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Academic Integrity

MHS Academic Honesty Policy

The Academic Honesty Policy is a guide for the entire Mountainside High School community to help students achieve success. At times, learning seems effortless, but sometimes learning new concepts and skills takes more effort.  Principled Learners maintain honesty and integrity in both circumstances.

As an IB School, we use the definition of malpractice outlined by the IB Organization as behavior that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components. The following definitions are helpful in understanding our complete definition of malpractice:

Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s words, work or ideas without giving them credit.

Collusion is letting someone copy from you or letting someone turn in your work as theirs.

Duplication of work is turning in the same assignment for two or more classes.

Misconduct during an assessment is copying someone’s answers, letting someone copy your work, looking up answers, bringing answers into the test room, or using tools/material that the teacher has not approved.

Confidentiality is not sharing assessment content, question, or answers with students who have not yet taken the assessment.

Expectations

Students will

  • Be honest and truthful
  • Be focused on learning rather than on grades
  • Ask for help from teachers when confused
  • Cite sources always
  • Differentiate between your work and your source’s ideas
  • Use time-management and self-management strategies to get best work in on time
  • Report incidences of academic misconduct by self and others
  • Read, understand, and sign the Academic Honesty Contract annually
  • Never use internet translators for their second language assignments

Teachers will

  • Communicate clear expectations for each assignment
  • Teach proper subject-specific citation style
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice quoting, paraphrasing, and citing
  • Provide opportunities to practice subject-specific collaboration skills
  • Provide opportunities for students to proactively evaluate subject-specific sources
  • Design assessment that require critical thinking and the articulation of thinking
  • Model academic integrity
  • Refer all incidents of academic dishonesty to school administration

The School will

  • Provide an academic honesty policy
  • Ensure the MHS community is aware and understands the Academic Honesty Policy
  • Ensure that within a subject, a consistent citation style is taught and practiced
  • Provide fair and just consequences for academic dishonesty
  • Ensure the Academic Honesty Policy is reviewed annually with stakeholders
  • Regard all incidents of academic honesty as serious
  • Use a software program (such as turnitin.com) where appropriate to ensure student work is his/her own

Parents/Guardians will

  • Recognize that the learning process is as important as grades
  • Encourage time-management and self-management strategies to manage short-term and long-term assignment, projects and assessment
  • Model academic integrity, including encouraging students to do their own work in an independent manner

Consequences by MHS

  • If plagiarism is suspected, students might be asked to defend or verify their work as their own in one of the following ways:
    • Present notes, drafts, or works cited
    • Produce an on-demand work sample
    • Present an oral defense of work in question
  • If plagiarism is determined, one or more of the following penalties will result:
    • The assignment/paper/test might not be considered for inclusion in the student’s portfolio of work
    • The student might be asked to resubmit the assignment/paper/test at the discretion of the teacher
    • Parent(s)/guardians(s) will be contacted and informed of the occurrence of plagiarism and the resulting penalty
    • A Discipline Referral will be filed indicating the occurrence of plagiarism and the resulting penalty. Multiple referrals for plagiarism may result in a meeting between parents(s)/guardians(s) and teacher, counselor, and/or administrator
    • A second occurrence of plagiarism within a course may result in failing grade for the semester
    • Plagiarism may be noted in a college recommendation
    • If the student is a member of the National Honor Society, the NHS advisor will be notified
    • IB work that has been questioned for academic malpractice will not be sent to the IB Organization for assessment.  Per IB Policy, revised assignments may be marked and/or submitted assuming all external deadlines are met.  IB work that is not submitted for any reason, academic malpractice included, will not be awarded a grade and will put the candidate’s IB Diploma at risk.

IB’s Response to Academic Malpractice (for MYP Certificate, IB Certificate and IB Diploma Students)

While IB expects all incidents of malpractice to be handled at the school site, IB candidates’ work is subject to random checks for plagiarism using a web-based plagiarism prevention service. In cases where the IB examiners suspect malpractice, the following may occur:

  • IB will ask the coordinator to investigate the circumstances and report to the IB Assessment Center
  • IB reserves the right to withhold candidate results until the investigation is completed.
  • Penalties are imposed according to the nature of the offense and may include:
  • Not awarding a grade for the IB MYP, or the diploma course (students may retake the exam)
  • Preventing future IB registrations (if offense is quite serious)
  • Withdrawing the MYP Certificate or IB Diploma if malpractice is established after the fact

Adapted from:
“ISB Academic Honesty Policy”, Beaverton School District, May 2014
“Standard B1: Academic honesty policy – Example 1”, IB Coordinator Support Material. www.ibo.org. p3