Table of contents
Words from Mr. Harrison
How to get started
Rubric (grading procedure)
Explanation of rubric
Timeline of due dates
Presentation scoring guide
Advice from Seniors
Words from Mr. Harrison
You might be wondering why we have a senior project? Why, when you are all so close to graduating do we decide to build another barrier to stop you walking out and through the Dalton Arch. Well if you are considering the project to be a barrier that must be overcome, then perhaps you are not quite ready to graduate and progress as a true Phoenix! At CDS we believe in learning by doing, in growth through experience, in the design method of prototyping and refinement. In short we believe in project based learning!
Think back to the projects you have undertaken at CDS and MacBeth will probably jump out at you as a time when you worked near to your capacity. Yet when you finished how proud were you? How much did you grow during that experience can you list all the skills you developed? All the challenges you overcame? All the conflicts you resolved? This was truly a time when you were learning and developing. Hopefully you can reflect on other projects that have challenged you similarly be it statistics projects in Pre-Calc, business plans in Econ or Trips to Mars in science.
The “Dalton” in our school name comes from a book written by Helen Parkhurst before she opened the Childrens University (Later to become the Dalton School in New York). In this book she outlined the key principles of the Dalton plan to be “freedom and cooperation” and they still form the cornerstones of our curriculum. In fact so much so, that the “freedom” makes up a large part of the senior project you have the freedom to choose an area in which you are curious. This is vital to ensure the project becomes a passion of yours that you wish to spend time developing rather than a task to be completed.
As a school we truly believe that you will develop the range of skills required for success in the 21st century by completing projects that engage and challenge you. However more than that we believe that to demonstrate you are ready to go forth as a “Phoenix” you should be the person setting your own project that allows you to engage and deepen your own passions and talents. If you find this to challenging perhaps you need to spend more time in the Phoenix nest discovering and developing your passions. I hope you can take advantage of this opportunity to devote time and energy into an area of interest to you, if you are passionate about what you do then it will shine through in your eventual presentation no matter what the subject matter. Go forth and inquire and bring us back your findings!
Best wishes on a successful project,
If you’re reading this it’s too late to get away from one of the most demanding assignments in Cheongna Dalton School - the senior project. Every student at Cheongna Dalton School is responsible for completing a project on their own during their last year at the school. From time managing to presenting to judges, every procedure is in the hands of the students, which can be a quite demanding job. Throughout the course of the project, students will successfully show their knowledge of the six C's of Cheongna Dalton School: Character, Curiosity, Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Community.
Character - CDS students exhibit a developed sense of ethics
Curiosity - CDS students demonstrate self-motivation in learning
Critical Thinking - CDS students observe and process their world
Communication - CDS students present their ideas with clarity, creativity, purpose, and an understanding of their audience
Collaboration - CDS students work with others
Community - CDS students contribute positively to society” (source)
There have been students in the past that have struggled to complete the work. Thus, this handbook is made to help those students who are in need!
How to get started
In the beginning of your senior year, you will be invited to google classroom with the name, ‘Class of 20_’ There, you will get some basic information about the Senior Project, including the grading rubric. You will also be invited to a mandatory meeting with Mr. Harrison, Ms. Maguire, and Mr. Musselman where you will be informed more about the Senior Project. You will be able to ask any questions regarding the senior project.
Plagiarism policies *Excerpts from Cheongna Dalton School handbook p.45
Cheongna Dalton School values developing good character of a student as an important part of their academic career. Therefore, cheating, plagiarism, copying homework, and other forms of academic dishonesty will result in severe consequences. Submitting the same essay of two different courses is also considered to be an act of academic dishonesty. Ignorance of dishonesty is not a plausible excuse. It is the student's’ responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. If a student is unclear about a certain situation, s/he should seek the advice of a faculty member or house teacher.
All academic dishonesty violations will be reported to the Head of School and the Dean of student Affairs / Division Director and be marked on their records. The consequences listed below are the minimum penalties, and the Dean of Student Affairs / Division Director and/or administration reserves the right to vary the penalty up to and including suspensions or expulsion.
Timeline of due dates
All projects are expected to be done by 21 of February since the Senior Project presentation takes place in that day. If you are a student planning on graduating early, the deadline of your work will still be the same day, but you would have to work on faster pace. The proposal for your Senior Project must be turned in by the first day of September so that your Senior Project mentor and other faculties will have enough time to approve your idea. Your Senior Project mentor will stay in touch with you to make sure your work is in progress.
Due date of proposal: September 1
Due date of final product: February 21
When I sent out a survey to the student body to collect students’ questions about the Senior Project, one of the most frequently asked questions was about the consequence of not completing the work. The Senior Project is a graduation requirement, which means that you do not get to graduate without completing it. Along with the Senior Project, there are several other graduation requirements such as health course. There has been an incident in the past when students did not get to participate in the graduation ceremony because they did not complete their project until the very last day of school.
The school is opened to various ideas. Your idea should somehow benefit the Cheongna Dalton School community, and yourself. You are welcomed to come up with some creative ideas that reflects your interest. Your project can take place outside of school as well.
Senior Project is a work that requires a lot of time and effort in it. Thus, for your own sake, you are recommended to choose an idea from your area of interest. I personally recommend you to choose one that does not require much of writing.
Once you have decided to work on a certain idea, you have write a proposal on the idea you chose to get teachers’ approval.
Below are some possible topics for your Senior Project
Project Video/Film Project
Musical or Dramatic Composition
Restoration or Construction of a Vehicle
Dance Production and Dance Instruction
Outside Art Portfolio
Sports Medicine Internship
Restoration Project (Home, Community, etc.)
Research/Work in Wildlife Management
Community Government Project
Law Enforcement Project
Developing a Newspaper
Internship in Field or Work Interest
Coordinate a Youth Camp
Independent Research Projects
Precedent ideas *This list does not include all the past senior projects
The following list is a list of precedent Senior Projects done by past seniors.
- Remake the CDS student handbook in cartoon
- Organize an art exhibition
- Making CPR Comic
- CDS Lab performance
- CDS gallery
- Organize a dance showcase
- Varsity sports website
- Dance workshop
- Hold spelling bee for middle school
- Teach German to a group of students
- Teaching middle schoolers math
- Comparison between Korean Education System and Dalton's Education System
- Creating Peer Counseling
- Interviewing teachers to help students find their passion
- Kids Keys (helping or volunteering little kids)
- Sharing the religion of Islam and the culture of it to the school.
- Make Senior Project handbook - CDS Merchandise
- TEDx CDS - K-POP Guide Book
- Making video - CDS Garden
- Establishing Peer Counseling - Cloth Drive
- Peer Counseling
- CDS BUY & SELL
- Literate Magazine
Depending on your project, your project will often need money. However, the school is not opened for any financial support regardless of the scale of your project. There have been incidents in the past when students held fundraise to earn money needed for their project. In case a project student chose to do requires much of money, students are allowed to use their own money.
Possible fundraising methods:
Dress down day
What is your topic and why is it important to you?
How will your project benefit the CDS community?
How will completing this project benefit you in the future?
How is this project a “learning stretch” for you?
Who will serve as your mentor (other than your House teacher), and what makes that person qualified to mentor you in this area?
What will your final product, performance, or event look like at the end of this project?
What other resources (other than your mentor) will you need while working on your project?
Proposal sample *By Sean Lee, Class of 2018
Senior Project Proposal
1. What is your topic and why is it important to you?
My topic is to find an opportunity to appreciate everyone who helped this year’s seniors have a memorable year. The project is still in its early stages, and many improvements can be made, but I’m planning to make an appreciation booklet. This booklet will mainly consist of warm letters to those the seniors appreciate, and accounts of memorable events that took place during our senior year. This project is important to me as I always wanted to leave a lasting legacy in CDS. I can utilize this opportunity to start a tradition in CDS that can hopefully last for a long time, and thus my dream of leaving a lasting legacy will be accomplished. Also, I want to be able to make something related with our senior year that I can look back upon and nostalgize. The booklet would be the perfect means to remember CDS in the future.
2. How will your project benefit the CDS community?
This project will benefit the CDS community as teachers, students, and faculty members will be acknowledged for their efforts and great contributions for our senior year. Also, this would be a great opportunity to form a tighter community in CDS as everyone will get to know each other a little better. Furthermore, this might help us start a tradition in CDS.
3. How will completing this project benefit you in the future?
This project will help benefit me in the future as I will be able to find a means to remember my senior year and the beloved high school I will graduated from. Also, completing this project will help me form a more intimate relationship with other people in CDS as I will be able to know them better. I believe that I will naturally get to know other people better when I get to hear who they appreciated throughout their high school career.
4. How is this project a “learning stretch” for you?
This project is a “learning stretch” for me as I have never been put in a situation where I have to overlook the publishment of an official document. Through the process of completing this project, I will gain valuable experience as a publisher as I will have to overcome multiple hindrances I am met with. By overcoming these hindrances, I will learn how to persevere and hopefully, I can take away a few valuable life lessons.
5. Who will serve as your mentor (other than your House teacher), and what makes that person qualified to mentor you in this area?
Mr. Matthew Riniker will serve as my mentor as he was the first person I met to discuss about my senior project. We brainstormed together for quite a long time and we came up this project. Mr. Riniker was my house teacher last year, and I firmly believe that I formed an intimate relationship with him. As a result of this intimate relationship, Mr. Riniker knows a lot about me, such as my interests, as we spent a whole year together as a house teacher and student.
6. What will your final product, performance, or event look like at the end of this project?
My final product will be a booklet that will be distributed to those affiliated with CDS. I will make a digital copy available for those who want to access it via technology, and the printed versions can be presented to those who want it.
7. What other resources (other than your mentor) will you need while working on your project?
I might need some assistance from an expert who has experience publishing something like a booklet. I’m not the greatest when it comes to utilizing technology, so it might be quite difficult to complete this project without the help of an expert. Also, I will need assistance from the seniors who will write for the booklet and provide me with the appreciation letters. I will personally ask those who will be willing to passionately write for my senior project.
Presentation scoring guide
No matter how much you have prepared, your presentation will be cut off after 10 minutes. It is important to manage your time well because 10 minutes include your presentation and getting questions from judges.
A student who gets inadequate grade for one of these criteria will have to prepare an another presentation.
Presentation Sample *By Sean Lee, Class of 2018
Catch audience's’ attention & introduce topic
Show work progress
Explain how you have met 6C’s in your project
Express gratitude to people who helped you out
Cite your work
These are answers to some most frequently asked questions about the Senior Project
Why do we do senior pj?/
Senior Project is a chance to show that you have grown to an individual who has all ‘6C qualities’ that CDS pursues. It is also a really good opportunity for students to study what they are interested in outside of class and to bring new diversity to the school.
Can you literally do anything you want?
You can pretty much do anything you want as long as it brings benefit to the school. It must have benefit to the school. Your project can also be accepted if you can express 6C qualities, and you can share it with students at the school. When you turn in your proposal, your idea will be censored by teachers on whether or not it is apt for the senior project. According to Ms. Maguire, the expert of the senior project, she believes anything can be possible. You have to be creative and think about how you can bring what you are interested to the school. Your brainstorming shouldn’t start from what you can do for the school, but it should start from what you are truly interested in. Thinking about how you can benefit the school is not the first step.
What is the maximum amount of money that can be used?
There is no limit on the usage of money. Although the school recommends to fundraise at the school in situations that requires financial support, you are allowed to your own money as long as you want. Yet, Ms. Maguire tells that your project should not demand you to use a lot of money.
Does the senior project have to related to CDS? In what ways should my project be related to the school?
It depends on the project. It really depends. Some students start new Co-Curricular/Extra-Curricular activities at the school, which is one way to clearly benefit the school.
What do I do if I have no idea what to do for my senior project?
Students should first start with something they like to do in their freetime. Think of the things you like to do, or things that you always wanted to do.
Do senior projects help for college application?
They definitely can. When teachers write recommendation letter for students, they often write about a project that the student proceeded while s/he was at the school. Many students have college application similar to each other with similar GPA and test scores. Doing a really interesting and ambitious project can add uniqueness to one’s application.
Can we work in pairs?
Students can work in pairs but should go through a different process, since they should present separately on the presentation day. They should have separate tasks through out the project. The project needs to be big enough to have enough work for two individuals. Two separate proposals and two seperate presentation should be prepared. One person can pass and one person can fail.
What happens when we fail to complete it till due date?
A penalty for not completing the work on expected time (Feburuary 22) is that you have to be keep dealing and keep thinking about the project when everyone else is done. According to Ms. Maguire, it is quite a pain to deal with the project for a longer time. About 40% of students in class of 2017 failed to complete the project on the first time.
Presentation failing rate?
In the past, not many people actually failed in their presentation step. But many failed in other parts of project such as working with their mentor. Many people failed in this area because they did not meet with their house teacher often and they had no proof of working with other teachers. (The section ‘Collaboration’ on the grading rubric grades for your collaboration with other faculties) According to Ms. Maguire, she has given a fail to a student in the past when the student was laughing while giving her presentation and showed signs of not taking her project seriously.
What is the passing grade?
Exemplary (Excellent, or you went above) Adequate (Well enough) Inadequate (need to improve)
If a student gets inadequate grade for one of the sections in grading rubric, the student fails the whole project. It is either you get adequate/above or inadequate.
Should we present in a form of slides only?
The student must have some kind of visual aid to help presentation audiences to understand and to fulfill ‘slides’ section in grading rubric. Ms Maguire believes slide is probably easier.
Does the senior project have to be something big?
Although it does not have to be a super big project, it should be enough big to affect the community and yourself in some way.
Advice from past seniors
Start early and write down a log - Seojoo Park, Class of 2018
Have a solid plan - Hyemin Chun, Class of 2018
Don't procrastinate. term 1 is the least busy season, and you will get more busy as term passes. So work on senior project as soon as possible - Jeonggon Kim, Class of 2018
Do something simple... don't do something that is too big - Annie Jho, Class of 2018
Start it early and choose what you like - Heesu Kwon, Class of 2018
Look for a good mentor and don't procrastinate - Youjin Lee, Class of 2018
Plan your senior project before you start. Do not do it on the last minute!! - Jun Young Lee, Class of 2018
Need to write down everything you did, take pictures, write down the dates. - Dawon Song, Class of 2018
Have a solid plan - Seojoo Park, Class of 2018
Look out for Mr. Harrison chasing you down - Evangeline Wang, Class of 2018
You might want to look forward to taking over the senior projects from past years rather than creating a new one - Chaerim Jeong, Class of 2018
Don't think senior project as a pain. - Yunha Jeon, Class of 2018
Choose something you like - Youngwoong Hwang, Class of 2018
Start it in 11th grade summer break^^ - Kyungmin Park, Class of 2018
DO IT EARLY SO YOU CAN WORK ON OTHER THINGS - Mohammed Alzaki, Class of 2018
Make sure if there is any other people who is planning to do the same project as yours - Wonai Kim, Class of 2018
Start early! Don't procrastinate!
There's going to be challenges and hardships along the way. You will also face unexpected events that affect your project. Be prepared for them! - Ruby Noh, Class of 2018
Don't do anything laborious, but find and do simple stuff that is meaningful. - Heumil Wang, Class of 2018