Academic Integrity

The shared values of all members of the Keystone Academy community – students, parents, teaching and support staff – remind us that we agree to "act in ways that show respect, compassion, and consideration for others." These core values, rooted in the Confucian Tradition, call us to become our best selves. Academic work affords us the opportunity to develop not only our knowledge and perseverance, but to embody our community's values of Li (Respect 礼) and Xin (Honesty 信) in very practical ways.

Keystone's policy on Academic Integrity supports the growth and learning of students, and the cohesiveness of the academic community. We believe that upholding the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity is the work of the whole school, including teachers, library staff, parents, students and administrators. This document outlines the complementary roles and responsibilities that each group has in order to ensure:

1. That students understand clearly the importance of academic honesty, and are equipped with the tools necessary to produce academic work of high caliber.

2. The integrity of the Keystone community, and the development of the character of individuals who comprise it.


To act with "Academic Integrity" is to produce schoolwork that is authentically your own, while also acknowledging the contributions and ideas of others.

Students and teachers alike create original work, often in collaboration with others, and always in conversation with ideas, concepts and forms that have come before. We often take in information and apply ourselves earnestly to practice that information (lianxi 练习) as the first step in developing deep and refined mastery (jing 精). Over time, we develop insight that combines our own response to material with that of previous thinkers, our classmates and our teachers.

The greater Academic Community of which Keystone is a part demands that students, in all their work, honestly represent their own achievement in mastering material, and acknowledge forthrightly where and when they are building on the ideas of others. This virtuous honesty (xin 信) is at the heart of the academic notion of integrity -- to show outwardly understanding that one has worked to develop internally, and to give due credit and respect (li 礼) to those who have collaborated in that process. Academic work is not only about knowing things: it is also about becoming a good and wise person.


Schools are demanding environments. We all are busy, and we all want to do well. The Internet has made resources more readily available to us, and students can often feel pressured to attain high achievement in every facet of their lives. These facts, together, can conspire to create situations where a student may be tempted to cut and paste material from a website into a paper without proper citation, or glance at a classmate's paper during a quiz – any number of shortcuts that attempt to display outwardly what is not yet possessed internally.

Academic Malpractice includes, but is not limited to

1. Cheating and Collusion.

a. Giving or receiving information about the content or format of a quiz or test in advance, orgiving or receiving answers during a quiz or test.

b. Attempting to gain unfair advantage by referring to notes, outlines, calculators, translators,etc. during quizzes or tests, unless explicitly allowed by your teacher.

c. Allowing one's work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another student.

d. Having someone else do work assigned to you.

e. Allowing outside tutors to alter substantially the content and quality of your written workwithout explicit communication with the teacher.

f. Using a calculator, translator, or other electronic device in a manner inconsistent with your teacher's directions.

2. Plagiarism.

a. Knowingly submitting the ideas or work of others as your own and without proper citation.

b. Paraphrasing extensively without proper attribution and citation.

3. Duplicating work: presenting the same, or largely the same, work for credit or as ungraded homework in different classes.

Keystone classrooms are supportive environments, and we urge students to communicate openly and honestly with their teachers when they do not feel prepared for assessments or are unable to meet deadlines. We want our students to develop their academic knowledge and skills in ways that also develop their good character. Acknowledging a temporary deficiency, accepting a relatively minor consequence, and trying harder next time is much better than showing disrespect for the learning process, one's peers, and the teacher.


Keystone Classroom Teachers:

• In their written course overviews and in classroom discussion, teachers are explicit about their expectationsfor academic honesty and what that looks like in their subject area. Those expectations are shared amongcolleagues, and clearly communicated to students, parents, and administrators.

• Teachers model good practice in citation and attribution in the preparation of class materials, and theyinstruct their students in these techniques.

• Teachers are consistent in their expectations of academic integrity for all elements of course work, includinghomework, tests, papers, and presentations.

• Teachers address issues of academic malpractice in a forthright and timely manner.

• Teachers remain open to conversations with their students about course expectations and deadlines, establishing a supportive classroom dynamic along with maintaining high expectations.

Keystone Library Staff:

• The library staff collaborates with classroom teachers to develop research strategies and citation skills appropriate to each discipline area.

• The library staff engages in a partnership with classroom teachers to develop, clearly communicate and support expectations of academic integrity.

Keystone Parents:

• Parents talk with their children about the implications of academic integrity, and encourage their children todo as much homework as they can on their own and to express themselves in their own words.

• Parents clearly communicate with teachers if they give substantial assistance on a homework assignment.

• Parents allow their children to make mistakes, to find their own voice, and to struggle with academic work:this is the process that results in deep and abiding learning.

Keystone Students:

• Ask questions of their teachers, librarians, and parents if they are unsure of citation requirements or their responsibilities as members of an academic community.

• Accept that academic work is often difficult, and that struggle and perseverance is central to the development of their understanding and their character, even if it does not result in the grades they had hoped for.

• Attempt to plan their homework time and schedule in such a way as to avoid coming up short on preparation time.

• Refrain from any form of academic malpractice, even when they feel under pressure.

• Never put classmates in the compromising position of having to "look the other way" or ask them to provide answers.

• Communicate honestly and openly with parents and teachers when they are not prepared.

Keystone Administrators:

• Ensure that expectations for Academic Integrity are shared, and consistently applied, among all teachers.

• Ensure that expectations of academic honesty and citation requirements in individual courses are clearly communicated to students and parents.

• Communicate in a timely manner with parents, students, and the teacher when an incident of academic malpractice arises, including the process for a formal school response.

If a student is suspected of academic malpractice, as described above, teachers have a duty to make a brief investigation,and report the incident to her or his division head, who will investigate further. If an incident of plagiarism, cheating, collusion, duplication of work, or other academic malpractice is substantiated, the student will be subject to the school's disciplinary process and academic sanctions, as outlined in the Keystone Community Handbook.

A last word

Keystone Academy is about learning.

We make this policy statement in support of students and their development, both in the classroom and as members of a community. It is a statement about trust, high expectations, and the structures that lead to student success, rather than mistrust and punishment. Ensuring Academic Integrity is a collaborative effort, and vitally important to the young people who live and learn within our walls. The success of one is the success of us all.

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