Duke Policy

School Policy

“Rules exits because when people don’t follow them, people get hurt”- Ally Carter

1. Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism is defined as the use of close imitation of the language and thoughts of another without attribution, in order to represent them as one’s own original work. Plagiarism occurs when a student presents another person’s work as the student’s own. All students in Duke Academy are expected to submit their own work for evaluation. Cheating and plagiarism will not be condoned.

 Duke Academy 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. VHS 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.

To ensure a full understanding of academic honesty students are expected to:

  • Seek clarification from teachers about actions that constitute plagiarism;

  • Seek assistance when their research skills need improvement;

  • Understand the penalties for academic dishonesty and plagiarism; and

  • Ensure that all their work is original and that they cite sources accurately and consistently.

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 presenting 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: Canada is a country next to the United States of America. Charles Darwin proposed a theory of evolution, HIVAids can kill you, 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 on-line 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 writes 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.

Cheating is usually defined as the act of practicing deceit or breaking the rules. In the context of assessment and evaluation, cheating would be defined as the deviation from the behavior expected in an evaluation situation.

Examples include but are not limited to: Using another student’s work on a test or any other evaluation; unauthorized use of electronic media to obtain answers during an evaluation or bringing unauthorized notes or notations into an evaluation.

Cheating is usually defined as the act of practicing deceit or breaking the rules. In the context of assessment and evaluation, cheating would be defined as the deviation from the behavior expected in an evaluation situation.

Examples include but are not limited to: Using another student’s work on a test or any other evaluation; unauthorized use of electronic media to obtain answers during an evaluation or bringing unauthorized notes or notations into an evaluation.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

When plagiarism or cheating is detected, it will be investigated. If plagiarism/cheating is confirmed by the teacher, he/she will inform the principal/vice principal, the student, and the parent/guardian (when the student is under the age of 18) of the specific details regarding the plagiarized assignment or the allegation of cheating and the resulting consequences.

Minimum Consequences for Plagiarism

A consequence for cheating and plagiarism may be a mark of zero for the assignment/exam in question.

A repeated pattern of academic dishonesty may result in an escalating severity of consequences.

All students who face the consequences of plagiarism or cheating have the right to appeal the teacher’s decision to the principal/vice-principal.

2. Attendance

Regular attendance and punctuality contribute to student success and achievement.  Attendance and punctuality are related to developing character traits such as respect, initiative, responsibility and integrity, and are linked to learning skills such as work habits and initiative.  Students demonstrate commitment, respect, initiative and responsibility when they are in class and on time, all the time.  The less class time students miss, the more likely they will succeed academically.

If students choose to attend irregularly, they may not achieve a credit, defined by the Education Act as 110 hours of class time.

To earn a credit, a student is expected to accumulate the total 110 hours of instruction for each course and a mark of at least 50%.

Students are expected to be on time for every class.  Punctuality shows respect and consideration for others.  Being late for class inconveniences and disrupts your classmates and teachers.

Attendance & Punctuality Procedure

•       If students are less than 15 minutes late to class, they should proceed directly to class.   If students are more than 15 minutes late, they should go to the main office to contact parents to verify their late arrival.

•       If a student has to leave during the day, he/she needs to have a written note AND sign out through the main office.

•       If students are consistently late, teachers will contact home/guardians.  Referrals to the administration may follow.

•       Students, parents, and staff have a role to play in ensuring that students attend classes regularly and punctually.   Each role is described below.

Students are responsible for:

•       Attending all scheduled classes on;

•       Being prepared for classes (e.g. resources, completed work) and participating fully in the planned learning activities;

•       Reporting absences (when possible in advance) and presenting proper documentation to staff; and

•       Covering the material missed because of absences.

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

•       Ensuring that their child arrives at school on time (9:00am) and is ready for classes;

•       Making every effort to ensure that their child is present for classes – including arranging appointments outside of the school day, whenever possible;

•       Actively monitoring their child’s progress – including their attendance, achievement; and

•       Communicating with the school when their child will be late or absent, preferably via telephone at the beginning of that day.

 Attendance Support Staff are responsible for:

•       Receiving and processing attendance-related reports;

•       Monitoring students’ lates and absences in conjunction with the school;   

•       Recording parent contact in relation to absences, lates and signing-out;

•       Providing Admit Slips to students who are signing-in; and

•       Following up with students with invalid absences prior to administering admit slips.

 Teachers are responsible for:

•       Reviewing attendance and punctuality policy with students;

•       Recording, monitoring and reporting students’ attendance to the office;

•       Keeping accurate attendance records;

•       Requesting Admit Slips from students who have unexplained absences

•       Following up where there is attendance issues (e.g. parental contact, detentions, office referral, etc.);

•       Implementing strategies to assist students in improving their attendance, e.g., counseling students, communicating with students and parents, making referrals to administrators for further actions – attendance counseling, etc.; and

•       Implementing consequences to assist students in improving their attendance, e.g. detention, withdrawal from extra-curricular activities, recommendations to administrator for further action.


Under the Education Act, students are expected to be at school every day, unless they are unable to attend by reason of sickness, unavoidable cause (illness, bereavement, court appearance, etc), holy day or other authorized by the administration of the school.  Absences are to be both validated and authorized.  All absences require authorization by a parent/guardian.

Truancies are invalid absences during instructional time and are strictly unacceptable.  These will be monitored and dealt with accordingly by both teachers and administration.

The school will contact the homes of students with unexplained absences on a daily basis.  If a message is received, parents should contact the Attendance Office before 8:30 am the next school day.

If any test or assignment is missed because of an invalid absence, the student may forfeit the right to make it up.

 Full Day Absence

When a student misses a full day of classes, a phone call from the parent/guardian to the school validating the absence is required.  A secretary will note this on the student’s attendance record.  If a parent does not contact the school, the student is required to bring in a parental note with a valid reason for the absence to the Main Office upon returning to school.  The student is to obtain an Admit Slip and show it to each teacher prior to returning to each missed class.

 The Attendance Office can be reached at 416-733-3853.  If the Secretary is busy, please leave a voice-message or e-mail info@dukeacademy.ca at any time as these modes of communication are accessible 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week

If no phone call, e-mail, or note is received, the absence will be considered invalid and the student “truant”.

 Late Arrival or Early Leaving – Signing In/Out

Students who arrive after 9:30 a.m. must sign in at the attendance desk.  Students who need to leave school before 3:55 p.m. for any reason (doctor’s appointment, etc.) must sign out at the attendance office.  A note should be presented for all pre-arranged absences.

Notes for all students must provide the following information:

•  Current date

•  Date(s) absent

•  Reason for absence

•  Current Daytime Phone number

•  Parent/Guardian signature or signature of student who is 18 years or older

If a student is unable to attend school and will miss more than two school days, homework may be requested from teachers through the Main Office.  Teachers require 24 hours to complete homework requests.  If a student is absent due to a prolonged illness, a medical note is required.

 Students who have been signed out of classes by a parent or guardian cannot remain on school property.

 Students Who Are 18 Years of Age or Older

Students who are 18 years of age or older are expected to follow the attendance procedures as outlined.  Furthermore they will have five sign out privileges per semester. Administrator approval must be obtained for additional sign-outs.


In general, the consequences of truancy are significant in both the short and long term.  Truancy is often symptomatic of students in need of additional supports.   School consequences may be assigned as a result of the following:

•       Failure to attend classes on time;

•       Failure to validate any absence; and

•       Failure to follow the process for validating absences.

When the student is truant or fails to follow process to validate an absence, a detention (at lunch or after school) is usually assigned.  If the student continues to be truant, a series of escalated consequences will be assigned which may include:

•       Loss of privileges

•       Written reflections

•       Withdrawal from extracurricular activities

•       Referral to school Attendance Counselor

•       Meeting with parents

•       Detention and/or suspension

•       Removal from course and/or school

Absence up 20 hours or above will result in failure of the course without granting credit, certain procedure will be taken place:

  • Absence up to 6 hours: teachers report to main office and give oral reminders

  • Absence up to 10 hours: teachers report to main office; principal interview

  • Absence up to 15 hours: teacher reports to main office; school warning notice

  • Absence up  to 20 hours: teacher reports to main office; school final notice

3. Cell Phone Violation Policy

Cell phones are to be off during class hours, including time out of the classroom on a hall pass, and during ALL school and state tests.  Students will not be allowed to use cell phones during class time, except with teacher permission.  School authorities may confiscate cell phones at any time for failure to follow school policy.

First Offense: Verbal Warning

Second Offense: Verbal Warning

Third Offense: Phone is confiscated from student and returned at the end of the period. 

Fourth Offense: Phone is confiscated and sent to the office.  Students can pick up the phone at the end of the school day and will be assigned a detention. 

Fifth Offense: Phone is confiscated and must be collected from administration by a parent/guardian. 

Sixth Offense: One-day suspension for defiance of authority. Phone is confiscated and must be collected from administration by a parent/guardian.