Academic Honesty Policy
The staff members of Berkshire Middle School strongly believe in reinforcing the values of our democratic society, teaching citizenship, and providing an environment conducive to ethical behavior. We believe that our school should maintain a climate in which honesty, courtesy, consideration, integrity and concern for others are highly valued.
Cheating is an obstacle to achieving these goals and denies the value of education. Our teaching staff strives to put the importance of learning above the importance of grades and to convince students that their best efforts are all that anyone should expect.
Cheating: is taking or lending a person’s work, information, ideas, research, and documentation, without properly identifying the originator.
Plagiarism: any intentional use of another’s ideas, words, or work as one’s own. Plagiarism includes the unauthorized use of published materials or the work of other students.
To avoid inadvertent dishonesty, the following list, which is not intended to be all-inclusive, delineates a variety of methods of cheating:
- Looking at someone else’s paper during an examination, test, or quiz.
- Talking with another student during an examination, test, or quiz.
- Possession of any type of “cheat notes,” whether actually used or not.
- Letting someone else see one’s own or another’s paper during an examination, test, or quiz.
- Copying work assigned to be done independently or allowing someone else to copy one’s own or another’s work, including computer-generated information and programs. Since individual teachers hold different expectations with regard to homework (i.e., some teachers encourage students to work together while other teachers may expect an assignment to be completed independently at home), it is the responsibility of the individual teacher to clarify to the student his/her expectations regarding individual assignments. These may include take-home tests, group reports, special projects, etc.
- Copying or closely paraphrasing sentences, phrases, images or sounds from a source not cited, including the Internet, while writing a paper or doing research.
- Giving test information to other students in other periods of the same teacher/same course.
- Submitting individual projects not wholly one’s own.
- Fabricating or altering laboratory data.
- In assignments where the teacher specifically assigns a pair or group of students to work together, group members may share information, but individual students might still have responsibility for work that is arrived at independently.
When a student has been found in violation of the academic honesty policy, the consequences may include:
- Conferring with the student
- Any student(s) giving or receiving information will receive a zero for the assignment and the parents of each student involved will be notified
- No make-up work permitted upon committing any one of the ten unacceptable behaviors listed above or other incidents of academic dishonesty
- Detention or in-school suspension may be assigned
- Involvement with administrative staff
- May lower report card grade
The goal is integrity. Each student should perform the work assigned. Please help your student develop habits of academic honesty by reinforcing your values, reducing pressure for “success at any cost” and supporting timely preparation for assignments and tests.