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Academic Honesty Policy

The Mount Diablo Unified School District’s Governing Board believes that academic honesty and personal integrity are fundamental components of a student’s education and character development.  The Board expects that students will not cheat, lie, plagiarize or commit other acts of academic dishonesty. BP 5131.9

Academic integrity is a guiding principle in education and a choice to act in a responsible way whereby others can have trust in us as individuals. It is the foundation for ethical decision-making and behavior in the production of legitimate, authentic, and honest scholarly work.  

Students who demonstrate Academic Honesty embody the learner profile traits, therefore we encourage the Oak Grove Students to be: principled, inquirers, communicators, open-minded, thinkers, caring, and reflective.

According to the IB Learner Profile, being Principled means being someone who 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.

Expectations should be clearly communicated and modeled at an age-appropriate level so that all students understand: 

• their responsibility for producing authentic and genuine individual and group work 

• how to correctly attribute sources, acknowledging the work and ideas of others 

• the responsible use of information technology and social media 

• how to observe and adhere to ethical and honest practice during examinations.


The Academic Honesty Policy is a product of cooperation between students and staff to ensure that all students will conduct themselves in an honest fashion, both morally and intellectually, at all times. It is the responsibility of the staff and students to ensure that the values of honesty, integrity, and responsibility be upheld in all school endeavors. Any academic dishonesty devalues the academic effort of all students by diminishing the sense of academic integrity and ethical values among students.

Academic Misconduct:  Academic misconduct or malpractice occurs when a student gains an unfair advantage over another student by receiving credit for work that is not their own (authentic) work.  Examples of academic misconduct may include, but are not limited to:

  • Plagiarism: The representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of the ideas, words, or work of another person without proper, clear, and explicit acknowledgment. 

  • Translated text without proper referencing is also considered plagiarism.

  • Falsifying Information: Creating information that is not true. 

  • Copying: Taking information from another source, including another student, or using a “cheat sheet.” 

  • Collusion: Assisting someone else in cheating or sharing completed work. 

  • Gaining possession of a test in any way prior to the time allotted to take that test is stealing that test. As an example, if you are sent a test via e-mail from a friend, you have stolen that test. So, what do you do if you receive that e-mail? Do not open it! Report it to your teacher!

  • Misconduct: Taking unauthorized material into an examination room, stealing test materials, taking a photograph of a test, disruptive behavior during an exam, disclosure of information about the content of an exam to a student who has not taken the exam or communication with another student are examples of misconduct.

Oak Grove Middle School’s community must also acknowledge the concepts of intellectual property and authentic authorship.

  • Intellectual Property – The rights to an intellectual property vary from patents, registered designs, trademarks, moral rights, and copyright and are usually protected by law; however, all forms of intellectual and creative expression will be respected at Oak Grove Middle School.

  • Authentic Authorship – It is expected that all work will be students’ individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged.  All assignments and assessments must wholly and authentically use that student’s own language, expression, and ideas.


The distinction between legitimate collaboration and unacceptable collusion: 

The main distinction between legitimate collaboration and unacceptable collusion is permission. There will be times throughout the year when students will be asked to work together to complete a project or assessment which is collaboration. There will also be times throughout the school year when students will be asked to complete work by themselves or portions of projects by themselves. If a student then decides to share completed work or assist other students in cheating, then that is collusion.

Effective citing and referencing:

All students must understand that any form of plagiarism is not acceptable, whether the act was intentional or not.   In all eight subject areas, the values and beliefs are equally applicable and the original source must be cited appropriately.

Citing is the process of indicating the sources in the text at the point of use, usually just naming the creator.  Referencing is providing full details, for example in a bibliography, that then enables another person to locate each source. It is the expectation of Oak Grove Middle School that the teachers, model and provide instructions on citing and referencing sources.  The most common format used to acknowledge sources in written work is MLA, but teachers are not limited to teaching/requiring only MLA. For more information on Modern Language Association (MLA) format, please use this link: 

The author of a piece of academic work must acknowledge any sources and influences that have been used in any way and are not their own.  Examples of possible sources and influences include the following:



Piece of music



A film/scenes from a film/video clip


Data from tables or graphs

Subjects of a public talk or lecture

Newspaper articles/journals

Commentaries of original works

Information reproduced from websites

Procedures for reporting, recording, and monitoring:  

At Oak Grove Middle School, the teachers use Google Classroom to monitor for plagiarism.  When student mistakes occur that involve a violation of the academic honesty policy then the teacher will report what occurred to the student’s parent/guardian as well as the Program Coordinator. The teacher will also record what has occurred, the resulting consequences, and what opportunities have been given to repair the harm caused by the student’s actions. The academic honesty log will be monitored by the coordinator to ensure consistency and watch for any trends.

Review of the Academic Honesty Policy: 

The Academic Honesty Policy will be reviewed and updated annually by Oak Grove Middle school, and the community.