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Academic Honesty Policy

Rainier Beach High School Academic Honesty Policy

Introduction and Statement of Philosophy

At Rainier Beach High School, we value and honor academic and personal integrity, intellectual property of others, our own and each other’s creativity, and ethical conduct. As talented, creative individuals and International Baccalaureate (IB) scholars, guided by mutual trust and striving to reach our full potential as learners and world citizens, we hold ourselves and each other accountable for making sure that our authentic voices are heard by adhering to the highest standards of academic honesty. 

As stated in IB Organization’s Academic honesty – principles to practice, “we act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.” By doing so, we demonstrate both personal integrity and respect for our own and each other’s learning and creative work. 

The goal of this policy is to articulate our common values, guidelines, responsibilities, and expectations for what it means to be an academically honest individual and learning community; and thus support our school’s mission to empower our students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and compassionate leaders through the support of families, staff, and community; and to excel academically and creatively in a multicultural world. 

Connections Between Academic Honesty and the IB Learner Profile

One of the goals of the IB Programme is to “develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” In the spirit of this mission, the following attributes of the IB learner are most strongly connected to the principles of academic honesty: 

Inquirers 

We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life. 

Thinkers 

We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions. 

Principled 

We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.  

Reflective 

We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development. 

Roles and Responsibilities

At Rainier Beach High School, we share collective responsibility for all aspects of our students’ learning and citizenship. Accordingly, everyone—the school, teachers, parents/guardians, and students—have a role in ensuring that this important policy is understood and followed. 

School Responsibilities 

  • Promote the Academic Honesty Policy on the school website 
  • Include the policy in Rainier Beach High School Student Handbook  
  • Include the policy in Rainier Beach High School Staff Handbook 
  • Include a copy of the policy in the informational packet that goes home at the beginning of the school year 
  • Provide an Advisory lesson on the policy to teachers  
  • Provide classroom posters promoting/explaining the policy 
  • Provide appropriate research and plagiarism resources on the library website (for the entire school community) and in Schoology and/or SharePoint (for the school’s students, teachers, and staff)  

Teacher Responsibilities 

  • Teach academic honesty lessons during Advisory in September 
  • Review the principles of academic honesty regularly, especially at the onset and in the course of major research projects/papers 
  • Pace student projects appropriately, keeping students’ skill and maturity level in mind, to minimize temptation to cheat/ take shortcuts due to insufficient time or lack of planning 
  • Collaborate with the school librarian as needed in scheduling lessons and work sessions involving research strategies and the use of citation tools 
  • Utilize school- and district-provided research and plagiarism resources to help students develop strong research and study skills 
  • Use district-provided Turnitin program to deter plagiarism and streamline grading and feedback 

Student Responsibilities and Guidelines 

Be familiar with and follow RBHS Academic Honesty Policy; specifically, the academically honest student 

Does: 

  • Understand the concept of academic honesty, intellectual property, and plagiarism
  • Ensure that all work submitted for assessment is authentic
  • Understand the consequences of committing academic misconduct, regarding both school-based work and external examinations and assessments
  • Document source material formally and appropriately (all styles acceptable–MLA, APA, etc.), 
  • Acknowledge help provided by another person
  • Bring instances of others who cheat to the attention of school officials; actively support honesty among classmates 
  • Abide by the rules for technology in the classroom and in examinations
  • Contribute equally to the work of a group in collaborative assignments
  • Abide by test/exam rules
  • When in doubt, seek clarification from classroom teacher or school librarian

Does Not: 

  • Copy another student’s work
  • Allow another student to copy their work and/or submit it for assessment
  • Present the same work for different assessment components and/or requirements
  • Use notes during a test unless allowed by the teacher or permitted by the examination rules
  • Copy from or communicate with another student during a test
  • Disrupt an examination or distract other students
  • Impersonate another student
  • Write essays for other students
  • Do homework for other students
  • Complete assignments for another student, including in online classes
  • Ask another student or accept another student’s offer to complete his/her assignments
  • Steal examination papers
  • Present material written by another student and/or borrowed from the internet as his/her own
  • Purchase and/or submit pieces written by someone else
  • Write down, photograph, or record any part of a test or exam
  • Fabricate or invent data for assessment
  • Disclose or discuss the content of an IB examination paper with a person outside the immediate school community within 24 hours of the end of the examination

The Role of the Parents and Guardians 

  • Be familiar with RBHS Academic Honesty Policy
  • Discuss the importance of academic honesty with students
  • Collaborate with school staff/ administration in enforcing this policy

Academic Honesty and IB Assessments

In addition to the rules, regulations, and policies of Rainier Beach High School and Seattle Public Schools, students who register and participate in IB assessments, either those graded internally by a Rainier Beach teacher or those graded externally by an IB examiner, are required to follow the General Regulations of the IB Diploma Programme. These regulations outline the responsibilities of the IB, the student, and the school to maintain academic honesty for the official IB assessment components. They also outline how the IB will handle infractions of the regulations (i.e., malpractice). All students and their families are provided with a copy of the full regulations. The IB coordinator reviews the regulations to highlight elements and answer questions from all students that register for IB exams.  

Consequences for Academic Dishonesty

The consequences of violating the Rainier Beach High School Academic Honesty Policy are as follows: 

Progressive Measures for Homework and In-School Assessments:

First offense in a class/course will result in:

  • A phone call home.
  • An opportunity to redo the assignment.

Second offense in the same class/course will additionally result in: 

  • Family meeting with the teacher and/ or school administrator.
  • In-house reflection with agreed-upon Restorative Justice consequences.

Additional offense(s) in the same or another class will result in consequences outlined in the next section (Progressive Measures for IB Assessments)

Progressive Measures for IB Assessments:

First offense in a class/course will result in: 

  • A grade of zero (0) for the particular assignment/exam without a chance to make up the assignment/exam. 
  • Communication (phone or e-mail) to parent/guardian, administrator, and counselor to be kept in building files. 

Second offense in the same class/course will additionally result in:  

  • Possible loss of semester credit in that course. 
  • Building-based consequence including but not limited to a detention involving engagement in a restorative action related to the offense, as determined by an administrator. 

Additional offense(s) in the same or another class will result in:  

  • A grade of zero (0) for the particular assignment/exam without a chance to make up the assignment/exam. 
  • Building-based consequence including but not limited to a detention involving engagement in a restorative action related to the offense, as determined by an administrator.  
  • Possible loss of semester credit in the course(s) in question. 
  • Possible short-term suspension as determined by an administrator. 

Definitions

Academic honesty 

  • Personal integrity, a set of values resulting in respect for one’s work and the work of others
  • Making sure that any work presented as one’s own is original and authentic
  • Always acknowledging the source when using another person’s words, ideas, images, artwork, digital content, or any other creative product
  • Encouraging and supporting a school-wide culture of academic integrity

Cheating 

Dishonesty in completing an academic assignment or exam, which may include: 

  • Plagiarism in any form
  • Copying the work of another person
  • Using prohibited materials or study aids
  • Unauthorized collaboration
  • Duplicate submission (submitting the same work for more than one assignment) 
  • Circumventing the rules of an assignment or exam in any way in an attempt to get a more favorable outcome (such as a better grade, recognition, etc.)
  • Assisting others in committing acts of academic dishonesty, as in the examples above

Collusion 

  • Aiding others in being academically dishonest
  • Examples of collusion include, but are not limited to, allowing another student to present your work as their own, collaborating on an assignment that was meant to be completed individually, or assisting another student in committing any form of academic dishonesty as defined in this document or communicated by the teacher in charge of an assignment or exam. 

Fabrication/Forgery 

  • Inventing, changing, falsifying, or intentionally omitting pertinent information or data
  • Citing sources that were not actually used in the assignment
  • Using made-up quotes or citations
  • Changing or manipulating data to “prove” a hypothesis or strengthen an argument
  • Making unauthorized changes to a document, image, computer or audio file, or any other source used or cited in an assignment

Intellectual Property 

  • The term “intellectual property” refers to “creations of the mind,” such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, images, software, and any other original creative products; and include trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents. 
  • In the context of academic integrity, respecting intellectual property of others means that no part of someone else’s creative work may be used, duplicated, paraphrased, or adapted in any way as part of an assignment without explicit credit being given to the original author. 

Malpractice 

  • Any action or attempt to gain unfair advantage in an assignment or exam by committing acts of academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism, fabrication or forgery, cheating, or collusion
  • Misconduct during assessments or examinations, including but not limited to using cell phones or unauthorized study aids, communicating with others or copying another student’s work, or disobeying classroom or test rules. 

Plagiarism 

  • Presenting the ideas or work of another person as one’s own. This includes copying, paraphrasing, using or closely imitating words or thoughts of another author, or appropriating creative work of another person in any way without giving proper credit/acknowledgement.   
  • According to the IB Organization’s definition, plagiarism is “the representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of the ideas, words or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgment.”

References

Seattle Public Schools Student Rights and Responsibilities, 2018-2019 

Rainier Beach High School Student Handbook, 2019-20  

Rainier Beach High School Staff Handbook, 2019-20  

Collective Bargaining Agreement between Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association for Certificated Non-supervisory Employees (2019-2022)  

IB Organization’s Academic honesty in the IB educational context (2014)  

IB Organization’s Academic honesty – principles to practice (2014) by Dr. Celina Garza, IB Academic Honesty Manager 

IB Organization’s Education for a Better World (2015) 

IB Organization’s General regulations: Diploma Programme (2016)  

IB Organization’s Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme (2015) 

IB Organization’s Programme standards and practices (2014)  

Harding Senior High School (Saint Paul, MN) Academic Honesty Policy