The Palo Alto Unified School District and Palo Alto High School administration will be redrafting the academic honesty policies, attendance and homework policies this summer. Principal Phil Winston says he hopes paly will adopt the new policies at the start off the coming school year.
According to Winston, district staff has been trying to make revisions in the academic honesty policy, but they hope to finalize the policies over the summer. One of the changes in the policy is that it covers online plagiarism.
“The academic honesty guidelines were out of date and didn’t consider the digital world we live in now,” Winston said. “I don’t see this as fixing a problem, but rather catching up with reality.”
Even though specific changes have yet to be determined, Winston does have a specific goal in mind.
“The academic honesty policy is going to be a lot more clear,” he said. “There will be increased clarity around interventions.”
According to Winston, due to recent changes in district guidelines the Paly staff and the school board were prompted to amend the attendance policy such that it will keep students from cutting class without dropping or suspending them. A recent amendment to the Paly attendance policy is that students can no longer be dropped from classes after a certain number of cuts.
“We want students in class everyday,” Winston said. “It’s [difficult] for teachers when students don’t come to class every time. … Last month we were given permission to work on interim attendance guidelines and now we have a group of teachers working on that too.”
The changes are planned to be implemented at the beginning of the school year, but Winston says that there is a possibility that amendments won’t be made this summer. Winston hopes that the policies will be applied to both Paly and Gunn High School in the near future.
“The district will work to create fidelity between the schools next year,” Winston said. “We want the district to develop a uniform policy for both schools.”