Purpose

To  develop and implement an academic honesty policy that is consistent with IB expectations and Saint Mary’s Honor Code and Pledge.

Our school defines academic honesty as a set of values and skills based on the IB Learner Profile and Gospel values that promote personal integrity in teaching, learning, and assessment. We believe that in order to achieve this, it is important that we focus on educating our students to be principled, to recognize and celebrate authentic student work, and to take pride in promoting student learning through inquiry that includes responsible use of information and communication of original work.

These are our objectives for the academic honesty policy:

  • Define academic honesty and malpractice in the context of the MYP

  • Define roles and responsibilities for the principal, teachers, media specialist, students, and parents in preventing and stopping malpractice

  • Provide guidelines to prevent malpractice by students

  • Explain consequences established by the school to students found guilty of malpractice

Definitions for Academic Honesty

Malpractice – behavior that results in, or may result in, a candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components.

Plagiarism – the representation of the ideas or work of another person as your own.

Examples of plagiarism:

  • Non-original work that is not cited and appropriately referenced in submissions.

  • Copying information from a book or website.

  • Misuse of quotation marks, paraphrasing, and in-text citations making authorship unclear.

  • Failure to identify source elements of nonverbal work (e.g. painting, dance, photo, proof, musical composition, etc.) from which you have derived your work.

  • Using online language translators, unless explicitly allowed.

Collusion – supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing your work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another candidate.

Collusion is to be distinguished from collaboration, which we define as multiple students actively engaged during the course as well as in the creation of a product per the assignment guidelines.  It is important to note that teachers must be clear with assignment guidelines to specify what is collaboration versus collusion on any given task.  

Examples of collusion

  • Helping someone else cheat both deliberately and through support

  • Allowing your work to be copied and/or submitted by another student, including homework assignments.

  • Using the “divide and conquer” approach in which you are not the author of the entire assignment given by the instructor, unless collaboration is part of the assignment.

  • Representing significantly unequal work as an equal collaboration.

  • Writing a paper or doing homework for another student, both at the time as well as sharing completed work with students who take a course in the future.

  • Sharing information about assessment content and questions with other students.

Duplication of work – submission of the same work for different assessment components or curriculum components.  All assignments should be newly created for the course or assessment, unless discussed with the instructor in advance.

  • Misconduct during an examination, including the possession of unauthorized material.

  • Disclosing information to another candidate, or receiving information from another candidate, about the content of an examination paper within 24 hours after the examination.

  • Falsifying records

  • Falsifying data

  • Sharing passwords

  • Using unauthorized material

  • Altering grades

 

It is the understanding of all school personnel that when candidates put their names on assignments, they are submitting it as their own and acknowledging original ownership.

Roles and Responsibilities in Supporting Academic Honesty

Faculty: (teachers, counselors, media specialists, support, paraprofessionals)

  • Communicate appropriate collaboration vs. collusion with each assignment.

  • Teach a recognized citation convention for written and non-written works

  • Demonstrate and model academic honesty in presentation, etc.

  • Report and record academic dishonesty through a referral.

  • Assure students understand that when they submit a task as their own, they are representing that they have not received nor given aid on assignments or assessments.  Teachers can opt to ask students to use their signature to explicitly assure this point if needed.

  • Minimize temptation for malpractice in assignments and assessments.

  • Communicate with students, parents, counselors, and administrators about concerns and malpractice offenses.

  • Teachers, administrators, and counselors involve students in reflection and discussion about instances of malpractice.

Students:

  • Confirm understanding of academic honesty with signature on Academic Honesty Agreement form each year (below).

  • Report malpractice violations to a trusted school employee.

  • Work to produce authentic work, ask for guidance if unsure

  • Understand that putting your name on an assignment or assessment certifies it as your own work, understanding proper citation expectations

  • Minimize malpractice temptation by managing time appropriately.

  • If an incident of malpractice occurs, either intentional or unintentional, complete the reflection process with your instructor.

Administrators:

  • Support academic honesty policy and investigate all counselor/teacher reports of malpractice.

  • Ensure that all staff, students, and parents understand definitions, responsibilities, and repercussions.

  • Ensure the academic honesty policy is applied consistently throughout the school.

  • Provide staff development and guidance on academic writing and referencing systems that are available.

  • Provide teachers with material to guide students in maintaining academic honesty.

  • Contact parents and students about malpractice incidents.

 

Parents, guardians, and/or outside support

  • Read/sign Code of Conduct form.

  • Encourage your child to practice academic honesty.

  • Encourage your child to cultivate a culture of academic honesty in school.

  • Address concerns of academic misconduct/malpractice with your child and school personnel if necessary.

Repercussions

Malpractice incidents will be discussed with the student and then reported to parents,  the counselor, and administration.  Age-appropriate consequences will be administered within the school’s discipline protocol, based on frequency and recurrence of the violation.

Communication Plan

This academic honesty policy will be published on the school’s website, discussed in August with each grade level. Signed agreements will be returned and housed with the IB Coordinator.

Academic Honesty Agreement

Any and all work that I submit to any teacher for consideration and/or assessment will be my own authentic work.  This includes homework assignments, formative assessments, summative assessments, and work to be submitted to the IB.

I will learn the processes for acknowledging someone else’s work or ideas and will appropriately acknowledge all uses of someone else’s work or ideas.  I understand that I can ask for help if I am unsure about what constitutes honesty in any of my assignments.

I will submit only work that I have completed independently. I will not allow other students to copy or to submit work that I have completed.

I will write the Honor Pledge for Saint Mary’s Catholic School on all assessed and  submitted assignments.

Timelines and procedure for review

This Assessment policy was developed by Carole Forkey (IB MYP Coordinator), and the IB Middle school teachers who teach in the IB MYP at Saint Mary’s Catholic School, in Richmond, Virginia. The policy will be reviewed annually for updates to policy and procedures.

Last updated September 2022.