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Academic Honesty Policy 414
Academic Honesty Policy

 The York Region District School Board has developed an Academic Honesty, Kindergarten - Grade 12 procedure which addresses the following four inter-related protocols:

  • ​communication with students and parents;
  • implementation of assessment for, as and of learning practices;
  • detection of incidences of cheating and plagiarism;
  • responses to incidences of cheating and plagiarism.

These practices also serve to prevent and/or address incidences of cheating and/or plagiarism. Prevention, detection and responses to cheating and plagiarizing are intended to maintain the dignity and self-worth of the learner and preserve the integrity of the learning environment.


ACADEMIC HONESTY - Refers to students providing original evidence of their learning and appropriately acknowledging the work of others. Students must be academically honest in all assignments. Students found to be academically dishonest (i.e., cheating and plagiarism but not limited to) will result in a mark of zero on that particular evaluation, and parents/guardians and/or administration will be notified. Parents will be contacted by the classroom teacher. Tasks completed using a computer translation program will not be evaluated, as they are not student-generated work.  Students are expected to be familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty, and should speak with their teachers when in doubt.

CHEATING - Is the attempt to gain an unfair advantage in an academic evaluation, which may is represent the demonstration of a student’s learning or the learning of others. Cheating is the act of violating the rules as outlined by the teacher in respect to essays projects, tests, exams, quizzes, etc.  Such action will result in a mark of zero (0) and parental contact.

PLAGIARISM - Refers to representing someone else’s ideas, writing or other intellectual property as one’s own. Any use of the work of others (the ideas, expressions, designs, inventions, writing etc. of another whether done by direct quote or by paraphrasing), whether published, unpublished or posted electronically, attributed or anonymous, must include proper acknowledgement. Plagiarism hinders learning and the development of learning skills and work habits. In written submissions, this is a very serious offense which will result in a mark of zero. 

Sometimes plagiarism is unintentional; this can occur when students don’t fully understand the difference between proper and improper acknowledgment of the resources they’ve used in producing work. At other times, plagiarism is deliberate -- in that students knowingly attempt to deceive their teachers by passing off the work of others as their own. Both unintentional and deliberate plagiarism can result in serious consequences in both high school and post-secondary settings.

The following constitute acts of plagiarism or academic dishonesty:

  • ​direct “lifting” or “cutting and pasting” from sources without acknowledgment;
  • submitting work done by another student as one’s own;
  • failure to use embedded references (citations) to acknowledge the ideas and language drawn from sources;
  • failure to use embedded references (citations) to acknowledge the use of charts, statistics, graphs, images or other materials;
  • paraphrasing too closely to the original source material; failure to use quotation marks to indicate phrases and other pieces of language drawn from sources;
  • failure to accurately and fully record all your references and sources in Works Cited;
  • having a tutor, editor or other helper write or produce much of the work for you;
  • re-submitting work that has been submitted for evaluation in other courses  (Students who want to re-visit, extend and resubmit  former assignments must seek approval and direction – well in advance— from their current teacher).

 As well, the following factors may lead to suspected plagiarism:

  • ​​submitted work is inconsistent with previous submissions;
  • sufficient process work has not been submitted.


“It is students’ responsibility to ensure that their work is not plagiarized.”

 Students shall provide original evidence of their learning and achievement and appropriately acknowledge the work of others by:

  • ​understanding the key concepts and definitions related to academic honesty;
  • understanding the range of supports to promote academic honesty;
  • using skills and strategies to prevent cheating and plagiarizing;
  • understanding the consequences applied when cheating and/or plagiarizing is detected;
  • demonstrating the learning skills and work habits that support lifelong learning;
  • acknowledging all sources using the required citation format;
  • obtaining permission, where possible, to use others’ intellectual property; and
  • actively seeking clarification and support when needed. 


In the event that plagiarism is confirmed or suspected, the following procedure will be followed:

  • ​the student will be advised that the teacher considers the work plagiarized;
  • student will be asked to provide proof to the teacher that the work is original;
  • if the student fails to provide proof, or if the proof is unconvincing, the teacher will assign a mark of zero to the work;
  • furthermore, if the plagiarism or breach of academic honesty is deemed to be deliberate, the student’s name and the nature of the offence will be recorded in a “plagiarism register” in the front office and a mark of zero may be assigned without an opportunity to re-do the assignment, complete an alternative assignment or have the mark dropped;
  • if the teacher determines that the infraction is unintentional and very minor/technical, the teacher, at his or her discretion, may require the student to re-work or re-do the assignment as an alternative to zero*;
  • an appeal can be made to the Department Head;
  • a further appeal can be made to Administration.

* Note: Teachers will be much less likely to exercise this discretion with the work of senior students who, by grades 11 and 12, are expected to have fully acquired the knowledge, skills and habits necessary to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

A few final words: Begin your assignments early; complete, organize and keep all process work. Develop the knowledge and skills that will result in projects and assignments you can be proud of. Do your own best work, with integrity, and give credit to those whose ideas you use in the process. (When in doubt, cite!)


All citations and references must use either the Modern Language Association (MLA) format or the American Psychological Association (APA) for documenting sources used in the preparation of an essay and other research assignments.

Teachers may arrange for instruction on Works Cited and citations through the Teacher Librarians; student questions are always welcome on an individual basis.

Use of Secondary Source

  • ​All sources consulted in the preparation of essays, presentations, and other research assignments must be accompanied by a List of Works Cited.
  • Citations (also known as Embedded References) must follow borrowed information in the body of your work. These brief references correspond to the full reference in your Works Cited list.​


Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents Policy outlines the process by which policies are reviewed, and is available on our website. Questions or comments can be addressed to the Assistant Manager of Board and Trustee Services. The full policy can be found at the following URL:


 Unionville High School. (n.d.). Policies and Procedures – Academic Honesty and Documentation of Sources. Retrieved from​

York Region District School Board. (September, 2011). Academic Honesty and Timely Completion and Submission of Assignments. Retrieved from


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