Academic eligibility For Extracurricular Activities
In order for students to be eligible to participate in or attend certain extracurricular activities and events, they must maintain specific academic standards in the courses they are taking. Currently, participation in athletics, formal dances, as well as various senior privileges are governed by academic standards. While the specific guidelines for each activity vary, the intent is to reinforce the importance of academic effort and performance and ensure that all students move successfully through high school. For specific policies and guidelines, please visit www.mohonasen.org or call the high school main office.
Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
The faculty and staff at the high school are committed to helping all students succeed in challenging course work. A wide range of Academic Intervention Services are provided to students who are deemed to be at-risk of not meeting the Regents standards by graduation.
At the high school, AIS includes: grade-level instructional teams; academic intervention labs; Regents-prep review classes; and academic monitoring
Counselors and social workers are also available to help at-risk students deal with peripheral issues that may be getting in the way of their school success. Of course, students can always stay after school to work with teachers during activity period from 2:20-2:50 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
Mohonasen offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in:
- US History
- Music Theory*
- World History
- English Literature
AP courses expose students to college-level coursework while still in high school. The subject matter is very challenging and students who take these courses typically say it makes for a smoother transition to college.
Another benefit to taking AP classes is that students can earn college credit for these courses – IF they score a 3 or better on the final AP exam. (Some colleges require a higher score.)
Most AP classes at Mohonasen require certain prerequisites and/or grade point averages, so check with your counselor for details. All AP courses are weighted by a factor of 1.05. For more on course weighting, visit page 15.
While there is no fee for the courses, the AP exams typically
cost about $90. (Students enrolled in the courses are encouraged to register for the AP exam in the fall and take the exams in May.)
Students who are members of the band earn one unit of credit per year. However, it is important to know that membership in Mohonasen’s band involves a significant “extracurricular” commitment of time and energy beyond the regular school day.
Band membership requires participation in both:
- Marching Band – Students gain experience in marching techniques, preparation and performance at all home football games, pep rallies, parades and competitive field shows. Students are required to attend “Band Camp” (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) the last two weeks of August.
- Concert Band – Students study and experience repertoire and performance, preparation and presentation at assemblies and concerts. Students with outstanding musical abilities will be selected for placement in the following groups on a non-credit extracurricular basis: select band; stage band; ensembles; participation in Suburban Scholastic Council music functions; participation in NYSSMA solo competition; area all-state and all-state bands.
There are also “select” groups offered for the orchestra and choir programs. For more on the entire music program, see Mohonasen’s High School Course of Study Guide, available online at www.mohonasen.org/HS.
The Mohonasen School District will work in partnership with parents to maintain a learning and work environment that supports the character development of its students. Character development will reflect and reinforce core ethical values such as honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy and dignity. Use of profane or offensive language will not be tolerated. Respect for others is expected.
Students are encouraged to get involved in the student government and in the many school-sponsored clubs, activities and service projects that support both positive character development and community building.
Mohonasen’s system of grade point averages is used to determine:
- Graduation rank and class rank
- Honor Society candidacy
- Gold, Silver and Bronze Honor Rolls
- College admission
- Other scholastic awards
All full-year courses count equally toward a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA); half-year courses have a “.5” multiplier. All subjects with numerical grades – excluding physical education – are included in the computation. Any high school coursework completed in grade 8 will be in the first computed GPA for grade 9. Additionally, courses with a weighted designation are weighted as such. See page 19 for more information.
For example, the following student would have a GPA of 88.73 based on these grades:
Math: 90 Full Year Counts as: 90
Earth Science: 85 Full Year Counts as: 85
Social Studies: 88 Full Year Counts as: 88
English: 94 Full Year Counts as: 94
French: 87 Full Year Counts as: 87
Health: 88 Half Year Counts as: 44
Phys. Ed.: 92 Not Counted in GPA –
Sum of Above = 488
÷ 5.5 (classes)
GPA = 88.73
Report cards will report each student’s GPA for that quarter. The fourth quarter report card will show both the 4th-quarter GPA and the GPA for the entire school year.
All students in a graduating class are ranked together. The final senior ranking for eight semesters will be computed and forwarded to colleges and/or employers upon request.
Note: Mohonasen no longer names a valedictorian or salutatorian. Instead, the top 10 graduates of each class are recognized. This ranking is calculated using a seven-semester average, as are the awards presented at the Academic
Counseling and Career Center (A.K.A. “The Guidance Office”)
All high school students are assigned a school counselor to work with them throughout their high school years.
Once each year, students and counselors meet for a formal annual review. However, students should feel free to contact their counselor any time they have questions or need assistance. Counselors are also available to talk with students about family difficulties, peer relationships, drug and alcohol decisions or other personal concerns. (Also see information about the Student Assistance Counselor, page 38,)
Appointments should be made through the secretary who work in the Counseling and Career Center.
Students are also encouraged to visit the waiting area of the Counseling and Career Center to get all kinds of useful information such as local job openings, college catalogs, scholarship applications, SAT test dates and more.
Mohonasen’s Counseling and Career Center also offers a number of special evening workshops for parents to attend each year with their teen. The programs are advertised on the district calendar and website. They typically include:
- College Panel Presentation for Juniors (juniors and their parents)
- Finding Your Financial Fit (grades 10-11)
- Filling out College Financial Aid Forms (seniors and their parents)
- High School Information Night (parents and students in grade 8)
- College Application Kick Start (seniors and their parents)
All Mohonasen High School students are required to take a minimum of six credits plus physical education each year. However, students are encouraged to select as many courses as their schedule and ability allow. Seniors in good academic standing are allowed to take five credits plus physical education.
In many ways, high school is becoming more like college, where students can customize their course of study to reflect individual interests and career goals. The result is that students at Mohonasen High School have more choices in their coursework (particularly after grade 9) than ever before.
Choices in coursework are explained in greater detail in the Mohonasen High School Course of Study Guide, which can be accessed online at https://www.mohonasen.org/mohonasen-high-school/
Parents and students are encouraged to be proactive about calling or making appointments with their school counselor whenever they have questions about which courses they can choose from and which would best serve their future goals. Counselors recognize that some parents want more input and information than others. However, parent involvement is always encouraged and accommodated.
In general, here’s what students and parents can expect at each grade level when it comes to selecting high school courses:
- EIGHTH GRADE – Parents are invited – along with their son or daughter – to an evening high school information program – held in February. Students and parents are invited to a freshman orientation session, usually scheduled the week before school starts.
High school counselors meet with students in small groups in January or February to provide an orientation to high school and explain what choices they have in courses. Students make preliminary course requests and these are mailed home for parents to sign off on.
- NINTH GRADE – This is a key year for developing a game plan for the rest of high school. Counselors invite every ninth grader and his or her parents to a personal conference sometime in March or April. Each conference lasts about 40 minutes.
In addition to selecting courses for tenth grade, the discussion focuses on a review of current academic performance, long- and short-term goals and an introduction to Family Connection by Naviance, which provides lots of options for career exploration including an interest assessment.
The freshman conference is also a good opportunity for parents to personally meet with their child’s counselor, give input into course selection and set the stage for a productive working relationship that will last straight through to graduation.
A preliminary list of course requests is mailed home for parent approval in May.
- TENTH & ELEVENTH GRADE – At both sophomore and junior meetings, counselors will cover topics on academic advisement, career planning and individual options for the following year. Parents are not specifically called in at this time, but they’re always welcome to call and request to participate.
- TWELFTH GRADE – Most, if not all, course selection for the final year of high school is completed in the eleventh grade. Students will still have ample interaction with their counselors as seniors, but the emphasis switches to graduation and making a successful transition to college and/or the workplace.
High School Registration
At the high school there is an entire week dedicated to students selecting their courses for the following year. This is called Course Registration. The process occurs during late fall/winter for 9th, 10th and 11th grade students. During the first two days, as students move through their day, teachers will set aside a portion of the block to discuss course options and make recommendations. This will occur in both core academic areas and elective areas.
In addition, all students will be exposed to elective options via videos and/or live presentations. All teachers are available for additional questions period 10 during the week.
Students are encouraged to bring their course selection sheets home after Day 2 for parental input. During days 3 and 4 students will meet with counselors in large group settings to go over selections, check credits, answer questions and turn in their course selection sheets.
What if I change my mind about the courses I selected?
Students sometimes express concern that they may be locked into taking the courses planned out earlier in the year. Students actually have until the end of May to change their minds with regard to course selections.
What if I don’t get the course(s) that I wanted?
The actual scheduling of students into classes is a very complex procedure that cannot be finalized until the close of the summer school session each August. (Students receive their schedules on the first day of school)
Every effort is made to place students in the classes they request, but some scheduling conflicts are inevitable. Sometimes a course gets cut due to low enrollment. Or, if a student selects multiple courses that are only offered one period each day, they are not always able to fit every elective into their schedule. That’s why counselors ask students to rank their choice of electives from most important to least. When in doubt, contact your counselor as soon as possible if there are problems or concerns with your final schedule.
In addition to the class ranking calculations, there are several courses that are weighted at the high school. Weighting means that certain higher level courses will be multiplied by either 1.025 or 1.05 depending on the course. For example, a grade of an 80 in AP English would be multiplied by 1.05 and would calculate as an 84. This weighted grade would be used toward the student’s weighted GPA and class rank. The weighted average would also be used for honor roll and honor society eligibility.
The courses with a 1.025 multiplier are English 9H, Global Studies 9H, English 10H, English 11H, Earth Science H, Economics H, Participation in Government H and Chemistry H. All AP (Advanced Placement) courses receive the 1.05 multiplier (please see page 15 for a listing of all AP courses).
Throughout the Mohonasen School District, teachers and administrators have K-12 “curriculum maps,” which outline what will be taught in each subject area, at each grade level, at generally consistent times during the school year.
These maps help all teachers navigate the twists and turns of an increasingly rigorous curriculum while making smoother connections from one grade level to the next. The maps will also allow parents to see – at a glance – precisely what their child will be taught at each grade level, in each course, at generally consistent times in the school year. The maps will evolve over time, reflecting continuous efforts to refine and improve curriculum district-wide.
Dropping a Course
Students should plan their courses carefully since dropping courses after school begins is discouraged and school permission may be difficult to obtain. Withdrawal from a required course is never permitted.
To drop a course, a special add/drop form must be secured from the teacher, completed and signed by the student, teacher, counselor, department administrator, principal and parent(s) in the order listed on the form.
No student will be allowed to drop a full-year course after 12 weeks or a half-year course after 7 weeks. All paperwork must be completed and handed in prior to these deadlines.
Students may add a course only until the class has gone through two full rotations of A-F cycle (about two weeks).