A Philosophy of Integrity

  • Morse Pond School is a school dedicated to the ethical attainment of knowledge by sincere, committed effort.  Therefore, the Morse Pond School community recognizes the crucial role of personal integrity in all academic endeavors and accomplishments.  This tradition of co-curricular excellence can continue only if all accomplishments take place within a climate of honesty, respect, pride, responsibility, and trust.

The Pillars of Honor

  • The commitment to academic integrity rests upon four pillars: honesty, respect, responsibility, and trust.  What do these four pillars of honesty, respect, responsibility, and trust mean at Morse Pond School?

    1. Honesty:
      1. Completing all academic tasks truthfully
      2. Acting and speaking truthfully and sincerely
      3. Exercising daily commitment to the highest standards of honesty in one’s actions, since any act of dishonesty reflects poorly upon a student and affects the entire school community. 
      4. Recognizing that students’ integrity is at stake regardless of who gives or receives the information; both are acts of dishonesty. 
      5. Remaining true to oneself, thus preventing damage to one’s most precious possession - one’s character.
    2. Respect:
      1. Tolerating others, their views and values
      2. Having high regard for one’s own well-being, as well as that of others.
      3. Extending thoughtfulness and understanding to others.
    3. Responsibility:
      1. Having a commitment to duty, including assigned duties and those for which one volunteers.
      2. Recognizing the obligation to the ownership of one’s work, deeds, words, and actions.
      3. Assuming personal accountability for doing the right thing.
      4. Attending all classes on time, contributing to discussions, meeting academic deadlines, and performing to the best of one’s ability.
    4. Trust:
      1. Having faith that others will act in an honest, respectful, and responsible manner.
      2. Relying on the integrity, ability and character of others
      3. Developing a mutual relationship between students and faculty that enhances the learning environment.

    At Morse Pond School, all academic work submitted by students must be guided by the Honor Code.

Proactive/Preventative Measures

  • Honest excellence in education requires a partnership in learning with administrators, teachers, parents, support staff, and students committed to daily interactions that reflect mutual respect and trust.  Specifically in regard to the classroom, all have responsibilities in the following areas:

    1. Preparation for Class: In order for the teacher and student to be actively involved in a worthwhile classroom experience:
      1. Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and/or Support Staff will:
        1. Foster classroom environments that allow for open communication, dialogue, and discussion among all present.
        2. Be precise about expectations regarding student requirements for classroom work.
        3. Support and help maintain a safe and orderly learning environment.
      2. Students will:
        1. Bring all necessary materials to class.
        2. Come to class with homework assignments prepared.
        3. Make sure they understand teachers’ expectations for upcoming classes and ask questions if they do not fully understand.
        4. Be actively involved as they prepare assignments for class. 
        5. Formulate questions that they might have about the material.
    2. In Class:
      1. Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and/or Support Staff will:
        1. Encourage honest, open, and fair classroom discussion, being respectful of differing views.
      2. Students will:
        1. Be in class on time.
        2. Make good use of class time by being focused on the lesson, not engaging in side conversations.
        3. Be respectful of the teacher and fellow students.
        4. Take responsibility for carrying out a particular assignment in a collaborative situation, where applicable.
    3. Exams:
      1. Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and/or Support Staff will:
        1. Be available to help students prepare effectively. 
        2. Help students develop effective test-taking techniques.
        3. Develop exam questions that will be a meaningful test of the course content.
        4. Create an atmosphere conducive to fair and honest testing.
        5. Monitor the exam carefully to prevent cheating.
        6. Give due and careful consideration to student answers when evaluating them and assigning grades.
        7. Address issues of dishonesty promptly, should they arise.
      2. Students will:
        1. Come prepared and put forth their best efforts.
        2. Read and follow directions carefully.
        3. Rely on their own preparation as they take the test; make an honest effort.
        4. Accept responsibility for what they know and what they don’t know
    4. Assignments:
      1. Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and/or Support Staff will:
        1. Specify clearly when collaboration with other students is permitted on the assignment.  If collaboration has not been specified as permissible, the assignment must be the students’ individual honest efforts.
        2. Devise meaningful assignments that enhance and further the work done in the classroom.
        3. Give due and careful consideration when evaluating and assigning a grade to students’ work
        4. Address issues of dishonesty promptly, should they arise.
      2. Students will:
        1. Be good time managers; be realistic about the workload and plan ahead.
        2. Read and follow directions carefully.
        3. Seek only appropriate help from others.
        4. Give full and proper credit to all sources of information according to currently accepted Modern Language Association guidelines.

Violations of the Honor Code

  • Teachers’ expectations for all work are clearly stated.  If a student is unsure of the requirements for any activity or assignment, to avoid a violation of the Honor Code, the student is responsible for checking their understanding with the teacher.  Violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to the following areas:

    1. Honesty:

    At Morse Pond School, cheating consists of offering or receiving information under circumstances when information is not to be shared.  Cheating may also involve the act of plagiarism.  This may be direct copying, but it may also be more complex than verbatim repetition.  Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

    1. Copying and/or offering homework verbally, in written form, or by electronic means or obtaining homework answers from answer guides in texts.
    2. Copying and/or offering answers on exams or quizzes verbally, in written form, or by electronic means.
    3. Pressuring other students to violate the Honor Code.
    4. Bringing in and/or using unauthorized information during class time, including information stored in a calculator or other electronic means.
    5. Having anyone, including parents or tutors, complete assignments and submitting the work as one’s own.
    6. Presenting collaborative work as independent work and independent work as collaborative (in group work, one person should not and will not bear the burden for the entire group assignment).
    7. Fabricating data, information, or sources; attempting to pass off fabricated material as the result of genuine efforts.
    8. Submitting images and/or documents in whole or in part from the Internet or other sources without citation of the source(s), effectively claiming the work of another as one’s own.
    9. Using another’s ideas without proper citations.
    10. Using an individual’s personal statements without citations.

    B. Respect:

    1. Speaking with the intent of hurting another.
    2. Physically violating others.
    3. Defacing the property of Morse Pond School or the property of a member of the Morse Pond School Community.
    4. Displaying intolerance to another’s views and values.

    C. Responsibility:

    1. Not assuming the proper responsibility for one’s work, deeds, words, and actions, either those assigned or those for which one has volunteered.
    2. Refusing to acknowledge accountability for doing the right thing.
    3. Failing to attend classes on time or failing to fulfill academic expectations.

    D. Trust:

    1. Refusing unreasonably to collaborate with fellow members of the Morse Pond School Community.
    2. Failing to assume accountability for other’s trust in oneself.