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The Food Service Program

It’s a fact. Students who are well-nourished are shown to have increased -problem-solving abilities, memory, verbal fluency and creativity.

With that in mind, Mohonasen offers a food service program at the high school that is designed to fuel learning AND offering a variety of choices that appeal to teens.

How much does Breakfast & Lunch cost?

High school students are offered full breakfast for $1.75 in Cafeteria B. School lunches at the high school cost $3.00.

Students can pay for meals as they go. They can also pay $60 up front, which gives them 20 prepaid lunches – plus one free one. To prepay, parents can mail a check to the Mohonasen Food Service Program at 2072 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY 12303 or they can send payment to school with their teen. Parents can also prepay online at www.PayPAMS.com.

Students are given a pin-number to type into a computer keypad as they go through the cafeteria line and the cost of the meal is automatically deducted from their account. Pin numbers are the same from year to year except for incoming ninth graders, who will receive a pin number on the first day.

How healthy are school meals?

Today’s school meals are lower in fat and provide well-balanced servings from each food group. School lunches provide half of the recommended dietary allowances for calories, protein and vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.

Now, as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama and signed into law by President Obama in 2010, new school meal standards are taking effect that are designed to make them healthier than ever. According to the US Department of Agriculture, school meals must adhere to strict calorie limits, schools must serve a greater amount of fruits and vegetables, and there are limits to the amount of breads/grains served.

In addition, under the new law, all students MUST take a vegetable or a fruit with each meal.

As the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act continues to be implemented, you will see changes to foods and beverages sold during the school day. This includes food sold in vending machines, a la carte, school stores, snack carts and in-school fundraising.

Students who are well-nourished are better prepared to learn. By implementing consistent nutrition standards throughout all corners of the school building, we believe it will improve the overall health and well-being of our students.

For more information on the new meal standards, visit http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov or www.mohonasen.org/food-service-program.

No-Charge Policy at the High School

Unlike our elementary and middle schools, students at Mohonasen High School are not allowed to charge any school lunches.

This policy was prompted by the fact that staff in the food service program were having difficulty collecting payment for lunch charges and a significant amount of money was going uncollected at the close of each school year.

Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Students may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals if their families meet federal guidelines. The application takes only minutes to fill out and can be done at any time during the school year.

Students are given pin numbers just like everyone else so their peers and food service workers are not aware which students are receiving free or discounted meals.

A copy of the application is mailed out each summer. The application can also be obtained by calling the food service office at (518) 356-8225 or online at www.mohonasen.org. A new application must be completed for the current school year.

All previous applications expire on Sept. 30.

Pay for Breakfast or lunches online using PayPAMS

Parents can pay for their child’s meals from the comfort of their own home using PayPAMS – an online service that let’s you pre-pay for meals online. With PayPAMS parents can also view and manage their child’s meal account, schedule automatic payments and view a report of daily spending and cafeteria purchases for free.

Get started by logging onto www.PayPAMS.com.

Health Services

A full-time registered nurse is on staff at the high school to serve student health needs, along with a part-time health office assistant.

Accident Insurance

Mohonasen provides supplemental student accident insurance that serves as secondary coverage. Benefits will not be paid for medical expenses covered by a student’s primary insurer. In order to receive benefits from Mohonasen’s student accident policy, parents must first submit all medical bills to their own health insurance carrier. In the event no health insurance exists, the district has elected to self-fund the $100 deductible for this coverage. Insurance forms are available in the nurse’s office.

Health Cards

At the start of each school year a Student Health Card is sent home for parents/guardians to fill out and return “ASAP” to the school. Students will not be able to take part in off-campus field trips and sports if these cards are not returned.

The information on this card is kept on file in the nurse’s office throughout the year. It includes emergency contact numbers for parents and medical information concerning each student. Parents are urged to call the school nurse immediately if any of this information changes during the school year.

Illness

Students who get sick or injured during the school day need to report to the school nurse before calling or texting a parent to come get them or leaving school on their own. These students must be released by the school nurse.

Immunizations

Please note New York State now requires all students entering 7th and 12th grade to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease. For more information, visit www.mohonasen.org/meningitisvaccination/  or contact the school nurse at (518) 356-8310.

Medications in school

Students, with the exception of diabetics, may not have ANY medication (prescription or over the counter) on their possession during the school day (i.e., not in pockets, lunch boxes, backpacks, lockers, etc.). The only medication exceptions are an asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen, which may be carried by the student if they have a physician order and parent consent, along with the approval of the school nurse.

The following guidelines must be met before administering any medication during school hours:

  • All over the counter and prescription medication, as well as any herbal supplements, must be brought to school by a parent or responsible adult in the original labeled container (prescription medication must be in a pharmacy labeled container). Stock Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are available in the nurse’s office and can be given by the school nurse with a physician order unless the parent chooses to provide the student’s own Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen. All other over the counter medication must be provided by the parent.
  • A written physician order including name, dose, duration, and reason for prescribing the medication and possible adverse reactions.
  • A written note from parent/guardian giving the school nurse permission to administer the medication as prescribed by the physician.
  • Any discontinued or unused medication will be disposed of at the end of the school year if not picked up by the parent by the last day of school.
  • All medication orders must be renewed by the physician each school year.

School Physicals

New students to the district, as well as students entering the 10th grade, shall submit a health physical certificate signed by a licensed physician. This certificate shall be submitted within 30 days of entrance into the district or within 30 days after his/her entrance into 10th grade. Such examination shall be accepted if it is administered not more than 12 months prior to commencement of the school year in which it is required. If the student does not submit a current physical from his/her own physician, a free school physical will be scheduled during the school year in the nurse’s office with the school physician.

Please use the Mohonasen Health Physical Form Grades 6-12, which is available on our website, www.mohonasen.org/forms.

Sports Physicals

See Athletic Program/Rules About Sports Physicals

Parent Organizations

Participation in parent organizations at Mohonasen is a natural way to stay connected to your teen. It’s also a way to get involved in some of the many fun and worthwhile activities that these groups support. Get involved and you’ll also get to know your teen’s friends – and their parents – a little better, too!

Band Boosters

The Mohonasen Band Boosters is a parent organization that raises funds to support the activities of the Mohonasen High School Marching Band. Among the yearly activities that the group sponsors is the Home Show field competition in the fall and the Brooks Barbecue fund-raiser in May. The group also sponsors a midyear band banquet. The group generally meets immediately following the Music Parents monthly meetings.

Music Parents Association

The Mohonasen Music Parents Association is a parent group that supports ALL student musical performing groups in the district.

The group helps plan and chaperone the big spring field trip/competition for the Marching Band and Color Guard.

Music Parents also helps organize the Strawberry Festival in June, helps with the annual concerts and awards a variety of music scholarships each year. Members of Music Parents also chaperone at events where the band plays – from local parades to out-of-state competitions.

The group meets monthly during the school year. Check the district calendar for dates and times.

Students with Disabilities

Like all high schools, students with disabilities are actively involved throughout Mohonasen. They enjoy the same challenges and opportunities as their peers. They frequently receive additional services or participate in special programs to accommodate their disabilities while facilitating their success in school and life.

What follows is a brief explanation of some of Mohonasen’s -programs, plans and resources for students with disabilities. For more information, call the Director for Special and Alternative Education at (518) 356-8221.

Consultant Teachers

Since the goal is to provide a quality education in the least restrictive environment, most students with disabilities learn side-by-side with their peers in general education classrooms. Consultant teachers are special education teachers who work with the regular classroom teacher to help “integrated” students find success in the general education environment. Consultant teachers, for example, may co-teach lessons, restructure assignments, provide special accommodations and follow-up with students and teachers after class.

Resource Room

Special education teachers are available to meet with students in small groups outside the general education classrooms to make sure students receive the supplemental supports needed to meet high academic standards. The nature of these supports is spelled out in each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

The resource room is staffed by special education teachers who provide additional instruction to strengthen the skills of disabled students. Resource room teachers also work closely with students’ regular classroom teachers to provide students with necessary accommodations and modifications.

Special Classes

While all disabled students are encouraged to participate in general education classes, for some this environment proves to be very restrictive. Some students require the additional support and structure of special classes designed to address their unique instructional needs. These classes have low student-to-teacher ratios and allow for more individualized instruction.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

The Committee on Special Education must develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for all students who are eligible for special education services.

In developing the IEP, the committee considers evaluations, student strengths, concerns of the parent and, where appropriate, student performance on state and district assessments.

An IEP documents the following: present level of performance; how the student’s disability impacts his/her participation in the general curriculum; classification of the disability; annual goals; recommended programs and services; whether or not the student will participate in state or alternate assessments; a list of any alternative accommodations; a list of any assistive technology devices; and transitional goals at the appropriate time.

Non-Regents (Local) Diploma Options for Students With Disabilities

The State Education Department has ruled that the local diploma will be available to students with disabilities.

These students must still take the five required Regents exams. However, if they fail to pass one or more exams, students with disabilities who score a 55-64 would then qualify for a local diploma. This “safety net” applies to any student who has been identified through the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or through documentation on a Section 504 by a Multidisciplinary Team. It is also available to students with disabilities who have been “declassified” in grades 8-12, if recommended and documented by a CSE.

As of July 1, 2014, students with disabilities may also qualify for two exiting credentials: the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential, or New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential.

Program/Testing Accommodations

Students with IEPs or 504 Plans often have testing or classroom accommodations as part of their high school program. Accommodations may include: additional time and alternative locations to take tests; and/or additional strategies for participating in class activities, for acquiring class notes or for completing homework. Testing accommodations are only valid as the result of a Committee on Special Education (CSE) recommendation or 504 Plan.

504 plans

“504 Plans” are developed to support students whose physical or medical needs have a significant negative impact on their success in school. Special accommodations are written into 504 Plans to ensure that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education – just as non-disabled students do. Accommodations, for example, may include providing additional time and alternative locations for tests or special strategies for participating in class activities. A 504 Plan is not the same as an IEP (Individual Education Plan), which is generally much
more intensive.

Psychological Testing

At the request of the Pupil Study Team and/or the parent/guardian, a student can receive psychoeducational testing, which may include tests of ability and/or achievement level. A psycho-educational evaluation must be authorized by Mohonasen’s Office of Student Services. Testing is conducted by the school psychologist. Students with an IEP are required to receive an updated evaluation at least every three years.

Transition Planning

All students age 15 and older who have a disability receive transitional planning as part of the annual review of the special education program. The student’s case manager, in consultation with the transition specialist, works annually with students and their families to address post-secondary education, employment and community living goals. As students move closer to graduation, a representative from Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES, formerly known as VESID) and other community-based services may be included in the process.

Web Resources

The Internet is a helpful source of information for parents and students who want to learn more about a particular disability, find resources, network with others, etc. What follows are a few sites that address some common disabilities:

Transportation Services

Mohonasen transports approximately 3,000 students over a half million miles each year. The Transportation Department works hard to provide safe and efficient service to all students.

Postcards are also sent out notifying students of their ASSIGNED bus stop. Students are asked to report to ONLY that stop. However, complete bus schedules are available by calling the transportation office ((518) 356-8260) or the superintendent’s office ((518) 356-8200).

Parents wishing to have their students picked up or dropped off at a location other than their home must complete a request form that can be found on the district website at www.mohonasen.org/transportation.

Please be patient during the first few weeks of school to allow drivers to adjust bus routes and times. Pick-up and drop-off times may vary 5-10 minutes either way.

If parents have a transportation-related issue or concern, it’s important they contact the transportation office (356-8260) or their child’s school directly rather than approaching a school bus driver.

Bus Rules

The safety of all students is the district’s primary concern. All buses are school property and are subject to all rules set forth in the Code of Conduct. Each student has an individual responsibility to help ensure the safety of all students on the bus by following the rules.

Coming to school, going home and riding buses for extracurricular events or field trips, all students are expected to listen to and obey all instructions from transportation personnel and adhere to the following rules:

  1. Behave in a safe and orderly manner at the bus stop/ bus port and on the bus.
  2. Look both ways if crossing a road AND wait for the driver’s hand signal or directions before crossing.
  3. Enter and exit the bus in an orderly fashion.
  4. Ride in your seat, facing forward.
  5. Keep the bus clean and free of litter.
  6. Keep all parts of your body inside the bus at all times.
  7. Be responsible for your own belongings.
  8. Respect other’s property.
  9. Speak quietly, using appropriate and respectful
    language.
  10. Refrain from activities that may damage the bus.
  11. Use of illegal substances (alcohol, tobacco, and drugs) is prohibited.
  12. Refrain from bringing objects (such as skateboards, large musical instruments or school projects) onto the bus that may present a safety hazard.
  13. Eating or drinking on the bus is not allowed. Many students have food allergies and food, etc., on the bus could cause a medical emergency.

The Code of Conduct spells out clear disciplinary procedures for students who violate bus rules. These rules are available on the district website.

Changing Bus Stops

If you want to request a change in an assigned bus stop, contact Mohonasen’s Transportation Department by phone at (518) 356-8260.

Mohonasen’s policy is to try to honor change requests to other existing bus stops – provided there is enough room on the bus. (For obvious safety reasons, the district’s goal is to have no students forced to stand on buses. During the first two weeks of school bus routes may be adjusted to meet this goal.)

For more information about Mohonasen’s transportation department, please visit www.mohonasen.org/transportation