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What is academic integrity? Academic Integrity is a term that refers to pursuing academic work in an honest, ethical manner.

What does academic integrity look like in the classroom?  Academic integrity means making honest choices, even when tasks are challenging.  We witness this value when students showcase their individual skills, offer credit to others when collaborating, paraphrase and cite sources, respect intellectual property,  submit original work, complete homework independently, accept constructive feedback, ask teachers for help, use time management skills, and celebrate the results of honest effort.

Why is academic integrity important? Pursuing academic challenges with integrity is practice for pursuing the challenges of the adult world with integrity. The adult world will inevitably involve stressful, challenging moments that will tempt a person to cut corners; these are the moments when a person’s integrity will be called upon. Our hope is that students will leave their schools with the habit of acting on their developed sense of integrity.

Additionally, academic integrity is central to skill development. We want students to feel ready for academic challenges, and developing skills honestly is central to a student’s ability to grow from these challenges. Cutting corners or pursuing shortcuts will only lead to unhealthy anxiety and disappointment when dealing with future challenges.

Here are a few guiding questions to help a student model academic integrity:

  • Am I working to the best of my ability?
  • Am I developing my problem-solving skills while resisting the urge to obtain unfair advantage?
  • Am I clearly crediting others when I collaborate or use outside information?
  • Am I respecting the learning process by putting forth honest effort and learning from the consequences?
  • Am I submitting work that is legitimately and entirely my own?
  • Am I honoring my commitments or avoiding my responsibilities?

We recognize that “it takes a village” to develop students to be respectful, responsible, and resilient citizens who promote civility and live with integrity. The good news is that we have “a village” of people who want to help us achieve this mission! Please reference the information below to learn how you can help create a culture of academic integrity.

How can students model academic integrity? 

  • Choose the path of self-discipline and preparation rather than the path of searching for an unfair advantage.
  • Organize and prioritize assignments and commitments. Rushing your work, collaborating dishonestly, or cutting corners will lead to unhealthy anxiety when a student is held accountable for demonstrating these actions.
  • Learn to self-advocate and to monitor your own grades and assignments
  • Cite sources, document outside information, and paraphrase skillfully
  • Value authentic skill development and learning
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices.  Substance abuse and lack of sleep can inhibit your ability to reason and to make thoughtful decisions
  • Ask for help when needed. We are always here to help, and we would rather that you ask us for help than make a choice that lacks integrity
  • Understand when it’s acceptable and unacceptable to collaborate with others on an assignment. When in doubt, please ask your teacher to clarify expectations.
  • Recognize that good attendance provides the consistency needed to develop healthy learning habits

What steps can parents/guardians take to create a culture that values academic integrity? 

  • Set and enforce a standard for integrity
  • Encourage self-advocacy, self-discipline, and personal accountability
  • Strive to model integrity and healthy learning decisions
  • Coach student as he/she develops his/her moral reasoning skills
  • Work to assess student’s effort realistically, and support his/her placement in developmentally appropriate educational settings
  • Help student to avoid overcommitment and unhealthy  stress
  • Praise honest effort and a positive attitude
  • Emphasize the need to seek help from teachers when needed

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Any action intended to obtain or assist in obtaining credit for work that is not one’s own is considered academic dishonesty. Such conduct includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Submitting another person’s work as one’s own work
  • Obtaining or accepting a copy (including digital photos) of any assessments, tests, or answer keys
  • Giving  to or receiving from another student test questions or answers by any means (not limited to electronic, paper, verbal) either during or outside of class
  • Using materials which are not permitted during a test
  • Intentionally plagiarizing (presenting as one’s own material copied without adequate documentation from a published source), such as copy and pasting from any source or purchasing work done by others
  • Handing in an assignment that was created for another class without teacher approval
  • Copying or allowing someone to copy homework, essay, project, oral report, lab report or take-home test, etc.
  • Using translating aids other than dictionaries (paper or online), for example, the Internet, Google Translate or other online translators.
  • A pattern of absences from class to avoid the date on which a paper, project, report, or presentation is due or a test is given.
  • Using and/or distributing any assessments, tests, or scoring keys.