Marin Academy is an educational institution and takes the notion of honesty in all elements of school life seriously. In order to foster a school community based on mutual respect and trust, integrity in personal conduct must form the basis for decisions and actions. Academic honesty is an outgrowth of that integrity and is at the foundation of a genuine education. Presenting the work of others as one’s own is unethical and subject to serious consequences at MA and elsewhere.

Why is plagiarism or cheating such a serious offense?

  • Marin Academy’s philosophy embraces the ultimate goal of teaching students to think for themselves; cheating and plagiarism are the ultimate subversion of that philosophy.
  • The work of others is devalued when individuals benefit from work that is not their own.
  • Dishonesty can be habit-forming.
  • Colleges and universities ask about a student’s record of suspensions; colleges and universities do not tolerate academic dishonesty.
  • Examples of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarizing, sharing inappropriate information) are below. Please also refer to Tutoring and Tutoring Guidelines in the Student Family Handbook.

Cheating includes but is not limited to:

  • Lying to a teacher.
  • Copying homework (does not include collaboration explicitly permitted by the teacher).
  • Copying from someone else’s quiz, test, lab, or paper, using cheat sheets, books, or unauthorized sources of information.
  • Illicit use of calculators (writing and storing formulas, text, or unauthorized programs) during quizzes, tests, and exams.
  • Getting or supplying information about a test or quiz.
  • Supplying work product (such as a problem set or a draft of an essay) to another student.
  • Obtaining, without authorization, a quiz, test, exam, or any parts thereof before taking the test.
  • Submitting the same material (written or oral) in more than one class without checking with teachers ahead of time.
  • Fabricating data to fit expected results.
  • Altering any answers or grades on any test or assignment after it has been submitted for grading.
  • Forging, falsifying, or altering any information on application forms, transcripts, school records, etc.

Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:

  • Submitting a paper or other work written in whole or in part by someone else (this may include but is not limited to a homework assignment, outline, report, lab, theme, design, web page design or content).
  • Using words or ideas of others (quotation, documented idea, paraphrased passage) without citing the source. This includes information downloaded from the Internet.
  • Obtaining and using experimental data from other students without the express consent of the teacher, using lab write-ups or data from other sections or previous classes.

Consequences for Academic Honesty Violations

Acting in consultation with classroom teachers, the Dean of Students, Lynne Hansen, and Academic Dean, KaTrina Wentzel, deal with all questions of academic honesty. If a student is found to be dishonest in their academic work at Marin Academy, the disciplinary consequences are serious. First offenses result in an F for the piece of work (paper, test, quiz, homework, etc.), a mandatory meeting with the Dean of Students and Academic Dean, and a call and a letter home. If there is a second offense, consequences include an F on the piece of work, a mandatory meeting with the Dean of Students and Academic Dean, a call and letter home, and a separation from the School (which may range from suspension up to expulsion from the School). This disciplinary action is automatically reported to colleges, whether the student was an applicant or already admitted, to respect the integrity of the School’s recommendation obligation to colleges.

If a student in a gradeless class is found to be dishonest, all consequences other than a grade reduction are adhered to. In addition, the student may be asked to complete a new or substitute version of their work.

Ninth-Graders and Academic Honesty

Our desire is to educate our students to cite sources and to recognize the complexities that may arise in properly doing so. With that goal in mind, and given the new academic landscape ninth-graders encounter, ninth-graders who make a first-time plagiarism mistakes or procedural errors (i.e., not blatant or intentional plagiarism) will be asked to rewrite/recreate the assignment and resubmit the piece to be graded by the teacher. The grade will be lowered by one full grade (e.g., a B would become a C) unless this occurs in a gradeless class. Note that this policy is only in place for the first lack of citation in ninth grade. Cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty (including intentional plagiarizing) do not fall under this category of response.

Marin Academy gratefully acknowledges Riverdale Country Day’s Academic Honesty policy and some of its language in updating our own policy.