Academic Policies and Procedures

Vista Peak Preparatory expects all students to conduct themselves with honor and to utilize ethical means in achieving academic success. Any act that violates the spirit of authorship or gives undue advantage is a violation. The VPP Academic Integrity Policy covers all school related tests, quizzes, reports, class assignments, presentations, and projects both in and out of class. Any violation will be documented in Infinite Campus to ensure appropriate implementation of interventions and/or consequences across all content areas. The purpose of VPP Academic Policy is to prepare students for the reality created by ease of access to technology, for the world of post-secondary readiness and beyond, where cheating and plagiarism have dire consequences. Although no list can be entirely comprehensive, the following definitions, categories, and examples may serve as a reference.

  • Plagiarism is to commit literary theft; to steal and pass off as one’s own ideas or words, and to create the production of another. When you use someone else’s words, you must put quotation marks around them and give the writer or speaker credit by citing the source. Even if you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else, if you use someone else’s ideas you must give the author credit.
    • This also includes quoting another person’s work in its entirety or even whole paragraphs.
  • Cheating is the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving; to act dishonestly. When you use someone else’s work to complete your own work-include , but not limited to online resources, work of peers, and/or work of a teacher.
  • Forgery is the act of producing a document, signature, or other written documentation made falsely with the intent to deceive for the purpose of academic advantage.

All parties concerned—students, parents, and administrators—are to understand that the teacher’s professional judgment will determine whether a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred.

Minor Offenses

  • Copying the work of another student
  • Using cheat sheets/notes
  • Communicating during an exam (roving eyes, talking, passing notes, etc)
  • Improper use of electronic devices or internet sites
  • Copying and Pasting portions of text from a document, article, etc. into your own work and not giving credit
  • Collaboration on assignments meant to be done individually
  • Self-Plagiarism through the resubmission of previous work from another class. You can think of this as Recycling Assignments!

Serious Offenses

  • Stealing, selling, and/or receiving a copy of exam and/or exam answers
  • Forging transcripts/report card
  • Forging signatures for the purpose of academic advantage
  • Altering grades in the teacher’s gradebook
  • Taking an examination for someone else
  • Having/hiring others to take exams or complete projects/papers
  • Turning in someone else’s work as one's own
  • Submission of work, either in part or in whole completed by another
  • Using bribery/blackmail/threats/intimidation in pursuit of a better grade

Disciplinary Action for 1st Minor Offense

  • Teacher-Student RAC with parent contact
  • Referral for Support
  • Re-do assignment for up to 75% of grade
  • After-School Restoration

Disciplinary Action for 1st Serious Offense

  • Teacher-Student RAC with parent contact
  • Referral for Support
  • RAC with Dean
  • Conduction of an investigation
  • Receive a “0” on the assignment
  • In-School Restoration with Reintegration Conference between SA, student, and teacher

Disciplinary Action for 2nd Minor Offense

  • Teacher-Student RAC with parent contact
  • Referral for Support
  • RAC with Dean
  • Receive a “0” zero on the assignment
  • Referral to Counselor
  • In-School Restoration

Disciplinary Action for 2nd Serious Offense

  • Referral for Support
  • Receive a “0” zero on the assignment
  • Referral to Counselor
  • Meeting with SA, counselor, teacher, and parents
  • Student Support Plan with Suspension

Disciplinary Action for 3rd Minor Offense

  • Receive “0” on assignment
  • Referral for Support
  • Meeting with SA, counselor, teacher, and parents
  • Student Support Plan with Suspension
  • Possible withdrawal from class and designation of “F” on transcript for course section

Disciplinary Action for 3rd Serious Offense

  • Referral for Support
  • Receive a “0” zero on the assignment
  • Meeting with SA, counselor, teacher, and parents
  • Student Support Plan with Suspension
  • Withdrawal from class and designation of “F” on transcript for course section
  • Alternative placement will be arranged for the remainder of the quarter

If many students are involved, or the seriousness of the offense warrants an investigation, write a Referral for Support for each student involved with concrete evidence and details of the incident.

Student Responsibilities

  • Read and know the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Observe all course-specific rules and consequences established by your teachers.
  • Report to the teacher if cheating is taking place and how it is being done.
  • Do not copy homework or let someone else copy your homework.
  • Only work with others when the teacher has specifically given permission.
  • If collaboration has not been specified as permissible, the assignment must be your individual honest effort.
  • Take responsibility for doing your fair share on a collaborative assignment.
  • On papers, do not summarize, paraphrase or quote without proper documentation.
  • During tests and quizzes, keep your paper covered and your eyes on your own paper.
  • When in doubt, clarify with the teacher what aids may be used on a test or quiz (calculator, notes, etc.).
  • Do not talk during a test or quiz except to the teacher.
  • Do not discuss any aspect of the test until the teacher has returned it or given permission to discuss it.

Teacher Responsibilities

  • Be precise about expectations for students on assignments, tests, quizzes, papers, etc.
    • This includes review the Academic Integrity Policy and possible consequences each time.
  • Communicate your course-specific rules and consequences verbally and in writing.
  • Address the use of study aids (e.g., SparkNotes, tutors, etc.) in course work.
  • Clearly specify when collaboration with other students is permitted on an assignment.
  • Review student work regularly for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Report violations of the Academic Integrity Policy regarding your own class assignments via a Referral for Support.
  • Report violations of the Academic Integrity Policy regarding another teacher’s class assignments to that teacher (i.e., when an English teacher observes students copying Math homework in English class, the English teacher should report that to the Math teacher).
  • Tell students when they are allowed to discuss a test after it has been given.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

  • Read and know the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Help your student(s) understand you value academic integrity and expect your student(s) to comply with the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Support the disciplinary actions if the Academic Integrity Policy is violated.
  • When helping your student(s) with assignments, ensure that their work remains their own.

Administrator Responsibilities

  • Make available to all students, teachers and parents a copy of the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Facilitate ongoing conversations and reflection about the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Administer fair and consistent consequences for offenses of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Maintain records of Academic Integrity Policy offenses.