Honor System Emphasizes Personal and Academic Honesty

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 4.58.53 PMOne of the most important aspects of Northwood School is the idea that student exhibits both personal and academic honesty. In order for this to happen, students must read and acknowledge the Honor System and accept all its tenants and responsibilities.

This Honor Code was developed by the Headmaster’s Council with the understanding that a school’s student culture is the result of the actions of the students themselves, as it is their duty to exhibit the core values in their own lives.

honor code

On every piece of academic work done for a grade, be it nightly homework or a final exam, each student must physically write “On my honor I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this paper” and sign his or her name. This Honor Code is of the utmost importance and is based on the idea that a person’s honor is sacred, that his or her word is his or her bond.

It is our belief that a Northwood Student must exhibit personal honor, personal integrity, honesty in all walks of life, and respect for all people.

The Honor System is based on the idea that a Northwood Student will exhibit the following principles:

  1. A student will respect personal property be it physical or intellectual
  2. A student’s word is his or her bond
  3. A student must always exhibit the five core values: respect, responsibility, courage, compassion, and integrity

Constitution

Article 1

Violations of the Honor System shall consist of:

  1. Theft of intellectual property, otherwise known as plagiarism
  2. Theft of physical property
  3. Going against one’s word or lying
  4. Cheating on an assessment

Article 2

Honor Code:

  1. The phrase “On my honor” written at the end of homework assignments shall suffice as an abbreviation for “On my honor I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this paper.”
  2. On all other work, the statement must be written out in its entirety. Were a student not to sign the pledge, he or she would be notified by the teacher and asked to sign it. If he or she could not comply, an investigation by the Honor Committee will ensue. If he or she does comply, the Dean of Academics can start an investigation at his or her discretion.

Article 3

Honor Committee:

  1. There shall be an Honor Committee consisting of a selected, experienced faculty member and three rotating respected student leaders in the senior class to deal with all cases involving the Honor System violations as defined earlier.
  2. The Honor Committee shall have the right to summon accused persons along with anyone who may have information about the alleged offense. It also shall have a say in decisions regarding punishments or penalties.
  3. All cases will be recorded on paper and records will be given to the Headmaster

Article 4

Punishment:

Punishment for offenses will be split into three main responses

  1. Minor offenses will place a student on warning for the remainder of his or her Northwood career: another minor offense will earn a student separation from the school, another intermediate/severe offense will in all likelihood result in dismissal
  2. Intermediate offenses will earn a student separation from the school for a period of time (suspension) and will place the student on warning for the remainder of his or her Northwood career
  3. Severe or egregious offenses will result in a student’s dismissal from the school

Article 5

The Honor System’s success is reliant upon the will of the student body to cooperate. Individual students must decide whether or not to report offenses to the Honor Committee or Dean of Academics.

Article 6

Personal Honor

This preamble and constitution shall be announced and explained to all students, new or returning, at the beginning of each academic year.

Article 7

Any Amendments or Articles can be changed or by a three-quarters vote of the upperclassmen (seniors and juniors) with approval from the Head of the school and the faculty.

– Written by Nikita Tafazoli ’16, on behalf of the Headmaster’s Council. Other members include: Bridgit Sullivan, Dillon Smith, Brendan Bette, Diane Yu, Eric Strait, Hao Lei, Maris Van Slyke, 

Ideas for the Honor System were drawn from a number of independent boarding schools, including The Taft School.

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