Academic Integrity and Cheating

  • Honesty, trust and integrity are vital components of the education process.  The Governing Board believes that academic honesty and personal integrity are fundamental components of a student's education and character development. The Board expects that students will not cheat, lie, plagiarize or commit other acts of academic dishonesty. 

    Teachers have a responsibility to emphasize the values of academic integrity. Teachers and/or designated staff should proctor quizzes and tests. Teachers should explain to students when collaboration is and is not appropriate on specific assignments completed inside and outside of class and should teach students what plagiarism is and how to properly use and cite primary and secondary sources.

    Students and families should understand and act upon the values of academic integrity and should encourage the highest standards of academic behavior from themselves and their peers.

    It is assumed that all work completed for a class is original work created for that class, for a specific assignment.

    Disciplinary Process for Violations of Academic Integrity

    Based on the severity of the Academic Integrity violation, the student’s disciplinary history, and an administrator’s assessment of the student’s conduct, in consultation with other staff, a student will be submitted either to a process for Restorative Justice, or a process for Traditional Discipline. Either process begins after the facts of the violation have been established by an Administrator, following an investigation of the relevant facts and testimony.

    If a student is accused of a Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, he or she may present evidence in his or her defense, and respond to any evidence presented in support of the accusation. Turnitin.com, the observations and testimony of teachers, staff and other students and any materials submitted by the student may be used to establish the facts of the case. Any attempt to alter the materials or testimony related to such a case will automatically raise it to a Category C violation.

    Categories of Violations of Academic Integrity

    Category A Violations include, but are not limited to:

    ·         Copying any minor assignment, such as a one-night homework assignment (not including tests or quizzes) assigned to be done independently. If it is not clear which student did the original work, and which student copied the work, both are guilty of a Category A violation.

    ·         Collaborating on a minor assignment in a manner inconsistent with the expectations of the assignment for individual work.

    ·         Sharing work on a minor assignment with another student with the reasonable expectation that the other student might plagiarize that work.

    Category B Violations include, but are not limited to:

    ·         Collaborating on a major assignment, such as an assignment requiring multiple days to complete, in a manner inconsistent with the expectations of the assignment for individual work.

    ·         Submitting plagiarized work, (other than copying a minor assignment as defined in Category A.) In the case of work plagiarized between students, if it is not clear which student did the original work, and which student plagiarized the work, both students are guilty of a Category B violation.

    ·         Sharing work with another student with the reasonable expectation that the other student might plagiarize that work.

    ·         Looking at another student’s work or paper during an exam, test, or quiz.

    ·         Talking to or communicating with another student during an exam, test, or quiz.

    ·         Using any unauthorized material or device during an exam, test, or quiz, such as a calculator, digital device or written notes.

    ·         Giving or receiving test information to or from students in other periods of the same teacher or same course or from previous school years if that information gives the recipient an advantage in the testing situation.

    ·         Altering a returned quiz, test or assignment with the purpose of deceiving the teacher about the student’s performance on that assignment.

    Category C Violations include, but are not limited to:

    ·         Stealing (or photographing) exams, projects or assignments.

    ·         Altering grades on a computer database or in a grade book.

    Process for Restorative Justice

    Restorative Justice is a process intended to achieve two goals: genuine learning that leads to a change in behavior, and restoration for the wrongs done to individuals and the community affected by the individual’s actions.

    The Restorative Justice panel will consist of a trained administrator or school representative; a trained peer; a person representing those harmed; the student; and the student’s parent/guardian or another adult.

    The restorative process to address violations of Academic Integrity will be as follows

    1.     The trained administrator or school representative will speak or meet with the student and parent/guardian to provide an overview of the Restorative Justice process and to assure consent.

    2.     The trained administrator or school representative will speak or meet with the teacher of the student to assess whether or not he or she would like to participate in the Restorative Justice process. If the teacher would prefer not to participate, he or she will provide input to facilitate the process. 

    3.     The Restorative Justice meeting will be scheduled.

    4.     The established facts of the violation will be reviewed.

    5.     The individual speaking on behalf of those harmed by the violation, and others speaking as parties harmed by the violation, describe the nature of the harm done to them and the community.

    6.     The student responds to the statements made by those harmed by the violation.

    7.     The panel and the student have a moderated discussion by the trained administrator or school representative of the statements and the student’s response to determine that the student fully understands and accepts the nature of the harm done and his/her responsibility for actions that led to that harm.

    a.     If there is no agreement at this stage (as determined by the trained facilitator), the sanctions of the Traditional Disciplinary process will be imposed.

    8.     The student provides potential solutions to repair the harm presented.

    9.     The panel and the student then have a moderated discussion of how the student can provide a satisfactory restoration for the harms done.

    10.  All parties agree to a specific plan for the restoration of harms done, including dates for their completion.

    a.     If the parties cannot agree to a specific plan for the restoration of harms done (as determined by the trained facilitator), the sanctions of the traditional discipline process will be imposed.

    11.  The administrator or school representative follows up to ensure that the agreements are completed. If the student does not complete the agreements by the specified dates, he/she is referred for additional discipline. 

    Consequences for all violations of Academic Integrity will include:

    ·         A “V” notation in the Aeries gradebook for the assignment. The “V” notation denotes a violation of Academic Integrity. Each department at the sites will develop consistent policies for the effect of a “V” grade for each of the categories below.

    ·         A record of the violation in the student’s discipline file.

    ·         Notification of the student’s family of the violation.

    Process for Traditional Discipline

    The traditional disciplinary process uses clearly defined consequences to deter violations of academic integrity and to change the behavior of the student by assuring that future violations will receive more severe consequences.

Category A

  • Consequences

    • Student receives a V for the assignment.
    • Teacher notifies parent (via email, phone call, or mail)
    • Teacher notifies administrator via referral
    • Administrator logs offense in discipline file and meets with the student to review the Academic Integrity Policy.

Category B

  • (or any second offence of A)

    Consequences

    • Student receives a V for the assignment.
    • Teacher notifies parent (via email, phone call or mail)
    • Teacher notifies administrator.
    • Administrator logs offense in discipline file and meets with the student to review the Academic Integrity Policy.
    • Student becomes ineligible within the same year of the violation for the California Scholarship Federation or any other academic or scholastic honor offered by any school or program of the MVLA District.

Category C

  • (or any set of multiple offenses)

    Consequences

    • Student receives a V for the assignment.
    • Teacher notifies parent (via email, phone call or mail)
    • Teacher notifies administrator
    • Administrator logs offense in discipline file and meets with the student and parents to determine additional consequences which may include suspension, social probation and/or other consequences.
    • Student becomes ineligible for the California Scholarship Federation or any other academic or scholastic honor offered by any school or program of the MVLA District.