Grand Forks Central Academic Integrity

  • The Academic Integrity Committee at Grand Forks Central High School has developed a plan to address issues of cheating and plagiarism during the school year. The plan is a derivative of the “Character Education Theme” that guides the behavior of students and staff at Grand Forks Central. In the spirit of good character, we will ask that our students become aware of these issues and educate themselves to make good choices when considering the sharing of information or use of published materials. We offer the following definitions to assist our students in clarifying these topics:

    ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Academic Integrity is expected of all students at Grand Forks Central High School. Academic integrity requires honesty and is fundamental to the six virtues of character that are the foundation of student behavior at Central. Personal responsibility for all academic performance is essential, and the work that a student submits must be the student’s own.

    CHEATING: Cheating is the act of giving or receiving aid without the specific consent of the teacher. It is an intentional act of breaking the rules in order to achieve personal gain through fraud or deceit. Cheating includes but is not limited to:

    • Copying from another student’s assignment, project, test, or homework without teacher consent for collaboration.
    • Using material, or inappropriate procedures, during a test not authorized by the teacher.
    • Sharing assignments, projects, tests, or homework with another student without teacher approval.
    • Soliciting or receiving unauthorized information about any assignment, project, test, or homework.

    PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism occurs when an individual deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or original material without acknowledging its source. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:

    • Copying someone else’s research.
    • Claiming someone else’s words, ideas, plots, characters, theories, opinions, concepts, design, or art work as one’s own by failing to give credit to the writer or creator.
    • Paraphrasing the ideas of others or recopying someone else’s words without citing the source.
    • Submitting someone else’s text (paper) as one’s own.
    • Carelessly or inadequately citing the ideas and words borrowed from another source.
    • If a student has concerns or questions about how to cite material for a particular assignment, the student has a responsibility to consult his/her teacher.


    As evidenced by the research, cheating and plagiarism is a national problem in educational institutions. Recent student surveys at Central High School have indicated that cheating and plagiarism is a problem. When a focus group of students were asked if cheating or plagiarism is a problem at Central, almost 90% indicated “yes”. The perception and reality is that students cheat or plagiarize on assignments and tests.


    When students were asked about some of the ways that students cheat, they responded with the following techniques:

    • writing on gum papers
    • writing on arms or hands
    • using sticky notes under the desk
    • asking others what was on the test
    • cheat sheet inside of calculators
    • making motions with their arms or hands
    • passing notes during the test
    • making notes on the back of the answer sheet
    • wearing baggy clothing
    • leaning over the desk to cover notebook
    • writing on the desk
    • cheat sheet under the desk
    • writing on shoes
    • imprints on paper
    • coughing
    • sneezing
    • tapping on the desk.

    HONOR CODE: In confirmation of our commitment to “Academic Integrity” at Central, we will ask each student to sign a declaration of academic integrity at the beginning of the school year. By signing this declaration the student is agreeing to submit work that has been completed on their own.


    • Research, write, and submit your own essays, research papers, projects, and assignments.
    • Bring only authorized materials to use in class and on exams/tests.
    • Follow the proper testing procedures as directed by the teacher.
    • Comply with the guidelines in completing projects, tests, note taking, and assignments.
    • Correctly cite the ideas, words, plots, characters, theories, opinions, and research of others.
    • Reproduce published and web material within the proper copyright guidelines.
    • Use only authorized materials, information, notes, study aids in any academic exercise.
    • Comply with the standards and guidelines established for technology and computer use.


    FIRST OCCURRENCE: (Teacher will choose one or both of these options)

    1. No credit on the students affected work, and/or
    2. Notification to parents with the option of the student receiving some credit for the work.


    1. No credit on the affected work, and
    2. Notification to parents, and
    3. Notification to the associate principal and student’s counselor.


    1. Student/Parent meeting with teacher, associate principal, and counselor to determine further action.


    Research projects conducted by Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of Center for Academic Integrity), have reported disturbing, provocative, and challenging results, among them the following:

    • On most campuses, over 75% of students admit to some cheating. In a 1999 survey of 2,100 students on 21 campuses across the country, about one-third of the participating students admitted to serious test cheating and half admitted to one or more instances of serious cheating on written assignments.
    • Academic honor codes effectively reduce cheating. Surveys conducted in 1990, 1995, and 1999, involving over 12,000 students on 48 different campuses, demonstrate the impact of honor codes and student involvement in the control of academic dishonesty. Serious test cheating on campuses with honor codes is typically 1/3 to 1/2 lower than the level on campuses that do not have honor codes. The level of serious cheating on written assignments is 1/4 to 1/3 lower.
    • Internet plagiarism is a growing concern on all campuses as students struggle to understand what constitutes acceptable use of the Internet. In the absence of clear direction from faculty, most students have concluded that 'cut & paste' plagiarism - using a sentence or two (or more) from different sources on the Internet and weaving this information together into a paper without appropriate citation - is not a serious issue. While 10% of students admitted to engaging in such behavior in 1999, this rose to 41% in a 2001 survey with the majority of students (68%) suggesting this was not a serious issue.
    • Faculties are reluctant to take action against suspected cheaters. In a 1999 survey of over 1,000 faculty on 21 campuses, one-third of those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last two years, did nothing to address it. Students suggest that cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that faculty members are likely to ignore cheating.
    • Longitudinal comparisons show significant increases in serious test/examination cheating and unpermitted student collaboration. For example, the number of students self-reporting instances of unpermitted collaboration at nine medium to large state universities increased from 11% in a 1963 survey to 49% in 1993. This trend seems to be continuing: between 1990 and 1995, instances of unpermitted collaboration at 31 small to medium schools increased from 30% to 38%.
    • A study of almost 4,500 students at 25 schools, conducted in 2000/2001, suggests cheating is also a significant problem in high school - 74% of the respondents admitted to one or more instances of serious test cheating and 72% admitted to serious cheating on written assignments. Over half of the students admitted they have engaged in some level of plagiarism on written assignments using the Internet.