Counseling: Mohonasen High School

Course GuideHigh School Course RegistrationGraduation RequirementsSeal of BiliteracyCareer ExplorationCareer and Technical Education PathwaysWorking Papers for StudentsFamily Connection by NavianceMohonasen Business Advisory Board

Course Guide

Mohonasen High School offers a wide array of core courses that help students meet graduation requirements, as well as a broad selection of elective and college-level classes designed to help students find their passion and prepare for life after high school graduation. Click here to see all of the courses available to students.

High School Course Registration

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. 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 meet with every student each year by grade. Counselors recognize that some parents want more input and information than others. However, parent involvement is always encouraged and accommodated.  In 9th grade, counselors will send a formal letter home inviting you to come in. In grades 10-12, a google calendar invite by email will alert you to the date of your student’s conference. The calendar invite will instruct you how to RSVP to attend the meeting or reschedule if necessary.

In general, here’s what students and parents can expect at each grade level when it comes to selecting high school courses. See our general policies and procedures regarding course registration.

Eighth Grade

Parents are invited – along with their son or daughter – to an evening high school information program – usually held in January or 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 large group presentations 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 send how a letter inviting 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 finalizing courses for tenth grade, the discussion focuses on a review of current academic performance, long- and short-term goals and methods of career exploration available to students. 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 including academic advising, career planning and individual options for the following year. Parents are invited by google calendar invite and are welcome to attend.

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 are several days dedicated to students selecting their courses for the following year. This is called Course Registration. The process occurs during 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 Day 3, students will meet with counselors in large group settings to go over selections, check credits, answer questions and collect 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 and should see their counselor.

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 and choose back-up courses. When in doubt, contact your counselor as soon as possible if there are problems or concerns with your final schedule.

Graduation Requirements

Requirements for graduation can be divided into two categories, credits and exams. Students are required to earn 22 credits, including a mandatory core curriculum of 18.5 credits, in order to graduate. Students also are required to pass a minimum of five New York State Regents Exams. There are additional courses and exam requirements for an Advanced Regents Diploma.

  • 4 credits in English
  • 4 credits in social studies
  • 3 credits in math
  • 3 credits in science
  • 1/2 credit in health
  • 1 credit in world language
  • 1 credit in art or music
  • 2 credits in physical ed.

Minimum 22 credits

Regents Diploma

  • Minimum score of 65 required on all exams listed below:
  • 1 Math Regents
  • 1 Science Regents
  • 1 Social Studies
  • English Regents

AND at least one of the following:

  • Humanities Pathway: a second social studies Regents or state-approved alternative
  • STEM Pathway: a second science Regents, second math Regents or a state-approved alternative
  • Bi-literacy (Language other than English) Pathway: completion of a world language sequence and state-approved world language checkpoint B assessment
  • CTE Pathway: completion of a state-approved CTE program and assessment
  • Arts Pathway: completion of an arts sequence including a minimum of 54 WBL Hours, Employability Profile, & Career Plan
  • CDOS Pathway: completion of 2 credits of CTE, 54 WBL Hours, Employability Profile, & Career Plan

Advanced Regents Diploma

  • All of the above exams plus additional tests listed below, with minimum score of 65 required
  • 2 additional math Regents exams
  • 1 additional science Regents exam
  • 4 credits in world language OR a five-unit sequence in art, music, business, technology, family and consumer sciences, or career and technical education (CTE)
  • World language Regents exam (if completing a foreign language sequence)

Students who have a 90 or better average for all of their Regents exams will be awarded a “with honors” distinction with their Regents or Advanced Regents Diplomas.

Local Diploma

A local diploma is only available to students with disabilities. See our Special Education page for details.

Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages (English and one World Language). It is an official notation that appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.

What are the benefits for students?

  • Students will receive an endorsement from the NYS Education Department on their diploma and their transcript;
  • Certifies students’ attainment of biliteracy and 21st-century skills;
  • Provides students with a credential that gives their future employers a method of identifying them as biliterate and skilled in language and culture;
  • Provides universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for the attainment of high-level skills in multiple languages and cultures; and
  • Honors the multiple cultures and languages in our community and shows that students recognize the value of diversity.

Earning the New York State Seal of Biliteracy

Students wishing to receive the NYS Seal of Biliteracy must complete all requirements for graduating with a NYS Regents diploma and must earn three points in the areas listed below in English and a World Language. Learn more about the how to earn the New York State Seal of Biliteracy by clicking here.

Criteria for Demonstrating Proficiency in English

  • Two points: Present a culminating project, scholarly essay or portfolio that meets the criteria for speaking, listening, reading and writing established by the district’s NYS Seal of Biliteracy Committee to a panel of reviewers with proficiency in English.
  • One point: Score 80 or higher on the NYS Regents Examination in English Language Arts or English Language Learners may score 75 or above on two Regents exams other than English without translation.
  • One point: Complete Grade 11 and Grade 12 ELA courses with an average of 85 or higher.
  • One point: English Language Learners score at the Commanding Level on two modalities of the NYSELAT.
  • One point: Achieve a 3 or higher on the AP English Literature Exam or an 80 or higher on the TOEFL.

Criteria for Demonstrating Proficiency in a World Language

  • Two points: Present a culminating project, scholarly essay, or portfolio that meets the criteria for speaking, listening, reading and writing established by the district’s Seal of Biliteracy Committee that is aligned to the NYS Checkpoint C Standards to a panel of reviewers with proficiency in the target language.
  • One point: Complete a Level 5 World Language with a grade of 85 or higher for both coursework and the final examination.

Career Exploration

Career and Technical Education Pathways

At Mohonasen, students can choose between four Career and Technical Programs. Click here to learn more.

  • Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Pathway- Early Childhood Education
  • Business Administration Pathway
  • Technology- Engineering Pathway
  • Technology- Machining & Manufacturing Pathway

Working Papers for Students

Family Connection by Naviance

The Counseling & Career Center is using Family Connection by Naviance, software for career and college exploration.

Students must log on to Naviance using their school username (the one they use to log onto school computers) and the password: notebook. They can change their password once logged in. Parents can log in as a guest for now.

Family Connection is a comprehensive website designed to help parents and students with decisions about courses, colleges and careers. As it is linked with Naviance Succeed, which our office uses to track and analyze data about career and college plans, Family Connection provides up-to-date information that is specific to our school.

The following are just some Family Connection activities:

  • Game Plan Survey
  • Create a resume’
  • Complete an Interest Profiler
  • Complete a Personality Assessment
  • Start a college search
  • Develop a prospective college list
  • Access scholarship search engines; more than a hundred national scholarships are available
  • Maintain journal entries
  • Complete school-developed surveys
  • Compare colleges
  • Link to selected third-party resources College Board, Financial Aid, NCAA, Careers, College searches, etc.)
  • Track deadlines
  • View guidance news bulletins

If you have any trouble accessing the documents linked from this page, please contact the Communications Office at 356-8250. The FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded here. 

Mohonasen Business Advisory Board

Our Business Advisory Board is a dynamic connection between local businesses and the Mohonasen School System. In this partnership, we work together to develop work based learning opportunities for students, and communicate to understand and address the unique employment needs of our local community. Click here to learn more about this partnership.

Serving students in grades 9-12
School Hours: 7:35 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.


Mohonasen High School

2072 Curry Road
Schenectady, NY 12303
Phone: 518.356.8300
Fax: 518.356.8309

Counseling & Career Center
Phone: 518-356-8320
FAX: 518-356-8329

Danielle Conway, High School Counselor
Taylor Diffley, High School Counselor
Amy Huszar, High School Counselor
Duane Wood, High School Counselor
Nikki Ouellette, Alt Ed School Counselor
Bernadette Nichols, High School Counselor