Academic Honesty Policy

Atlee High School is committed to promoting academic honesty, integrity, and high standards. In addition to teaching content knowledge, we seek to promote character and personal responsibility. Our school takes a proactive approach to teaching academic honesty and ethical behavior by:

  • Providing clear guidelines for all stakeholders
  • Defining academic honesty in the context of the Diploma Program
  • Communicating expectations and consequences to stakeholders

What is Academic Honesty?

The IB learner profile states that students will “act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere.” IB learners will also “take responsibility for their actions and the consequences.”

Students are expected to do their own work and to submit for a grade only work that represents their own effort. Academic dishonesty is behavior that results in the student, or any other student, gaining an unfair academic advantage. More specifically it includes:

Plagiarism- defined as the representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of ideas, words, or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgement. The use of translated materials, unless indicated and acknowledged, is also considered plagiarism. Plagiarized assignments will not be given credit and may result in a disciplinary referral.

Collusion - defined as supporting another student’s academic misconduct, for example allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another.

Consequences are determined by, but not necessarily limited to, the recommended consequences listed in the Hanover County Public Schools Code of Student Conduct. Repeated offenses of this type may result in removal from the IB program.

Promoting Academic Honesty and Ethical Behavior

To promote appropriate academic behavior, Atlee High School explicitly teaches academic honesty to all Pre-Baccalaureate and IB Diploma students. For example:

  • Atlee High School librarians collaborate with IB teachers to promote the use of SafeAssign to verify sources and monitor plagiarism, through the use of EasyBib and other bibliography “creators.”
  • Many teachers utilize Google documents and Google classroom which allow for monitoring of assignments. For example, in the track changes feature all collaborators on the document are visible as are changes and times of changes. This holds students accountable to individual work when appropriate.
  • Librarians teach all freshman about plagiarism and citing sources as well as research skills and examples of how to avoid plagiarism.
  • Librarians reinforce these skills in subsequent English and History classes for a variety of research-based assignments.
  • Extended Essay students are instructed by college librarians regarding research skills and documentation.
  • Individual teachers clearly outline expectations on assignments. They outline expectations regarding group work for relevant assignments. Many teachers “unpack” questions and all teacher spend time addressing/incorporating the Learner Profile Traits in class work/class discussion. Some teachers also require students to use cover sheets or write out and sign pledges on their work to indicate academic honesty.
  • Classroom teachers maintain when personal devices (computers, cell phones, tablets, etc.) are appropriate to use or not appropriate to use with the use of the Devices On/Devices Off card which is displayed in the front of the teaching space.
  • Expectations are communicated to all stakeholders via the IB Handbook and Hanover County Public Schools Code of Student Conduct.

Academic Honesty During IB Testing

Atlee IB will follow all requirements of conduct of the examinations as outlined by IB. Policy is included here to clearly communicate expectations and process to all statekholders prior to the examination period. All students who test will be provided with Conduct of Examinations two weeks prior to testing. The Coordinator and teachers will address the Conduct of Examinations, discuss prohibited material, and answer questions regarding process.

Conduct of the examinations

9.1 The school is responsible for providing a room that is suitable for the examinations and for informing each candidate of where the examinations will be held. Access to the examination room must be restricted to persons who are directly connected with the conduct of the examinations. No person is permitted to take any confidential examination material, such as a copy of an examination paper, from the room while an examination is in progress.

9.2 IB examinations must be conducted according to the instructions given here. If candidates are present in the room for examinations other than IB examinations, all instructions concerning the conduct of IB examinations must still be observed without interference of any kind.

9.3 The document Conduct of the examinations: Notice to candidates must be read by all candidates and, if necessary, explained to them. Each candidate must be provided with his or her own copy, which can be downloaded from IBIS.

9.4 At least one week before the start of the written examinations, copies of the posters Conduct of the examinations: Notice to candidates and Conduct of the examinations: items not permitted, must be displayed at a suitable location within the school. Preferably, this should be outside or close to the room where the examinations will be held, but this is at the discretion of the coordinator. These posters are sent to schools with the consignment of examination stationery.

Seating arrangements for candidates

10.2 A record of where each candidate sat in the examination room must be kept for each examination. The seating plan must indicate the direction in which the candidates were facing during the examination. In cases of alleged academic misconduct the Assessment Division, IB Global Centre, Cardiff, will request a copy of the seating plan.

10.3 Candidates themselves (rather than their desks) must be seated a minimum of 1.5 metres apart and must not be able to overlook the work of other candidates (for example, when seated in an auditorium) or to exchange information.

10.4 Candidates are not required to sit in the same place in all examinations. In fact, the security of the examinations can be improved by assigning candidates to a different place for each examination.

Before candidates arrive for an examination

11.1 It is expected that the coordinator will normally start and end each examination, although the coordinator may not be present for the full duration of every examination. If another person is starting an examination the coordinator must provide that person with the examination papers and materials required.

11.2 The coordinator must arrive at the examination room well before the scheduled start time to ensure that the room is correctly arranged.

11.3 The coordinator must ensure that during the examination candidates will not be distracted (for example, by noise outside the examination room, or by teachers or other persons seeking access to the room). Disruptive events, such as fire drills or building maintenance, must be scheduled for another time.

11.4 Examination stationery may be placed on desks/tables before the arrival of the candidates.
Alternatively, the stationery may be given out once candidates are seated in the examination room.

Arrival of the candidates

12.1 Before the candidates enter the examination room, they should be informed that only authorized materials required for the examination may be taken to their desk/table. All personal belongings, including any device for communication, must be left outside or placed at the back of the room. If belongings are placed at the back of the examination room, ensure that any mobile/cell phones are switched off. Also inform the candidates that once they have entered the examination room they are subject to the IB’s regulations governing the conduct of examinations.

12.2 Admit candidates to the examination room at least ten minutes before the examination is due to begin. They must enter the room in a quiet and orderly manner.

12.3 Once the candidates have entered the examination room the examination is in progress until all scripts and other examination materials have been collected.

12.4 The coordinator must decide where each candidate will sit during an examination. Candidates must comply with the decision of the coordinator and remain seated until permission is given to leave the examination room.

12.5 Check the identity of each candidate against the answer cover sheets/multiple choice (MCQ) answer sheets or a checklist of candidates printed from IBIS. It is essential that the identity of each candidate can be confirmed. Retake candidates who do not normally attend the school must be asked to produce proof of their identity if the coordinator/invigilator is not certain of their identity.

Examination preparation and delivery

12.7 It is preferable that candidates do not take to their desk/table any form of container (for example, a pencil case) in which to hold their stationery. However, if the coordinator allows this, containers must be either transparent or checked by the coordinator/invigilator to ensure that they do not contain unauthorized material.

12.8 Candidates may take to their desk/table the following items only: general stationery (for example, pens, pencils, an eraser, geometry instruments and a ruler) a translating dictionary for groups 3 to 6 and classical languages examinations provided by the school other materials specified by the IB as required for a particular examination (for example, an electronic calculator).

12.9 The use of pencil is permitted for drawing graphs or diagrams. If possible, candidates should be encouraged to use a pencil with a soft lead that produces dark lines, rather than a pencil that tends to result in thin grey lines. This will aid the electronic scanning of candidates’ scripts. Coloured pencils are not permitted on Atlee IB Exams.

12.10 Candidates are not permitted to use correcting fluid/pens. A candidate must neatly cross out any mistakes (except when there is a mistake in a question number box - in this instance, the relevant box must be completely filled in and the next one used). Gel pens/highlighting pens can only be used to highlight questions or other information on an examination paper; they must not be used in conjunction with a candidate’s answer to any question. (This is because candidate’s scripts are scanned and the images made available to examiners electronically – gel pens/highlighting pens are not amenable to this process.)

12.11 Candidates must write their answers in either blue or black ink (except for multiple choice examination papers, when pencil is used), and use soft pencil for graphs and diagrams.

12.12 Candidates must not share stationery, dictionaries, calculators or other material during an examination.

12.13 If unauthorized material is found in a candidate’s possession, they are likely to be held in breach of regulations, regardless of whether they intended to use the material during the examination. Therefore, it is important to provide candidates with the opportunity to declare the possession of unauthorized material before the start of the examination.

12.15 The coordinator/invigilator must be particularly vigilant for any unauthorized electronic devices. Candidates are not permitted to bring such devices (for example, a mobile/cell phone, a personal stereo/radio, a computer/tablet, an electronic watch/smart watch or calculator that allows communication) to their desk/table and must be instructed to switch off a watch alarm if set to go off during the examination. A personal clock, other than a wristwatch, is not permitted. Candidates are not permitted to use a mobile/cell phone as a calculator regardless of the applications on the device.

12.16 Drinking water is permitted at the discretion of the coordinator. Food, refreshments, and drinks other than water are only permitted for those candidates with a medical condition, such as diabetes.

12.17 If authorized by the coordinator prior to the examination, a candidate with a diagnosed illness may take necessary medication during the examination. If the nature of that medication may distract others.

The conduct of IB Diploma Programme examinations

Candidates must remain silent until they have left the examination room.

13.2 Ensure that all candidates have the correct cover sheet and sufficient stationery, such as answer booklets (if required), pencils and graph paper. Candidates must not be given rough/scratch paper on which to write a draft for an answer, any working out or plan for an answer. For unstructured examination papers such work must be written in the answer booklet(s). For structured/semi-structured examination papers the working out or plan can be written on the examination paper, supplemented with an answer booklet if necessary. If a candidate does not want this draft work to be marked, a line must be drawn through that work. In both scenarios the candidate’s draft work etc. must be submitted and not retained either by the school or by the candidate.

13.3 Open the sealed packet(s) containing the examination papers in the presence of the candidates. Distribute the examination papers and any additional material issued for a particular paper. Place the examination papers on the desks/tables with the front cover uppermost so that candidates cannot read the questions. Care must be taken to ensure that each candidate receives the correct examination paper.

13.6 Inform candidates that their handwriting must be legible. Poor handwriting will not be penalized, but if an examiner cannot read a script, then he or she cannot mark it.

13.7 Write the start and finish times of each examination paper on a board or flip chart in view of all candidates.

13.8 Provide the candidates with details of any error (erratum) notices provided with the examination papers.

13.9 Allow the candidates five minutes’ reading time at the start of each examination (except for multiple choice examination papers). These five minutes are not counted as part of the time allowed for the examination, which is stated on the front cover of the examination paper. Candidates must not use calculators during the reading time, write notes, refer to dictionaries, highlight questions or write draft answers to questions. For a music examination, these five minutes can include listening to the music tracks for section B of the examination paper.

13.10 On (structured and semi-structured) examination papers where candidates write their answers in designated boxes, if a candidate is unable to complete their answer in the box provided, he/she must continue their answer in an answer booklet. The candidate must indicate they have done this by writing a note in the answer box. The number of the question that is being answered must be shown in the answer booklet. This is to facilitate e-marking.

During the examination

14.1 Each invigilator will give his or her whole attention to the supervision of the examination. It is not permitted for an invigilator to engage in an activity (for example, reading or marking candidates’ work) other than supervising the examination. Any conversation between invigilators must be brief, quiet and confined to discussing matters relating to the examination in progress.

14.2 At least one invigilator will walk around the room at regular intervals, without disturbing the candidates, to ensure that no candidate is engaging in any form of academic misconduct. Invigilators must not remain in one place for a long period, but when moving about the examination room they must avoid distracting the candidates.

14.3 One invigilator will be seated at the back of the room so that candidates cannot determine which part of the room that invigilator is observing.

14.4 During the examination the invigilator must keep an accurate record of any events. The following are examples of the type of events that must be recorded:

  • If a candidate is allowed a temporary absence (for example, requires the bathroom or because of illness), the session number or name of that candidate must be recorded, as well as the time when he or she left and returned to the room.
  • If a candidate feels ill, but continues with the examination, record the name of the candidate and the time when the illness appeared to begin.
  • If a candidate is cautioned for misconduct, record the name of the candidate and the nature of the misdemeanor.

14.5 Candidates will be supervised at all times in the testing room.

14.6 Other than candidates for the examination, only the head of school, coordinator, invigilators and authorized IB inspectors are allowed into the examination room. No other person should be given access, except in an emergency or with authorization from the Assessment Division, IB Global Centre, Cardiff.

Policy Review

This policy shall be revised in accordance with policy changes as designated by the IB, Hanover County Public Schools policies, or yearly. Policies are reviewed by IB Faculty, made up of the IB Coordinator, Principal, Director of School Counseling, Academic Teachers. Policies are also evaluated by and shared with stakeholders via the School Improvement Committee which consists of teachers, parents, students and community stakeholders. Policies are also reviewed by and shared with Atlee Senior Staff and Hanover County Public School Leadership.

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