Capstone and Distance Learning Update


Photograph by KSD

Jill Robert, Director of Upper School, has been podcasting on a weekly basis. (Photo from October)

What about Capstone?  The answer on most seniors’ minds is now clear.

Given the current conditions, we, unfortunately, will have to end the senior Capstone Projects at the proposal phase, rather than implementation. This means that all students will receive credit and a passing grade based on the successful completion of their Capstone Project proposal,” said Upper School Director Jill Robert in a podcast sent out to MCDS parents on April 3. “Completion” will be given once it’s gotten approval from the Capstone committee and your advisor. Those seniors who have not yet received approvals still need to finish their proposals.

Instead of seniors ending traditional classes in early May and spending the remainder of the school year implementing their Capstone projects, they will be given “a bit more contact and study time in their classes,” and the last day of class for the seniors will be May 15

Ms. Robert also explained a bit more about how the 2019-20 school year is changing for all students, not just seniors. She said that starting on April 13th, students will have up to 3 classes per day, as well as an assessment block in the afternoon, an extended advisory “to offer more social and emotional learning opportunities,” and more time for clubs and activities to meet online.

Additionally, to ensure that students and teachers have time to cover “all essential skills and concepts for each class,” the traditional and alternative end-of-year assessments will be canceled, allowing classes to regain almost two weeks of instruction time. However, Advancement Placement classes will still give a “modified version of the mock AP exam as preparation for the actual AP exams, but this will be included in the coursework for each class.”

Ms. Robert would like to remind the MCDS upper school community that, “when we look back on the spring of 2020, our success won’t be measured by content or practice, but by relationships and how we made each other feel.” She wants everyone “to feel connected, to know we are in this together, and to feel the spirits of Spartan pride through the walls that separate us.”

The traditional Senior Project was revamped this year to become Project Capstone, an initiative that seniors could work on in parts throughout the year, ending with the  three-week period in May for Country Day seniors to work with companies or individuals in our community. The goal remained the same: to delve into and explore one “essential question” that would guide their research and work, manage their time and organizational skills, gain practical experience and then display the results of the exploration at the end of the three weeks. This essential question centered around how each individual senior could connect one of their interests with a way to help the Miami community. 

Ms. Robert encourages students and parents who may still have any lingering questions to send them to Ms. Skalberg at [email protected] so that Ms. Robert can answer them in her next week’s podcast.