Interim-Reports to Parents
There are four marking periods in the regular school year. Report cards are made available online (in SchoolTool) a few weeks after the close of each marking period. Interim reports are available online approximately halfway through each marking period. Combined, parents can expect eight online reports on their child’s progress in a typical school year. Specific dates are noted on Mohonasen’s annual district calendar that is mailed home at the end of August.
Parents may request a paper copy of an interim report or report card by calling the main office. In addition, any parent who doesn’t currently have a SchoolTool account can sign up by calling the high school main office.
The library hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each school day. The library is to be used for research, borrowing books, use of computers or reading. Students using the library are expected to work quietly.
Materials in the library circulate for a specific period of time, generally two weeks. All students wishing to borrow materials must check them out at the library desk.
Students are expected to be responsible and courteous of the needs of others and return library materials on time. Lost or damaged materials must be replaced at the expense of the borrower.
To use the library during an assigned study hall, the following guidelines should be observed.
- Permission to sign out of a study hall in order to go to the library must be signed by the study hall supervisor.
Students with pre-signed passes from a subject area teacher will be given preference.
- Students must sign the library sign-out sheet prior to leaving an assigned study hall and indicate the activity to be performed in the library. This includes students with pre-signed passes.
- Students must report to the library directly from study hall or classes and sign in/out from that location.
- Students must obtain presigned passes to access the library.
Parents may make appointments for conferences with teachers and/or their child’s school counselor by calling the Counseling and Career Center any time they have questions or concerns. School officials may also call parents to request a conference as needed.
If a parent or student is unhappy with an interim report or report card, a conference can help get at the root of the problem. However, often a phone call or e-mail directly to the teacher(s) can resolve the issue.
A conference is also a good opportunity to set up an improvement plan. In almost all instances high school students will be expected to participate.
School counselors can set up and facilitate a group conference involving one or more teachers. The focus is always on problem-solving — not playing a “blame game.”
Most people, including students, say they feel relieved at the end of a conference. That’s because once the nature of the problem is clearly understood, it’s much easier to address it — particularly when everyone is working together.
Keep in mind things don’t have to be desperate before parents step in. Any drop in grades is a good reason to call the school.
Every student in grades 9-12 must successfully complete a half-unit of physical education each year of attendance to qualify for graduation. These units are in addition to those credits necessary for a Regents or local diploma.
Students receive a numerical grade each quarter for physical education. Grades are based on preparation, participation and performance. Students who miss P.E. classes or are unprepared can make up classes during Period 10 on selected days.
Appropriate dress for P.E. classes includes sneakers, T-shirts and shorts or sweatpants.
Swimming and P.E.
All 9th graders complete a required 5-week swimming unit in the pool during their P.E. class. To the degree scheduling allows, boys and girls are separated for the swim unit. Various elective aquatic units are also offered to meet yearly P.E. requirements.
While in the pool, girls must wear one-piece swim suits; swim trunks are required for boys (no cutoffs). White T-shirts may be worn over bathing suits and girls can wear nylon shorts over their swim suits. Students must supply their own towels.
Medical excuses and P.E.
Students who are unable to participate in physical education for any reason will need a signed note stating their limitations from their doctor. Students will be given a zero grade for each missed day unless they submit this written medical excuse to the school nurse. If a student ends the school year with a medical excuse, he or she needs to submit either a new excuse or a release note from their physician for the next school year. Students will complete written work as prescribed by the P.E. teacher while out on a medical excuse. All instructions for medical make-up work are located on the P.E. webpage.
Promotion and retention of students
Promotion in grades nine through twelve depends on the number of credits a student has accumulated and the number of constants (English, math, science and social studies) passed. Any questions about a student’s grade-level status should be referred to the school counselor.
- To be considered a sophomore: students must have a minimum of four credits toward graduation and have passed at least one unit of English or social studies.
- To be considered a junior: students must have a minimum of eight and one half credits toward graduation and have passed two units of either English or social studies, and at least one year of the other. Students must also have passed at least one year of math and science.
- To be considered a senior: students must be able to be scheduled to complete all of their required course work by June and earn at least 22.5 credits.
Requests and Non-Request For Teachers
A student or parent may relay a preference for a particular teacher but this in no way guarantees that the match will work out when student schedules are created in August. Quite simply, there are just too many variables when it comes to scheduling students, courses and teachers to be able to promise a particular teacher.
Students or parents may put in a NON-request for a particular teacher if the student and/or a sibling has had the teacher before. There is no guarantee that a non-request can always be honored, for the same scheduling issues outlined above.
If a senior has failed a senior English or social studies course, they are not eligible to retake the same course with that teacher if another course or teacher is available.
Standardized Tests for College Application
Students are advised (and in many cases, required) to take certain standardized tests in order to apply to colleges. Following is a summary of the major tests:
- The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) includes evidence-based reading, writing, language tests and math tests. The math test focuses on problem-solving, data analysis, algebra and advanced math. There is also an optional essay component, required by some colleges. SAT questions focus on skills that matter most for college readiness and success, according to the latest research. It is required by most colleges to be considered for admission and most students take it in their junior year. There are also a series of SAT Subject Tests that measure knowledge in content-specific subject areas such as languages, science, social studies, math, etc. The SAT Subject Tests are recommended for highly motivated and/or accelerated students.
- The PSAT is designed to prepare students for the SAT. It is typically taken early in the fall of the junior year. It measures what you learn in high school and what you need to succeed in college. This practice for the SAT includes a reading test, a writing and language test, and a math test. The PSAT is the only way to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Sophomores accelerated in math are encouraged to take the PSAT. Students who take the PSAT will get personalized prep for the SAT through KHAN Academy, based on the student’s PSAT responses.
- The ACT (American College Test) is required for admission at many colleges and is typically taken in the junior and/or senior year. It measures English, math, and science reasoning. It also contains an optional writing section that we strongly encourage students to take.
All of the preceding tests require preregistration and many are offered at multiple times throughout the year. The PSAT is offered in-house at Mohonasen; the SAT and ACT are offered at designated testing centers. Where possible, dates are publicized in advance on the district calendar and on the district website calendar. All require a fee, generally ranging from $20 to $80.
All students entering grades 9-12 are required to complete a summer reading assignment for English.
Details about the reading assignment are generally sent home in June and posted on the district website at www.mohonasen.org.
The school district offers a growing range of programs each summer – including enrichment classes, sports camps, driver education, swim classes and, of course, the traditional classes for students who failed one or more courses during the regular school year or wish to improve their grade in a subject.
There are also limited opportunities for review classes for students retaking Regents Exams.
What follows is some general information about Mohonasen’s traditional summer school program:
- Attendance: Daily attendance is necessary if students are
going to be successful. In summer school, there is virtually no opportunity for makeup work, so attendance – every day – is imperative.
- Calendar: Summer school typically begins right after Independence Day and runs for six weeks, ending in the first half of August. A detailed calendar and list of courses is drawn up each spring and can be obtained from your school counselor. There are only two periods in the summer schedule, which means students can take no more than two classes.
- Transportation: Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from summer school. Bicycle racks are available to students at their own risk. (Bike locks are strongly advised.) Students driving to and from school must park in the student parking lot.
- Discipline: Students referred to the office for disciplinary reasons risk suspension and jeopardize their chances of successfully completing the summer requirements.
- Grading Policy: Students taking a 45-hour course in summer school can not “replace” their grade from the regular school year. The two grades are averaged together for a final score with each counting 50 percent. For example, a student who fails 9th-grade English with a grade of 50 and then enrolls in summer school must earn at least an 80 for his/her summer school work in order to earn a final grade of 65 in the course. In other words – performance during the school year counts! Students who give up trying midyear may find it impossible to score high enough on their summer school work to counterbalance their end of the school year average in June.
- Exams: Summer schedules for local and Regents Exams are set in the spring. Students desiring to take a “walk-in” Regents Exam must preregister by early July.
Students or parents who have additional questions regarding the summer school program at Mohonasen should contact their school counselor or the summer school principal.
Students – or parents – who wish to obtain a private professional tutor can contact their school counselor for names of qualified tutors in various subject areas. The cost generally runs between $35-50 per hour.
Another option – that has no cost – is to request a peer tutor. This request should generally be limited to students who have already been staying for period 10 help from their teacher and still feel that they need the help of a tutor.
National Honor Society and Math Honor Society students also offer peer tutoring. NHS members are stationed in the library during their study halls, and students looking for tutoring can sign out of study hall and get assistance during most periods of the day.
For more information, students should see their counselor