careers in human services, education, family services, social work, nutrition, culinary, fashion design, textiles and interior design.


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The Mohonasen business department provides students with the knowledge and the skills necessary for college or to directly enter the world of work.  Students receive information that is helpful in carrying on personal business affairs and entrepreneurship, and to make informed economic decisions in life.


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Health & Physical Education

The Mohonasen physical education program promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. At the primary level our emphasis is on developing motor and locomotor skills, fitness concepts, teams concepts, and cooperation. At the secondary level the focus shifts to advanced fitness concepts, lifetime fitness, team building and some traditional activities.

Our health program focuses on providing learning experiences for the purpose of influencing knowledge, attitudes, and conduct relating to individual, community, and world health. The course also helps instruct students how to maintain or improve their health and be able to secure abundant vigor and vitality that are the foundations for the greatest possible happiness and service in personal, family, and community life.


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World Languages

English as a New Language (ENL) services are provided to K-12 students who are working to demonstrate successful mastery of English.  A combination of small group and integrated instruction is provided to support our multi-language learners.

In grades 8-12, all students have access to foreign language offerings. The goal of the foreign language department is to provide increasing competence in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural understanding. Concurrent with the development of language skills, instruction aims to provide cultural insight and understanding of other people, their land and geography, their history, and their thoughts and actions.


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Student Evaluation, Promotion and Placement Policy

Mohonasen Board of Education Policy #7210

Grade Promotion and Placement

Grade promotion and the placement of students within the District’s instructional system shall be at the discretion of the school administration and shall be subject to review at any time. In making such decisions, the administrator or Building Principal will be guided by: performance in class past records, including various measures of student growth; recommendations from parents, persons in parental relation to District students, and teachers; and any other appropriate sources of information. With regard to student placement decisions, parents or persons in parental relation to District students may submit written requests for teacher attributes that would best serve their child’s learning needs; however, requests for specific teachers will not be honored.

Testing Program

The Mohonasen School District utilizes various ability, achievement, diagnostic, readiness, interest and guidance tests for the purpose of complying with state and federal law and/or aiding the implementation of quality educational services. The District will not make any student promotion or placement decisions based solely or primarily on student performance on the state administered English language arts and mathematics assessments for grades 3 through 8. The District may, however, consider student performance on such state assessments in making student promotion and placement decisions provided that multiple measures be used in addition to such assessments and that such assessments do not constitute the major factor in such determinations.

Alternative Testing Procedures

The use of alternative testing procedures shall be limited to:

a) Students identified by the Committee on Special Education and/or Section 504 Team as having a disability. Alternative testing procedures shall be specified in a student’s Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan; and

b) Students whose native language is other than English (i.e., English language learners) in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.

The alternative testing procedures employed shall be based upon a student’s individual needs and the type of test administered.

The District shall report the use of alternative testing procedures to the State Education Department on a form and at a time prescribed by the Commissioner.

Reporting to Parents and Persons in Parental Relation to Students

Parents and/or persons in parental relation to District students shall receive an appropriate report of student progress at regular intervals.
The District will not place or include on a student’s official transcript or maintain in a student’s permanent record any individual student score on a state administered standardized English language arts or mathematics assessment for grades 3 through 8. However, the District will comply with state and federal requirements regarding the maintenance and transfer of student test scores. Any test results on a state administered standardized English language arts or mathematics assessment for grades 3 through 8 sent to parents or persons in parental relation to a student shall include a clear and conspicuous notice that such results will not be included on the student’s official transcript or in the student’s permanent record and are being provided to the student and parents for diagnostic purposes.

When necessary, attempts will be made to provide interpreters for non-English speaking parents and/or persons in parental relation to District students.

Last Updated: September 2017

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Career and Technical Education

CTE – or Career and Technical Education – helps students make the connection between learning and the real world, helping them answer three key questions: What am I learning? Why am I learning it? How am I going to use it? Hands-on learning is a hallmark of a career and technical education experience. While academics are part of all programs, and students learn via traditional lecture, reading and writing projects, the majority of their time is spent actually experiencing their career field.

Each Mohonasen CTE pathway includes a work-based learning experience – such as an internship or job shadowing opportunity – and at least one College in the High School course. CTE programs also include an “employability profile” where students learn valuable career skills such as communications, interviewing, resume writing, professional etiquette, and ethical standards.

In some cases, a CTE pathway can also be used to meet a graduation requirement.

Learn more about Mohonasen’s CTE programs:

  • Engineering
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Business Administration

Career and Technical Education programs are also available to Mohonasen students through the Capital Region BOCES CTE school. Learn more about the BOCES programs.

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Mohonasen students take a number of tests and exams every year – including local exams and assessments, New York State tests, Regents exams and AP exams.

Throughout the school year, students are given opportunities to become familiar with the format of most of these tests. However, the school year is not spent drilling for these exams. Instead, the primary focus is on expanding children’s knowledge in many subject areas and disciplines such as listening, reading, writing and math — encouraging them to reason better and become critical thinkers.

In recent years, there has been considerable controversy surrounding state tests and testing in general. Parents have questioned whether the length of state tests and the questions themselves were developmentally appropriate.

Local skill reviews (Bradt): Students in grades K-2 participate in “skill reviews” throughout the school year. These are a careful look at where a child is with regard to learning content in a particular subject area. These skill reviews are not state mandated nor are they connected to teacher evaluations. They are developed by Mohonasen administrators and teachers for the purpose of continually improving and tailoring our instruction so that every child will learn and be challenged at a developmentally appropriate level.

The information gathered from such a review helps a classroom teacher understand what a child has or has not learned of the material presented up to that point. By gauging where students are, a teacher is able to tweak instruction for the entire class and/or for individual students. A teacher also learns valuable insight on how to best present instruction to ensure that children are being supported and challenged at the level at which they are learning.

New York State Tests (grades 3-8): Each year, districts are required to administer tests – also called assessments – in English language arts (ELA) and math to students in grades 3-8. Fourth- and eighth-graders also take state exams in science and social studies.

Testing in English language arts — which includes reading, writing and listening skills — and math for each of the elementary grades is designed to show whether children have a firm grasp on the skills they will need to succeed as they move toward middle school, high school and beyond. These tests also help teachers identify where the curriculum might need to be fine-tuned to better meet students’ needs.

3-8 Testing:

Learn more about State Assessments on the New York State Education Department website.

New York State Science Performance Test and Science Written section: Students in grades 4 and 8 take state science tests to determine student progress toward New York State standards in science.

New York State Regents Exams (high school): Regents exams are standardized examinations in core high school subjects given to students in New York state. Students are required to pass a minimum of five New York State Regents Exams to graduate (in addition to class credit requirements). There are additional courses and exam requirements for an Advanced Regents Diploma. For more information, please visit High School Graduation Requirements.

Regents Testing:

June 2024 Regents Examination Schedule on the New York State Education Department website.

Advanced Placement exams (high school): Advanced Placement (AP) exams are administered as the culmination of a year-long Advanced Placement Course. AP exams are taken in May of the year students take the course. They are graded on a scale of 1–5, and most colleges require a minimum of a 3 on the exam to award college credit. The exams cost approximately $94.

Classroom tests: Students take tests at various times from grade 3 through high school to assess where a student is with regard to learning content in a particular subject area. Like the Bradt assessments, the information gathered from such a review helps a classroom teacher understand what a student has or has not learned of the material presented up to that point. Results can be used to provide extra support to a student or to tweak lessons.

Helping your child with testing: It’s normal for students to feel a certain level of anxiety around any exams. Leading up to the tests, parents should do what they have always done: Encourage your children to stay calm, and take their time.

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