Ethical Use

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Academic Honesty
     A primary objective of Somers High School is the development of a student's intellectual potential. To provide assessment of a student's progress and offer appropriate instruction in pursuit of that goal, teachers have designed tests, homework assignments, and various projects, including reports and research papers. It is expected that throughout the educational process high academic standards will be maintained. Most importantly, all work submitted by students MUST represent their own personal efforts. Any departure from this policy is dishonest and will result in a severe penalty.
     In the process of researching the issue of academic honesty, the faculty committee came upon two definitions of academic impropriety:

Cheating:
"There are two forms of academic dishonestly, one of which is cheating. In academic terms, cheating takes the form of copying someone else's work or giving or receiving assistance on an exam , test, paper or other work for credit, in an attempt to deceive the teacher into thinking that the work is the student's own. Examples include: using illegal notes or copying from another student during a test; having someone else write a paper, or part of a paper...and obtaining or giving information about a quiz or test given to an earlier section of a course" (The Taft School Student Handbook 1991-1992).

Plagiarism:
"The other form of academic dishonesty is Plagiarism... The American Heritage Dictionary defines the verb 'to plagiarize' as 'to take and use as one's own the writings or ideas of another.' Plagiarism is the direct copying of someone else's words or ideas without giving credit for them, thereby presenting them as evidence of your own work and thought. It is also the rewording of a sentence, a paragraph, a page, an entire article, or a story plot and calling it your own. 
     To avoid plagiarism, you must footnote [i.e. document] everything that is not the result of your own thinking. Direct quotations, the exact works of another person, must be put in quotation marks and footnoted [i.e. documented]. Single words or phrases which are particularly appropriate or illuminating, the organization of ideas, and the ordering of examples given in a source, must also be documented."
     The above is quoted and it's source is cited in recognition of the responsibility of all writers to give due credit to the authorship of others (The Taft School Student Handbook 1991-1992).

Grading Policy:
The following policy regarding grading and response for evidence of cheating or plagiarism in student work (tests, quizzes, homework, projects, papers, group work, etc...) shall apply in all departments at Somers High School. The Assistant Principal shall maintain a record of documented cases of cheating and plagiarism.

Grade 9:
1. Zero on assignment/test/quiz/project
2. Offer a retake/redo for 50% credit of what is earned on the second attempt.
3. Inform parent
4. Office discipline referral on file

Grades 10-12:
1. Zero on assignment/test/quiz/project
2. Inform parent
3. Office discipline referral on file
 
In all cases, the teacher makes a copy of the assignment/test/quiz/project to keep in teacher's files for as long as the student is attending the school. Teacher files a copy of the assignment/test/quiz/project in the department files for future reference. Departments require major papers to be submitted to turnitin.com.

Learn all about what plagiarism is take the quiz to become an expert, lesson provided by Indiana University!

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