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 school messenger email will alert you that your yearly meeting is approaching and direct you to call your child’s counselor to schedule a meeting.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.