Academic Integrity Information

Mount Vernon High School Academic Integrity Policy (effective June 1st, 2024)

Philosophy on Academic Integrity

Fairfax County Schools encourage students to demonstrate the ability to work interdependently within groups to increase productivity and achieve common goals. Students should act responsibly and ethically. To develop academic integrity in all students, FCPS views cheating and plagiarizing as unacceptable behaviors that have moral and legal implications. Cheating is violating established rules and codes of ethics. Plagiarizing is falsely claiming authorship. Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses.

As a member of Fairfax County Public Schools, Mount Vernon High School adheres to the guidelines, regulations, and policies set forth by the district. 

Implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy at Mount Vernon High School 

The Academic Integrity Policy is in place at Mount Vernon to reinforce our mission, vision, and values. Our philosophy empowers all students to pursue the highest academic standards and engage in interdisciplinary learning by striving to exemplify the characteristics of the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate. We foster an environment where our students are able to embody the IB Learner Profile by becoming more principled in all of their efforts.

We believe that all students can learn and be successful, given the appropriate support, and that it is important to help students learn from their mistakes during the formative process. To be successful, we believe it’s important to instill the value of academic honesty in our students and ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities and expectations from FCPS, as well as the additional responsibilities and expectations, which are explained below.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Be familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy and what constitutes cheating and plagiarizing.
  • Contribute to an honest academic environment: behaving responsibly and honestly during assessments and in-class activities, and avoiding discussions/activities that would give other students an unfair advantage. 
  • Submit all assignments/assessments that adhere to the academic honesty policy and honor code. 
  • Avoid cheating by completing one’s own work and not permitting others to copy their work. 
  • Avoid plagiarism by properly citing statements taken from authors, by acknowledging information and ideas borrowed from any source, and by consulting faculty members about questionable situations. Students are encouraged to use a research platform to help with citations.
  • Students should be aware that MVHS and the IB do not regard any work produced—even only in part—by AI tools, to be their own. Therefore, as with any quote or material from another source, it must be clear that AI-generated prompts, text, image, artwork, or graph included in a piece of work, has been copied from such software. The software must be credited in the body of the text and appropriately referenced in the bibliography (
  • Development of work must be clear to the teacher; thoughtful revisions must be evident and clear in document history, prior to submitting work for grading.
  • Notify a staff member if you become aware of a situation where cheating or plagiarizing has occurred.

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Be very clear and concise with students about what constitutes an academic integrity violation.
  • Ensure students understand when it is okay for them to collaborate with others and when they must work on their own.
    • Provide clarity on legitimate partner and group collaboration – ensure students understand all involved must be contributing and working together. 
  • Via advisory and in appropriate classroom settings, teachers will provide students with instruction about cheating and plagiarism throughout the school year, particularly when working on essays, projects, or assessments.
    • Provide examples and scenarios for discussion. 
    • Provide students with the definitions provided by IB literature for academic integrity, cheating, and plagiarism.
      • Academic Integrity– an authentic piece of work based on one’s original ideas and the work of others being fully acknowledged 
      • Cheating:
        • Collusion – supporting another student in gaining an unfair advantage on assignment (i.e. allowing students to copy each other's work) 
        • Any behavior that gives a student an unfair advantage or affects the result of another student (i.e. using notes when not allowed, copying another student’s work, etc.) 
      • Plagiarism – representing the ideas and work of another person as your own; using the ideas or words of another person without properly citing them
        • Teachers will instruct students on the proper and acceptable way to cite research and other people’s ideas and words in their work (i.e. using footnotes, having a works cited page, using MLA format, using APA format, etc.) 
  • Teach students the difference between summarizing and copying straight from the text. 
  • Teach or review the correct use of sources and citations when assigning work. 
  • Structure the environment during testing to alleviate the possibility of cheating.  
  • Help students learn from their mistakes when an act of cheating or plagiarizing occurs by adhering to the MVHS Academic Integrity Policy and following the consequences outlined below. 

Administrator Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in the development of school-wide policies. 
  • Publish and make available the Academic Integrity Policy to community members. 
  • Support teachers in addressing academic integrity violations. 
  • Support teachers with educating students about academic integrity. 
  • Track student violations of cheating and plagiarism in order to identify trends and patterns that need to be addressed.

Parent Responsibilities: 

  • Support students in adhering to the Academic Integrity Policy. 
  • Be familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy and what constitutes cheating and plagiarizing.
  • Help to create and contribute to an honest academic environment.  

Student Rights:

In the event that a student is suspected of violating the Academic Integrity Policy, he/she has the following rights throughout the situation:

  • The student has the right to explain his or her actions. 
  • The student has the right to ask for further clarification if unclear about why certain actions are considered cheating or plagiarism. 
  • The student has the right to demonstrate his/her knowledge and skills by completing the assignment without cheating or plagiarizing.
  • If a violation occurs, the student has the right to have a parent, teacher, and/or administrator present when discussing the incident. 

Consequences for violating:

If a student violates the Academic Integrity Policy and engages in an act of cheating or plagiarizing, the parent, student, school counselor, and administrator must be informed. In addition, students enrolled in a Dual Enrollment course will need to follow the academic integrity policy of Northern Virginia Community College.  All students must accept responsibility for their actions and the accompanying consequences: 

1st Offense 

  • Parent notification.
  • Teacher-student conference and review of Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Discipline referral is written for records. After-school AIA
  • Students will earn a zero on the assignment, but will have the opportunity to redo the assignment/assessment or complete an alternate assignment/assessment to earn a grade and replace the zero.  

2nd Offense

  • Parent notification.
  • Administrator, IB Coordinator, Teacher, Parent and Student conference and review of Academic Honesty Policy.  
  • Discipline referral and 7 day suspension from activities
  • Students will earn a zero on the assignment, but will be given the opportunity to complete an alternate assignment/assessment to earn a grade and replace the zero.

3rd Offense and subsequent offenses

  • Parent notification.
  • Administrator, IB Coordinator, teacher, parent and student conference and review of Academic Integrity Policy. 
  • Discipline referral andIn-school suspension. 
  • Students will earn a zero on the assignment, but students will be given the opportunity to complete an alternate assignment/assessment to earn a grade and replace the zero.
  • Students will be removed from any honor societies and/or class office for the remainder of the school year. 
  • School personnel must document the violations in any letters of recommendation or records.


IB Internal and External Assessment Academic Honesty Violations: 

At *all stages above*, the following protocol will be followed for IB academic honesty violations: 

  • If students are caught plagiarizing at the drafting and teacher feedback stage for Internal or External Assessments a discipline referral will be submitted for record; however, the student will receive an opportunity to complete the task based on the requirements of the course. Teachers will post the final date they will accept a draft in their Schoology Course. 
  • If students are caught plagiarizing at the FINAL submission stage, a discipline referral will be submitted for record; additionally, the student may not submit their work to IB, which will result in an automatic failure for IB and may result in loss of IB DP or CP status. A final draft is anything turned in after receiving teacher feedback. This work may be resubmitted for a SIS grade but not IB.
  • If a student misses a draft deadline for feedback, the first submission of assessment work will be considered the final draft and final draft protocol will be followed. 
  • Teachers must have access to the entire document history during the assessment process.  Copying and pasting will be considered evidence of plagiarism. 

The consequences above are guidelines for violations of the academic honesty policy and all situations involving academic dishonesty are viewed on an individual basis. The goal in every situation is to ensure that the student is learning from his/her mistakes in an effort to maintain an environment that fosters growth, academic integrity, and the characteristics of the IB Learner Profile and the MVHS P.R.I.D.E. grid.

Reviewed and Updated

The Academic Integrity is to be reviewed annually by teachers and staff at Mount Vernon High School and updated as needed. 

Edited by: 

2024 Language Policy Contributors 

Students Parents

General Education Teacher Administrators 

IB Teacher ESOL Instructor 

IB Coordinators School Librarian

School Counselor SPED Administrator

Director of Student Services


Reviewed by: MHVS Instructional Leadership Council, MVHS Faculty 

Approved by: MVHS Administrative Team

Made public on: June 1st 2024