Germantown High School
International Baccalaureate Academic Honesty Policy
The Value of Honesty: Greek philosopher Socrates linked knowledge inextricably with virtue. He argued that if a person had a clear understanding of a
situation and thorough knowledge, they would always choose to do what is right, as that would result in the greatest sense of happiness. Thus, any wrong-
doing or impropriety is the result of a lack of knowledge. In light of this understanding, we believe that education builds virtue and virtue results in
The IB Learner Profile: Though the IB Candidate is to strive to embody all ten aspects of the IB Learner Profile, as it relates to academic honesty, the
profile of a “principled” student is the focus. By definition, the principled student “[acts] with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and
justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere, [and] takes responsibility for [his/her] actions and their consequences.” In
accordance with the stated goals of the IBO, Germantown High School seeks to create “a safe and encouraging learning environment, … [which] will
support academically honest behaviors and help instill the values and principles that lie behind such behaviors.” (IBO “Academic Honesty…” pg. 1)
Germantown High School IB Program Values:
* Students who understand the value of education in and of itself and consequently embrace a constructive and collaborative approach to lifelong
* Students who are autodidactic and pro-active in their own education as independent learners.
* Students who are developing an innate ability to inquire, seek knowledge, and engage in authentic research. As such, they will cease to focus on the
rote memorization of material as the true standard of content mastery.
* Students who embrace these values, in accordance with a Socratic ethic, will inherently understand the rationale behind and perceive the personal value in academic honesty, as violations of any established rules would ultimately be of primary detriment to the student himself/herself and their own personal happiness.
Personal Ethic – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of
destructive selfishness.” The expectation of the GHS IB student is to “walk in the light” by being men and women of character and integrity. The word
integrity comes from the Latin word meaning whole, or complete. When outward actions and behaviors are consistent with inner values, the student is
living with integrity.
Expectations & Practice For the student:
• Students in Germantown’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program will be aware and adhere to the following standards of ethical behavior:
• Candidates are required to act in a responsible and ethical manner throughout their participation in the program and during examinations. Though
the emphasis is on the candidate’s avoidance of any form of malpractice (as outlined below), it is not limited to academic ethics (IB Handbook)
• Candidates are expected to embrace and work to embody all ten attributes of the IB Learner Profile
-Respect for self
-Students are to possess a mature and well-developed high moral standard.
-Students are expected to exhibit character and be true to their word by doing what is right even if no one is watching.
-Respect for community
-In addition to the Golden Rule, treating others as you would like to be treated, students are expected to pursue tolerance. Not a blind acceptance
or validation of a common misunderstanding, but a genuine appreciation for and understanding of diversity.
-Students are to consider themselves as ambassadors of the GHS IB Program, and GHS as a whole. As such, they should carry themselves in such a
way as to reflect school and program values, when engaging our greater community.
-Respect for our world
-Consistent with IBO’s philosophy and program to foster an internationally minded and globally aware student, GHS IB pursues this value, as well.
Beyond an internationally oriented curriculum, GHS IB students are to broaden their international understanding, and actively seek to embrace a
Expectations & Practice For the Teacher:
•Equitable treatment of all students
Teachers are to carefully adhere to SCS policy regarding the equitable treatment of all students by offering an “educational … opportunity without
regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, creed, age, or disability.”
•Modeling fairness and impartiality
Teachers are expected to model fairness and impartiality within their classroom, and to the entire student body.
Expectations & Practice For the Parent:
•GHS IB understands the participation and support of parents as critical towards the success of the student and the program as a whole. As such,
parents are strongly encouraged to support the GHS IB program with as much of their time, effort, and energy, as possible.
•Stemming from the rigor of the program requirements, parents need to facilitate the personal development of their son/daughter. Student success
hinges on more than intelligence, but work ethic, time management, and a healthy balanced lifestyle. Though GHS IB seeks to cultivate these in each
student, it is when they are off campus that these traits are developed and practiced. GHS IB encourages parents to monitor their student, while
allowing them to learn by experience. Moreover, GHS IB needs parents to communicate with all invested parties, if a student is struggling with their
development with these life skills.
•GHS IB sees its role in the lifelong development of student as going beyond the four years of high school. Consequently, parents are asked to view the
goal of the program as not simply the acquisition of the IB Diploma, nor merely the gateway for admission into a university of choice, but as the
development of a lifelong learner.
Expectations & Practice For the School:
•The administration of GHS strives to support student, teacher, and parent in our 100+ year pursuit of excellence in education. Recognizing that each
is an essential and valued member of the educational process, GHS commits itself to their success both on and off campus.
Malpractice & Consequences
•Assessment of malpractice and the consequential steps taken will be reveiwed carefully, thoughtfully, and collectively. In the event of a suspected
violation of the GHS IB Personal Ethic, the following steps will be taken:
•All essential parties will meet to discuss the issue. Student(s), teacher(s), parent(s), and administrator(s) all need to be informed of the issue, as the
team seeks to gain an accurate understanding of what has occurred, determine if any Personal Ethic has been violated, and agree upon a positive
course of action. All discussions and decisions will be documented.
•In the event of continued violation of GHS IB Personal Ethic and failure to follow the previously agreed upon positive course of action, the offending
candidate will be put on probation within the IB Program.
•If the candidate displays an ongoing defiance by continuing to violate the GHS IB Personal Ethic, their continuance within the IB Program will likely
Work Ethic – Effort & Honesty
•Expectations & Practice For the student:
•All students must have an 8 GB (or larger) flash drive that will be used to store all major IB assignments.
•All short term assignments are due ON their due date.
•Major assignments (essays, labs, projects, take-home exams, Internal Assessments, etc.) may be given a date range in which to submit the assignment.
(e.g. Tuesday - Friday). If the student does not have the assignment on the last day of the window, no credit will be awarded. If the student is not at
GHS on the final day of the window, it is the student’s responsibility to secure a way for the assignment to be turned in on that day. The use and
length of the assignment window is at the discretion of the teacher.
•If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to get make-up work. Students have one day for each excused absence to turn in make-up work
for short-term assignments.
•All assignments (papers, labs, projects, etc.) must be turned in as a hard copy on the day it is due at the BEGINNING of the class period in order to be
•Students are not to work on assignments from another course during any class. If a student does so, the work will be taken and returned (or not) at
the teacher’s discretion.
•Students are responsible for having required supplies for each class, per teacher instructions.
•Expectations & Practice For the Teacher:
•Teachers should be aware of the policies outlined for academic honesty.
•Teachers are to provide assessments/projects based on IB testing schedule.
•Teachers are to offer due date ranges for longer assignments/projects.
•Proper instruction as to citing will be offered; sources to use (e.g. Purdue OWL) will be discussed.
•When applicable, teachers will provide rubrics in advance.
•Upon discovery of malpractice, teachers are to report any instances and submit proper paperwork.
•Teachers should explain any guidelines involving a group activity.
•Teachers should provide appropriate written and oral feedback.
•Teachers should check authority and authenticity of cited sources.
•For longer assignments (e.g. essays), teachers are to offer a breakdown of assignments to ensure student success and to avoid possible plagiarism.
•Expectations & Practice For the School:
•All school support staff should be aware of the policies outlined for academic honesty.
•Support should be provided to students, parents, and teachers as to following of policies, including possible instruction for new teachers and
•IB coordinator/counselor should conduct further investigation into instances of malpractice.
•The IB office will provide a place for students to print items if needed.
•The school will support teachers in due dates (if following teacher guidelines).
•IB coordinator/counselor will monitor student progress and maintain records of malpractice.
•Expectations & Practice For the Parents:
•Parent(s) should be aware of the policies outlined for academic honesty.
•Parent(s) should ensure student has proper supplies.
•Parent(s) should provide a way for student to turn in assignments if needed (e.g. absent on last day of major assignment).
•Parent(s) should support teacher on due dates (if following teacher guidelines).
•Parent(s) should check progress reports/Parent Connect to monitor student’s progress in all classes.
Malpractice & Consequences
•Students will NOT engage in any form of malpractice.
-Malpractice is defined by the Vade Mecum as “behavior that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair
advantage in one or more assessment component” (A8).
-Malpractice includes (but is not limited to) the following specific behaviors:
a) Cheating: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements or any other
behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or affects the results of another candidate.
•Examples of Cheating
-Copying from another student or allowing another student to copy from you.
-Checking your work against another student’s work.
-Submitting the same work in more than one class.
b) Plagiarism: this is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own. Remember that plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional plagiarism involves the deliberate copying or use of another’s words or ideas. Unintentional plagiarism usually results from ignorance of the guidelines for properly formatting and documenting sources, or from sloppy or haphazard research and
citing of sources.
•Examples of Plagiarism
-Failing to cite sources, both internally using parenthetical citation, and/or on your Works Cited page.
-Purchasing an essay online.
-Copying and rewording information on a website for an assignment.
c) Falsification: this is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of information.
•Examples of Falsification
-Making up data or citations.
-Making a false statement.
d) Collusion: this is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by
•Examples of Collusion
-Trying to remember what was on a test, quiz, or exam for a student who has not yet had the class.
-Emailing a student one of your saved essays so that they can “use it.”
-Dividing up study questions between friends, and then sharing them electronically.
The definition of malpractice extends beyond IB assessments and includes any assignment completed by an IB student from Germantown High School, and any other academic endeavor.
Proactive ways to avoid malpractice
•Forming a study group to review content for a final, objective test, etc.
•Keeping your notebook in your possession at all times, in order to prevent yourself from unknowingly participating in collusion.
•Letting someone review, edit, and give feedback on a draft of your essay.
•Saving your old essays on your computer.
•Making an appointment with your teacher to review lecture ideas that you missed due to an excused absence.
Suspected cases of malpractice will result in any of the following consequences:
•A zero on the assignment or test.
•Probation in the IB Program.
•Removal from the IB Program.
•Ineligible to sit for IB exams.
Review of Policy
•The procedures for the GHS IB Academic Honesty Policy will be re-evaluated bi-annually—during the summer and again before the spring semester.
•An evaluation team will be assembled comprised of the IB coordinator and guidance counselor, IB teachers, and school administrators.
•At these selected times, the team will review all aspects of the policy for consideration of suggested changes and amendments.
•If it is determined that the policy is in need of revision beyond rewording, a meeting of the IB faculty and administrative team will meet to discuss the
change and implementation before it is communicated the IB students and their parents.