Poly Honor Code

The purpose of the Poly Honor Code is to give our students and faculty the opportunity to affirm their commitment to the essential principles of our Mission, Credo, and Philosophy and to recognize their role in shaping the community. In the end, we hope that the Poly Honor Code will permeate the climate and culture of the Upper School in such a way that it becomes one of the defining and unique characteristics of a Poly education.

Frequently asked questions about the Poly Honor Code

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Why do we need a Poly Honor Code?

    The purpose in broad terms is to give our students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to affirm their commitment to the core principles of the Honor Code and to recognize their role in shaping the community. In doing this, we are trying to promote a greater sense of the impact that our decision making (as individuals) has on our learning and on our aspirations. Ultimately, we envision the Poly Honor Code as becoming a defining characteristic of the Upper School culture.
  • How did the creation of the Poly Honor Code come about?

    Over the past few years, Head of School John Bracker has explored the idea of bringing an honor code to the Poly campus. In spring 2017, John Bracker, Upper School Director Jennifer Fleischer, and former ASB Chief Justice-elect Alexandra Patzakis '18 met to further consider what such a code would add to the Poly community.

    In fall 2017, seven Upper School students and one faculty member, Upper School English teacher Serra Leroy, joined the team, and together they formed an Honor Code Exploration Committee to build concrete expectations and guidelines for a potential Poly Honor Code. This committee met regularly to consider whether the creation of an honor code at Poly would be the right fit and to research other independent schools with honor codes. Throughout this process, the committee included student, faculty, parent, board, and staff voices and research, which guided their development of the Poly Honor Code.
  • How will the Poly Honor Code be incorporated into student, faculty, and staff lives? How will it become part of the community)?

    Currently we view the Poly Honor Code as part of a “living document” that students, faculty, and staff will look at anew each year. For our first year, we will take deliberate steps to introduce its core values to the community, and we will be using focus groups and other forms of discussion as a way to continue the conversation about why we take the Honor Code seriously. Regarding its underlying implementation, students, faculty, and staff will sign the current document at the start of each school year.
  • How will we differentiate the Poly Honor Code from the Credo, Mission Statement, and Philosophy?

    The Credo, Mission Statement, and Philosophy are written in the institutional voice: “The mission of Polytechnic School is ... .” In contrast, the Honor Code is more personal — “I commit to ... .” While the Polytechnic Board of Trustees created the Credo, Mission Statement, and Philosophy, the Honor Code is a “living document” that is intended to represent the current Poly community of students, faculty, and staff. The Poly Honor Code is open to changes, small or significant, and any changes to the Poly Honor Code will be decided upon by the Poly community each year.
  • Will the Poly Honor Code be implemented and introduced to the Middle and Lower Schools?

    Not at this time. We will be using the 2018-19 school year as a pilot, and then reflecting on its implementation in the spring of 2019.
  • How will members of the community be held responsible for their off-campus actions?

    The Poly Honor Code does not affect the ways Poly already holds its community members responsible. Instead, it serves as a reminder of how we strive to conduct ourselves in the broader community. As members of Poly, students, faculty, and staff are all seen as leaders in the broader community. Through the Poly Honor Code, we are asking that members of our community consider themselves representatives both of themselves and the school at large. We take pride in our students, faculty, and staff, and we want individual actions to model who we are off campus in the same way that we do on campus.
  • What would be the consequence of a violation of the Poly Honor Code?

    Polytechnic School has a separate Community Handbook that outlines appropriate behavior for students, parents, faculty, and staff, and consequences for violating these rules are outlined in the handbook. The purpose of the Poly Honor Code is not to provide for consequences of its violation, but rather to foster excellence and integrity in an aspirational pledge.
  • Is there anything that requires action on the part of students, faculty, or staff in maintaining these values concerning the community around them?

    No, there is no obligation to take action, although we would encourage students, faculty, and staff to consider engaging in conversations to maintain the values it espouses.
  • Are high school students developmentally mature enough to execute the Poly Honor Code?

    We don’t doubt that our Upper School students have the maturity and forethought to uphold the core values of the Poly Honor Code. The three central tenets of kindness, generosity, and integrity are taught and maintained throughout Poly’s K-12 school (starting in kindergarten with the Rules of Kindness), and we see our high school students as leaders in modeling these values to the community at large.
  • What are the specific expectations concerning academic integrity?

    Polytechnic School has always valued and upheld standards of academic integrity. The details of violations of academic integrity are outlined in the Community Handbook.
  • What happens when community members have a difference of opinion of what constitutes inclusion, integrity, kindness, and generosity?

    These types of conversations are essential to the Poly Honor Code remaining present in our daily lives. The members of the Poly community will have the opportunity to discuss any of the values or potential changes to the Poly Honor Code each year.
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