5. Code of Behaviour
It is the duty and responsibility of the Principal of Virtual High School to enforce the consequences when people do not obey the code of behaviour expected of all people within our online school community.
Regular attendance in any learning environment is vital to school success. Students who do not participate in their online course regularly will diminish their learning experience. The following processes have been put into place to encourage regular attendance by the student:
- The Principal will maintain attendance records as it is expected that students and teachers should login to their course on a regular basis.
- Due to the continuous entry and exit model of our school, there is no prescribed yearly or even semesterized calendar. It is expected that a typical online course will take approximately 110 days or 4 months for the student to complete (assuming a minimum of 1.25 hour per day online participation), but this time may start or end arbitrarily.
- Students who leave a course before completion must communicate their intentions either in writing to the Principal or over the phone in the interest of up-to-date record keeping, before any request can be acted upon.
- To encourage attendance, the Principal will work with the curriculum writers, to set manageable assessment and evaluation assignments early in the course, in order to give the student positive feedback and breakdown any existing technology barriers.
- Students who have not completed their course within 18 months from the day of enrolment in that course, will be automatically removed from the course unless they have arranged to extend their course with Virtual High School administration.
As of December 20, 2006, all students under 18 years of age, are required to be in attendance at school unless they have already graduated or are otherwise excused from attendance at school.
5.2 Safe School Environment
Virtual High School makes considerable effort to provide and maintain a safe environment in which learning can occur. Protection of a person's dignity and self-esteem is critical. The following processes have been put into place to create a safe school environment for the student:
- All students are expected to treat other students, teachers and admin staff with respect, courtesy, and consideration. Profanity will not be acceptable in any of the communication tools provided within the online courses.
- All students will accept the authority of the teachers and all teachers will demonstrate respect for all students.
- Threats, distasteful remarks, abuse of any kind, or harassment by any individual which impairs the health and welfare of any student or staff member is not permitted and is to be reported to the Virtual High School Principal immediately. The Principal will determine the consequence according to the situation.
5.3 Code of Conduct for Computer Use
The school reserves the right to monitor all material in user accounts on the file server in order to determine the appropriateness of computer use when a challenge has arisen. The following processes have been put into place:
- The Brightspace Integrated Learning Platform at Virtual High School is a Learning Management System (LMS) and is intended for educational purposes only. Any use of any LMS tool within course for any other purpose other than the intended educational purpose is prohibited. The inappropriate uses include, but are not limited to, criminal, obscene, commercial, or illegal purposes.
- Student access into the LMS is provided as long as the student follows the guidelines set by the school Principal, provincial, and federal laws.
- If the LMS is used inappropriately or in a prohibited manner, the principal reserves the right to terminate the registration or suspend the user. There is the possibility of further disciplinary action including legal prosecution, if the appropriate laws, regulations, or contracts deem it necessary.
- Malicious LMS network damage, interference or mischief will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
- It is important to be aware that activities in an online environment are not private. The school reserves the right to monitor all material that is placed in a user's account and to remove it if deemed necessary.
- The security of the online environment is only as effective as the practices of its users. Therefore, it is important that the student user:
- Never reveal your Virtual High School password to any individual, except your parent or guardian.
- Always report to your Principal any email or chat message which causes you concern or any message which requests inappropriate personal information from you.
- Never attempt to access unauthorized material or to impersonate another user. Any attempt to vandalize, harm or destroy data of another user is prohibited. Any attempt to vandalize the data of the course or school is also prohibited.
Plagiarism occurs when a student presents another person's work as the student's own. This is not acceptable at Virtual High School. The Virtual High School Plagiarism Policy is designed to teach the student to identify plagiarism, to distinguish between the two types of plagiarism, to identify strategies to avoid plagiarism, to practice proper paraphrasing and to explain the consequences of plagiarism by the student. Virtual High School teachers have access to software which detects plagiarism. Commercial search engines are often very good at detecting work copied from material available online. Teachers have experience and can often spot when writing does not come from the student.
Negligent Plagiarism means presenting someone's work as your own in an accidental, naïve, careless, or reckless way. This often happens when a student paraphrases incorrectly or when a student borrows words or phrases from another source and forgets to cite the source.
Dishonest Plagiarism means that the student has knowingly presented a person's work as their own. All instances of plagiarism that are not considered to be negligent plagiarism will be assumed to be dishonest plagiarism. Examples of dishonest plagiarism are:
- borrowing facts or information that are not common knowledge and not citing the source. Common knowledge includes things that are commonly known, such as: Toronto is the capital of Ontario, Charles Darwin proposed a theory of evolution, The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest , etc. Common knowledge facts do not have to be cited;
- cutting and pasting text from websites with no intention to cite the source;
- handing in an online essay or portions of one as though it were your own work;
- copying another person's work and presenting it as your own;
- using another person's 'lab' findings from an activity or experiment;
- having another person write a portion or all of your final exam;
This means you must not cheat or try to cheat in any way. It hopefully means that you will come to value your achievement when it is honestly, fairly, and respectfully won through hard work.
5.5 Academic Integrity
Virtual High School is committed to ensuring the integrity and validity of student achievement within its courses by promoting academic honesty among its students. Students are responsible for upholding integrity and will be held accountable for the quality of their work and actions. Virtual High School takes preventative measures to reduce the incidence of academic dishonesty among its students. Virtual High School may review any work or correspondence submitted by a student to determine its authenticity and legitimacy. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students who violate the academic integrity of Virtual High School will be subject to discipline in accordance with this policy. Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate, or otherwise tamper with data information, records, or any other material that is relevant to the student’s participation within any course. Academic offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty intended to gain unfair academic advantage;
- Distributing or receiving answers or other information by means other than those expressly permitted by the teacher as part of any assignment, test or the final examination;
- Copying answers, or other information (or allowing others to do so) during any assignment, quiz or the final examination in which a student is not permitted to work jointly with others;
- Submitting academic work for assessment that was purchased or acquired from another source;
- Assuming another individual’s identity or allowing another person to do so on the student’s behalf for the purpose of fulfilling any academic requirement or in any way enhancing the student’s grade or academic standing;
- Using any device, implement, or other form of study aid during the final examination without permission, or as explicitly stated within a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP);
- Allowing another individual to access course content, a quiz, unit test or final exam at any time while the student is completing an assessment;
- Accessing course content or external content during the final exam.