Academic and Assessment Policy

St. Thomas Aquinas CSS Academic Honesty Policy

Statement of purpose

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) is committed to assessment and evaluation practices that are grounded in the belief that all students should be able to demonstrate their learning in an environment that reflects the Catholic values of fairness, equity, and respect for all.

It is the responsibility of students to be academically honest in all aspects of their schoolwork so that the marks they receive are a true reflection of their own achievement. Academic dishonesty, therefore, is a serious offence, and, as a result, it is imperative that students understand what academic dishonesty entails and are clear as to consequences. It is the responsibility of school staff to communicate to students that academic honesty is required in all aspects of their schoolwork.

Student Responsibilities

To ensure academic honesty and avoid instances of plagiarism students are expected to:

  • seek clarification from teachers about what constitutes plagiarism;
  • seek remediation when their research skills are deficient;
  • ensure that all their work is original and that they cite sources accurately and consistently;
  • make sure that information they have used is acknowledged in the body of the text and is fully listed in the bibliography using the referencing style agreed with your teacher;
  • cite their sources so that readers can find them; if they cannot state the origin of the source it is probably better not to use it;
  • make clear which words, ideas, images and works are not their own (including maps, charts, musical compositions, movies, computer source codes, and any other material);
  • give credit for copied, adapted, and paraphrased material;
  • when using text, make clear where the borrowed material starts and finishes;

Teacher responsibilities

Teachers will:

  • define and explain plagiarism and academic dishonesty to ensure students are aware of what academic dishonesty entails using subject and grade specific examples;
  • discuss the ethical dilemmas presented by plagiarism with students;
  • instruct students on appropriate research and citation practices;
  • monitor students’ work and provide ongoing feedback throughout the assignment process;
  • ensure all assignments are clearly defined, at the student’s developmental level, and accompanied by success criteria;
  • structure assignments when possible in a way that discourages plagiarism;
  • ensure that student work completed within a group project is evaluated individually;
  • ensure that assignments for evaluation, tests, and exams are completed, whenever possible, under the supervision of a teacher.

 School responsibilities

Schools will:

  • explain the Board Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism to all students;
  • communicate board and school practices to all stakeholders e.g.  via student agendas, school webpage, info evenings;
  • Schools will teach and reinforce appropriate referencing protocols for students;
  • Access and consistently utilize the software: “Turnitin” to assist with detecting plagiarism.

Parent responsibilities

Parents may:

  • encourage students to plan each assignment;
  • provide support with the scheduling of their work, as they may have many assignments to complete;
  • encourage students to ask their teacher for advice if they are having difficulty with their work;
  • familiarize themselves with the school policy on academic honesty;
  • understand what constitutes academic misconduct;
  • know the consequences of their son/daughter being in breach of regulations;
  • model responsible and ethical behaviour in their support of their son/daughter;
  • promote and value learning over grades.

Unacceptable practice

Academic Dishonesty is broadly understood to mean offences against the academic integrity of the learning environment. This would include, but is not limited, to the following:

  • copying from another student or making information available to another student for the purpose of copying during a test/examination/quiz or for individual/group assignments;
  • failing to follow instructions of the presiding teacher during a test or examination;
  • submitting any written work (electronic or hard copy) in whole or in part which has been written by someone else;
  • using direct quotations or paraphrased material in any assignment without giving the proper acknowledgement;
  • submitting an essay/assignment written by someone else e.g. buying an essay online, downloading an essay from a free website, having someone else complete one’s assignment or copying or using work done by another student (including homework);
  • piecing together material from one or several sources and adding only linking sentences.
  • quoting or paraphrasing material without citing the source of the material, including books, magazines or print from all electronic sources (videos, podcasts, etc.);
  • use of translators for assessment purposes without teacher permission;
  • not providing quotation marks for direct quotations, even if sources have been cited.
  • Self-plagiarism refers to the practice of submitting the same work, in whole or in part, for credit in two or more courses, or in the same course more than once, without the permission of the instructor. Self-plagiarism can also include presenting one’s previously created work as though it were new.

Outcomes of academic misconduct

When plagiarism or academic dishonesty is suspected teachers will:

  • gather evidence of the plagiarism or academic dishonesty.

Response to Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

When a student has not met the Board’s expectation of academic honesty, a consequence will be applied which will ensure the student’s understanding of the vital importance of academic honesty and the gravity of dishonest behaviour. The consequence will reflect a continuum of behavioural and academic responses that take into account the grade level of the student, the maturity of the student, the number and frequency of incidents, and the individual circumstances, and human dignity of the student.

Schools will:

  • record incidents of academic dishonesty.

Teachers will:

  • discuss the matter with the student(s) involved;
  • define and explain the evidence of academic dishonesty and plagiarism in the student’s work to ensure the student understands why his/her academic honesty is being questioned;
  • inform Administration of repeated minor incidents of academic dishonesty by a student;
  • inform Administration and the student’s parent/guardian in the event of a serious incident that may have an impact on a student’s success.

Teachers may:

  • require the student to do supplementary or alternative work;
  • in consultation with Administration, assign a grade penalty up to the full value of the assignment.

Administration may:

  • meet with the student, parent/guardian, and teacher;
  • assign consequences for the behaviour;
  • limit a student’s eligibility for school awards;
  • suspend the student based on repeated misconduct.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School Late & Missing Policy

Teachers have a leading role in promoting students’ success, academic honesty, and commitment to the values and expectations of the school. Teachers have the responsibility to deliver curriculum, and to communicate assignment expectations clearly and consistently within the Catholic philosophy of education. Teachers will guide students through the development of learning goals and success criteria. Teachers’ professional judgments are at the heart of effective assessment, evaluation and reporting of student achievement.

The following guidelines stem from the perspective above and draws from the following documents: Growing Success, PPM128, HCDSB Policy V1-56, V1-46

In general:

  • All assessment and evaluation activities are due on the assigned date or within the time frame specified by the teacher, with consideration given, but not limited to: IEP, ELL and/or students with medical conditions.
  • Teachers should establish and clearly communicate due dates with students, preferably in collaboration with students, and in coordination with other staff, whenever possible, in order to reasonably balance student workload across disciplines and subject areas
  • Teachers have the obligation to discuss fully with students, late and missed assignment procedures
  • Deadlines regarding mark reporting are absolute (e.g. the teacher needs to submit final grades for reporting by a given date).
  • Students are strongly encouraged to communicate with the teacher when assignments cannot be handed in on time; a new alternative date will be created based on the Late/Missing Assessment Contract.
  • A record of lateness will be kept and reported as part of the students learning skills and this will be reported in the Learning Skills section of the student’s final report card.
  • Progressive discipline measures will be taken for late or missing assignments; as per Growing Success, mark deductions will not result in a percentage mark that, in the professional judgement of the teacher, misrepresents the student’s actual achievement.
  • The return of student assessment and evaluation needs to be timely in order to provide students with feedback which promotes growth and learning


  • Assessments assigned in class, and where time is given for completion during class time, are        due at the end of class.  When the assessment is not completed, the student may be assigned to study hall after school or during lunch to provide the opportunity for completion.  Students may be directed to study hall until the assessment(s) are complete, at the discretion of the teacher. When possible, teachers will make every effort to provide students assigned to study hall with the necessary materials for the successful completion of the missing task. When student completes work during study hall, materials will be placed into teacher attendance folders for pick up by teacher.
  • At the discretion of the teacher and in consultation with Administration student participation in co-curricular activities will be reviewed if late/missing assessments are having a significant impact on student academic achievement.
  • If the student is legitimately absent on the day an assessment is due, he/she should personally submit the assessment on his/her first day back at school or at the discretion of the teacher, within reason.
  • Should there be extenuating circumstances (e.g. long-term illness, bereavement, etc.), the student’s parent or guardian shall notify the school and/or teacher and the St. Thomas Aquinas Late/Missed Assessment Flow-chart will be followed.
  • The Late/Missing Assessment Contract shall be completed for all late or missing assessment pieces.
  • Vacation:  all assessments shall be submitted prior to leaving, or other arrangements shall be in place with the teacher prior to departure.  Parent/Guardian shall inform all teachers and administration in writing (please refer to student handbook).
  • Please be advised that the Late/Missing Assessment Contract is an expectation at St. Thomas Aquinas CSS.  Students who did not fulfill the contract shall be referred to the school administration.
  • Academic Honesty & Integrity: Students shall not plagiarize, cheat, copy or knowingly and deliberately present language, ideas or thoughts of another individual as his or her own work. All sources shall be cited or referenced.  Student dishonesty will be addressed by progressive discipline in consultation with the classroom teacher and school administration.
Dick, RyanAcademic and Assessment Policy