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Academic Integrity Policy for International Baccalaureate Students

All of the following information is found in the IB Academic Integrity Policy, which all IB students and their parents must sign. However, for convenience and to ensure expectations are clear, the policy has been reproduced below:

Reasoning behind an Academic Integrity Policy

As we are well aware, new high-tech tools including the internet, cellular phones, small cameras and personal digital assistants – are making cheating easier for students and more difficult for teachers to control.  However, academic dishonesty cannot be blamed on technology alone.  Increased pressure – often from parents – to perform well in secondary school may also be one reason many students justify cheating.  Also, an increased emphasis on continual assessment in many academic systems has put additional pressure on students and makes them “more likely to cheat unless teachers teach values of honesty.”*1  “Kids see professional athletes, pop stars, corporate CEOs and even priests and teachers performing badly and think, ‘Why not?’”*1

An honor code of academic honesty can help to reduce the level of unhealthy competition in a school by shifting the focus and pressure away from cheating and toward ethical behavior.

IBO has taken a strong stand on academic honesty.  “It is our job to help students develop into ethical individuals who would not consider cheating.  Of course, it is also our job to catch those students who, despite our efforts, choose to make unwise decisions.”*1

IBO will not tolerate deliberate attempts to deceive a teacher, examiner, or the IBO.  A core value of an institution that seeks to maintain high moral and ethical standards is the intolerance of cheating in any form.

At Sir Winston Churchill High School within this particular IB program we will work on ethical student behaviors using a number of proactive approaches that will help stop student cheating before it starts, but also imposes strict penalties for those who knowingly commit infractions.  Cheating undermines the integrity of the perpetrator as well as that of the school, the course and the program.

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Our definition of cheating

  1. The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.
  2. The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including, but not limited to, the following:  fraud, duress, deception, theft, talking, signs, gestures, copying from another student, unauthorized collaboration, and the unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, electronic programs, data, or other information.
  3. Attempted cheating.

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Our definition of plagiarism

  1. Presenting as one’s own words and work, the work, words, ideas, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgement.
  2. Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment.

The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin plagiarius, meaning kidnapper.  Hence, the early plagiarists may have stolen people, rather than words and ideas.

The following will be considered lying:

The willful and knowledgeable telling of an untruth, as well as any form of deceit, attempted deceit, or fraud in an oral or written statement.  This includes but is not limited to:  lying to administration and/or teachers, falsifying any document(s) of letters by mutilation, addition or deletion.

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If a student cheats, plagiarizes and/or lies, s/he may receive zero for the entire assignment and may not qualify for make up of the assignment subject to the teacher’s discretion.  The IB Coordinator, in consultation with the school administration, may assign additional penalties based on the severity of the offense up to and including expulsion from the IB program.

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Teacher Responsibility

  1. Clarification and explanation of what the teacher and the Sir Winston Churchill IB program considers to be ethical academic behavior generally. Note that this website and the attached documents, coupled with the IB coordinator's parent night explanation
  2. Clarification and explanation of the extent to which collaboration or group participation is permissible in preparing essays, assignments, homework, reports, laboratory reports, tests, quizzes, or any other work.
  3. Clarification and explanation of the extent to which the use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information is permissible to fulfill assignment requirements.
  4. Guidelines on what constitutes plagiarism, including requirements for citing sources.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students should request a clarification of the teacher’s expectations for each assignment if none are given.
  2. Students should request a clarification of any component of the above ‘code of ethical behavior’ they do not understand.
  3. Students should follow through with ethical academic behavior and expect others around them to also follow a policy of integrity and honor.
  4. Students should review the school’s general expectations found within the student agenda book under Sections:  Winston’s Way and Academic Integrity.
  5. To review these expectations with their parents/guardians and after doing so sign where indicated below.  (As well as parents’/guardians’ signature.)

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  1. Regarding plagiarism, the burden of proof always rests with the student.  Therefore, be prepared to present, when asked, your actual sources of information, ideas, data, graphs, and quotations used in a piece of writing or an oral presentation.  (Formal or informal citations are always expected.)
  2. Rough drafts will always be required.  So, be prepared for any given assignment, essay, etc. to produce evidence of your work when it was under progress or during the process.
  3. Ask advice whenever there is uncertainty about the appropriate use of source material.
  4. Discuss the expectations and definition of your teacher(s) with your parents/guardians.  Values related to intellectual honesty can vary significantly among different cultures; therefore you must ensure your parents/guardians understand the expectations and definition of your teacher(s) and the IBO program’s sense of academic honesty.
  5. Make sure you understand the expectations and are aware of the consequences of breaking the code.
  6. Make sure you talk to your teacher(s) - open, honest, mature discussion of questions and difficulties goes a long way to developing a sense of comfort and trust.
  7. When something ‘bad’ happens, expect there to be consequences.  Do not compound the incident by attempting to excuse the behavior you have been previously warned is unacceptable.
  8. Ensure you attach a copy of the ‘Honor Pledge’ to each assignment submitted to the teacher(s) under your name.  (If advised to by the teacher(s)).

*1:borrowed and adapted from:  IBO News Item May 15-2003; George Mason University Honor Code; Lexington High School Honor Code

2:borrowed and adapted from article:  Honesty Tips (The Scale of Justice) by Fred Piderit within IB World- February 2003, page 12.

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