Academic Integrity at RMS
The Richmond Middle School staff is committed to teaching students how to take personal responsibility for their academic work – a cornerstone of any effective learning community. It is important to us that each student understands what the concept of academic integrity looks like and feels like in their schoolwork. Each student is asked to sign the RMS Honor Code statement and to discuss with staff what behaviors are considered cheating or plagiarism. Additionally, it is important that students understand how the school will respond to students who choose these behaviors.
What is Academic Integrity?
Academic integrity means that you are honest about your academic work with yourself, your peers and your teachers – that the work you produce is yours and yours alone. It means acknowledging the contributions of others if you include such contributions in your work. It means resisting the temptation to cheat on any assignment or to pressure others to do so. It means expecting the same honest effort from your peers as well.
Honor Code Statement
Staff will review the following statement with students at the start of each year: I will not lie, cheat, steal, plagiarize, or pressure others to do so, and I will not accept these behaviors in others
Students found in violation of this RMS policy will go through a disciplinary process with the appropriate staff. Consequences will be assigned recognizing that the goal at RMS is to help students understand their mistakes so that they will not repeat them. When a student is academically dishonest, the student will complete a Blue Academic Referral Form. This form asks students to write in detail about the incident. The student will then meet with both the teacher and an administrator to discuss the nature of the incident. Consequences for academic dishonesty may include receiving a zero on the assignment or assessment, completing an alternate assignment so that essential skills are learned and practiced, making amends for the behavior, and other consequences as deemed necessary. Parents or guardians will be notified of all incidents of academic dishonesty.
Cheating is any activity in which a student deliberately misrepresents their actual academic achievement. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty where an individual intentionally uses someone else’s published or unpublished thoughts, images, ideas, or writings, whether quoted or paraphrased, and claims it as their own work.
The following list provides examples of permissible and non-permissible behaviors, but it is not meant to be an exhaustive, comprehensive list.
Permissible behaviors include:
- calling a friend to get homework assignments
- brainstorming with others the answers to writing prompts, then writing individual responses
- dividing up work fairly on group projects and sharing results
- working together with teacher approval
- asking a classmate to talk through a lesson to understand it better, then doing one’s own homework
- using the Internet or print sources to get information or graphics, then documenting the sources properly
Non-permissible behaviors include:
- dividing up the assignment problems for a class with another student, each doing half and then trading answers
- letting a partner for a project do all or most of the work and then taking credit by putting your name on the final project
- excluding a partner or fellow group member’s work for fear of receiving a lower grade
- giving a friend who did not finish a homework assignment the answers
- telling another student who has not taken a test what is on it
- copying someone else’s answers for an assignment or a quiz or test
- using the work of others (including text and graphics from the internet or print sources) without proper credit to the source
- not including a working or formal bibliography with final projects
- having a someone else do the homework and passing it in as one’s own
Knowing about the dishonesty of others and not telling anyone is also a violation of the code.