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W. H. Council Traditional School Academic Honesty Policy
Posted On: 10/3/2016


W. H. Council Traditional School – an I.B. World School

IB PYP Academic Honesty Policy

Established: February 2016





Purpose of the Policy

W. H. Council Traditional School’s mission statement declares that we want to develop “students who excel academically and are responsible courteous citizens.” (W. H. Council Mission Statement) To do that, we work together to develop a community of principled learners. The principled IB Learner Profile states that members of an IB community, “act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere”. It goes on to say that, “We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.” (IB Learner Profile)


Academic honesty is a huge part of being principled as we all use other people’s thoughts, ideas, words, and images in our learning. We want to make sure that we are learning how to give credit to others at a young age, so that it will become a habit throughout life.


Definition of Academic Honesty

At W. H. Council Traditional School, academic honesty is being honest and giving credit to others when you use their material.


The International Baccalaureate Organization position on academic honesty states that, “Academic honesty is a fundamental and important value for IB programmes”. “Across all IB programmes, at all levels, students must be creative, independent and principled learners and they must show they are working in this manner in explicit and transparent ways.” (Academic Honesty in the IB 6)


Definitions of Terms Used in the Rest of the Policy


Plagiarism – using another person’s ideas, thoughts, words, or images as your own and not giving them credit (Diploma Programme: Academic Honesty 19 and Academic Honesty in the IB 3)


Collusion –allowing your work to be copied by another student and turned in for a grade OR copying another student’s work to turn in for a grade and putting your name on it (Diploma Programme: Academic Honesty 20 and Academic Honesty in the IB 3)


Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to be honest in their work at all times. This means they are to do their own work and put information in their own words. This includes all classwork, homework, group work, projects, and CARP. Students are to begin telling where their information came from in Kindergarten in simple ways and continue to a simplified citation style by fourth and fifth grade. Students are to use strategies modeled and explicitly taught by teachers to avoid plagiarism and collusion.


School Responsibilities

All faculty and staff are to adhere to the academic honesty policy themselves. Teachers are to explain what academic honesty means in age-appropriate terms. Teachers are to model and explicitly teach students how to summarize and paraphrase information so that it is in their own words and not copied from a source, as well as how to cite sources in an age-appropriate format, to avoid plagiarism. Teachers are to give explicit directions for group projects to avoid collusion. In the upper grades, teachers are to make the consequences of a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy clear to students.


The school should provide a copy of the academic honesty policy to all parents/guardians, in print or digitally. A school compact will be provided to all parents/guardians and will need to be signed by both a parent/guardian and student and returned to the school. This compact will include the importance of academic honesty and a signed copy will be kept by the school. Examples of academic honesty and strategies to help students on research, projects, and homework should be provided to parents throughout the school year.


Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Parents/guardians should model academic honesty themselves. Parents/guardians are to monitor students as they complete research, projects, and homework reminding and assisting students as needed in applying the strategies taught at Council for avoiding academic dishonesty, including plagiarism and collusion. Parents/guardians should never do a project, homework, or take a CARP test for a student. This is a form of collusion. Parent/guardian assistance should also decrease as students move higher in grades. Parents/guardians should contact their child’s teacher if they have questions regarding academic honesty.


Parents/guardians and students are required to sign the school compact at the beginning of each year, agreeing to uphold W. H. Council Traditional School’s policies, including the Academic Honesty Policy.


Examples of Good/Poor Practices

Examples of Academic Honesty

A student in any grade is asked to research an animal and present a project on it to the class. The student gathers information from a book and a website and creates a poster about the animal. The student summarizes or paraphrases all of the information presented in his or her own words. On the back of the poster, the student writes where the information came from in an age-appropriate way.


A group of students is assigned a natural disaster to research and present a project on to the class. The teacher asks that each student contribute to the project in his or her own words. The students locate information about the natural disaster and each student creates a portion of the project. The group of students gives feedback and suggestions on each part to help other group members as needed, but each student creates and presents his or her own part. The group works together to create a list of resources they used for the project.


Examples of Plagiarism

A student in any grade is assigned a person to research and present a project on to the class. The student summarizes what he or she learns about the person, but does not show anywhere on the project where he or she got the information from. The student has committed plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty.


A student in any grade is asked to complete a book report, which will include the author’s name, characters, and a summary of the book. The student waits until the last minute and does not have time to read the whole book, so she finds a summary online and copies it to turn in. This is plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty.


Examples of Collusion

A student in any grade is working in a group to complete a project. Each student is asked to turn in a paper, in his or her own words, of what the group has learned. One student decides that it is too hard, so he asks another student to let him copy her paper and she lets him. They both turn in the same work for a grade. They both have committed collusion, a form of academic dishonesty.


A student in any grade is asked to complete a homework assignment. The student is at a friend’s house playing video games and says that he has to go home to do his homework. The friend wants to continue playing video games, so he allows the student to copy his homework. They have both committed collusion, a form of academic dishonesty.


Procedures for Suspected Academic Dishonesty/Consequences

Elementary students are just beginning to learn about academic honesty and the terms associated with it. When teachers notice an instance of academic dishonesty, it will be used as a teachable moment. The teacher may choose to pause and teach a whole class impromptu mini lesson on the portion of academic honesty that needs to be reinforced when many students seem to be having difficulty, pull a small group at an appropriate time, or reteach an individual student. Individual teacher discretion will be used to determine which avenue to take; however, the matter must be addressed in a timely fashion.


In the upper grades, a teacher may include academic honesty as part of a project grade when a teacher has explicitly taught academic honesty and it is listed in the project directions and on the grading rubric.


When the same student seems to repeatedly display academic dishonesty, whether it be purposeful or not, and the teacher has explicitly retaught the correct procedures, a parent/guardian conference should be scheduled so that the parent/guardian can reinforce the importance of academic honesty at home. It is the student’s right to be present at this meeting and to contribute to the discussion. Documentation of the parent/guardian meeting should be kept in a central location in a binder clearly labeled Academic Honesty Conferences to document trends of behavior by individual students.

When all attempts by the teacher to address purposeful* and repeated academic dishonesty have failed, the student should be referred to the principal. It is the student’s right to have his or her parent/guardian present at the meeting with the principal. Documentation of this meeting will also be added to the student’s file in the Academic Honesty Conferences binder.


*In this context, purposeful means that the student knows the correct procedures because he or she has modeled them for the teacher, but he or she chooses not to use them.


Policy on Reviewing/Updating this Policy

This policy will be reviewed and updated prior to each five-year evaluation date, unless changes are deemed necessary at an earlier time.



Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context. Cardiff, Wales: International Baccalaureate Organization. 2014. Print.


Carroll, Jude. Academic Honesty in the IB. International Baccalaureate Organization, 2012. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.


Diploma Programme: Academic Honesty. Cardiff, Wales: International Baccalaureate Organization. 2011. Print.


IB Learner Profile. International Baccalaureate Organization, 2013. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.


IB PYP Academic Honesty Policy. Eagle Valley Elementary. 2014. Print.

(Only some formatting ideas came from this source.)


W. H. Council Traditional School Mission Statement. Council Traditional School. 2009. Print.