Academic Policies & Procedures

Provided that class size, balance among sections and timetabling make a change possible, a student may transfer from one course to another prior to the beginning of the school year.
Students wishing to change courses must have written permission from a parent or guardian. Once school has begun, students who still wish to change a course are permitted to do so; however, they may only do so during the first two cycles of classes (up until the Thanksgiving long weekend for those students in IB1). Students are advised to consider their course choices very carefully during the course selection process and are strongly advised against making changes after the start of the school year unless absolutely necessary; such changes will potentially be disruptive to the student’s existing schedule and will necessitate getting caught up on a significant amount of missed work in the course into which they are transferring.
In order to request a course change, the student must complete a Course Change Application Form and have it approved by his House Adviser and his parent or guardian. Completed forms should be submitted to the Academic Dean’s Office for review and, if approved, final processing.
It is the policy of the College that students are not permitted to change courses or sections because of teacher preference.

All students at UCC must study at least one language in addition to English throughout their years at the Upper School.
An International Language is, for the purpose of this policy, a language that is not offered in the regular timetable at UCC. In all cases, students of International Languages must assume the extra cost of external tutoring.
New students in Year 2 and Foundation Year who do not have the requisite background for success in French, or who have more potential for success in an International Language than in an initial study of Latin, or Spanish, may replace an internal second language with an International Language.
New students who are fluent in one of French, Spanish or German must make arrangements to study these languages at a more advanced level than can be offered internally.
Boys who have a viable program of study within the regular UCC timetable, and who wish to take an International Language in the International Baccalaureate, are responsible for arranging their own International Language instruction prior to the IB years while continuing in the study of an internal second language.
Students wishing to take an International Language in the IB years will be assessed by a UCC-appointed tutor to establish the appropriate level of study.
In the May examination session, there are roughly half as many languages available for study at the B level as there are at the A1 level. It is imperative that students confirm that a language is available at the appropriate level in their examination session prior to starting a program of language study.


An Ontario Student Record (OSR) is maintained for every student in the Academic Dean’s Office. The OSR is the record of a student’s progress through the Ontario educational system. It contains biographical data and a record of student academic achievement, including copies of all report cards and an up-to-date Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
Every student has the right of access to his/her OSR. The parents/guardians of a student have the right of access to the student’s OSR until the student turns eighteen, at which time the student must grant permission for a parent to view the records. The Principal and teachers of the school have access to the OSR for the purpose of improving the instruction of the student. The file is available for inspection by the student (or, if the student is under 18 years of age, their parents or guardians) by request at the Academic Dean’s Office.

The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) is the formal record of a student’s secondary school course work and diploma requirements.
In accordance with Ontario Ministry of Education policy, the OST will include:
  • all Grade 9 and 10 courses successfully completed by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all Grade 11 and 12 courses completed or attempted by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all equivalent credits granted through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) equivalency process under OSS or through the equivalency process under OSIS
  • all Grade 10 courses for which the student successfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all Grade 11 and 12 courses for which the student successfully or unsuccessfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • identification of compulsory credits, including credits that are substitutions for compulsory credits identified by the ministry as diploma requirements
  • confirmation that the student has completed the forty hours of community involvement
  • confirmation that the student has successfully completed the provincial secondary school literacy requirement
An up-to-date OST is kept in the student’s OSR. Students needing a copy of their Ontario Student Transcript must submit a request to the Academic Dean’s Office.

Since 1999-2000, the Ontario Ministry of Education requires that schools provide a complete record of students’ performance in Grade 11 and 12 courses. Under this requirement, both successful and unsuccessful attempts at completing Grade 11 and 12 courses must be recorded on the OST. All courses coded with a 3, 4, U, M or O designation are subject to this policy of full disclosure. All such courses in which a student is registered will be recorded on a student’s transcript five days after the issue of the First Full Report Card (January), whether the course has been successfully completed or not. This information is to be made available to community colleges and universities for them to consider when making admission or scholarship decisions. This information has been communicated to all students.
  • Withdrawals occurring within 5 days of the issuing of the First Full Report Card in the course/grade not being recorded.
  • A withdrawal from a Grade 11 or 12 course after 5 days of the issuing of the First Full Report Card will result in a "W" being entered in the "Credit" column of the OST, along with the mark at the time of the withdrawal.
  • Withdrawals from Grade 9 or 10 courses are not recorded on the OST
  • Failures in Grade 9 or 10 courses are not recorded on the OST
  • Any repeated Grade 11 and 12 courses will be recorded on a student’s transcript. Each attempt and the grade earned will be recorded on the OST. Students may earn only one credit per course (i.e. only one credit is earned if a course is repeated). For repeated courses, an “R” will appear in the credit column beside the attempt with the lower mark.

The course selection process for the next academic year occurs in January-February. For more information on academic counselling available during this process, select the Academic Counselling tab on the menu above. Every effort will be made to provide students with their chosen academic program; however, certain combinations of courses may not be possible because of timetabling constraints. Sometimes the College may be unable to offer courses because of insufficient student enrolment or staffing considerations. In such unusual circumstances, students will be advised and every effort will be made to accommodate them with suitable alternatives.


Homework Expectations
The scope and intensity of homework assignments varies over the four years of high school. Younger students are expected to complete 2–3 hours of homework daily or about 15 hours per week. Students in the Diploma years should expect 3–4 hours daily or 20 hours per week. During examination periods or when assignments are due, this load may become heavier.
Teachers are expected to monitor the workloads of their students and to make whatever accommodations are necessary at the time due dates are established. After that, it is the students’ responsibility to plan for completion. Extensions on major assignments can make the overall situation worse, particularly in the Diploma Years, so careful consideration must be given to planning. Teachers concerned about student workload should speak to their Department Chairs or the Head of the Upper School. Students will not be confronted with more than two tests in a day (a test is defined as any evaluation that requires review and preparation). Teachers are expected to adhere to the published dates for final collection of marks before the exam and the review periods.
It is the custom at UCC to protect long weekends, to ensure that both teachers and students get a well-deserved rest. No tests or major assignments should be scheduled on the day of return from long weekends or breaks. The College respects students’ other obligations during periods of religious observance.

For the purposes of this policy, a test is considered to be an assessment that requires study time, is written under test conditions, and is scheduled in advance. With respect to lab reports and oral/written assignments, faculty will reinforce organizational skills so that students do not feel overwhelmed by the workload.
Please note that the Missed Test Policy will not necessarily apply to students who have missed work for compassionate reasons, suspensions or extended illness. Students are to contact their House Adviser in such cases.

The Testing Policy
Testing is limited to periods one and two. Tests for Year 1 to Foundation Year should be limited to 45 minutes; for IB students, to 60 minutes. For IB students there are exceptions to this policy: document tests and commentaries carry their own time requirements. Tests and assignments must be announced a week ahead of the scheduled due date. Where testing and quizzes count for 100% of the term mark, the Fall Term will be limited to five tests, and the Winter and Spring Terms to three. Whenever possible, testing on Wednesdays will be avoided.
Quizzes may contribute no more than 15% of the mark for any term. Quizzes may not be longer than 15 minutes. They are limited in scope to the previous concept taught. They may be given unannounced in any scheduled class.
We ask that teachers take reasonable steps to ensure that student anxiety is minimized when they do tests and quizzes. Steps might include taking up homework before a quiz is given, ensuring that a sample question with an exemplary answer is discussed before a test begins, keeping within the time guidelines for tests and quizzes, and ensuring that the design of the test or quiz can be completed within that time.

Missed Test Policy for All Students
If a student has a documented reason for missing a test, then the test will be written before the next scheduled period for which he is present. If a student knows he will be absent for a test, he is required to notify the teacher in advance and, if possible, write the test before the rest of the class. A student who goes to the Health Centre during a test will receive a mark of zero if no substantiating medical reason for the absence is provided by the Health Centre.

Exam Policy for All Students
Students are required to write their December and Diploma (IB2) or June (Year 1-IB1) examinations at the College, at the scheduled time. Failure to do so will result in a zero on the examination. In exceptional cases—these may include representing the College at a provincial or national competition, attending an interview as a candidate for a place at an international school, competing for a place on a national team, or any extra-curricular obligation previously agreed to by the Head of the Upper School—arrangements may be made to write the examinations off-campus with the permission of the Head of Upper School. Any costs associated with such arrangements will be the responsibility of the student.
Students who, for reasons of health or family circumstances, are unable to write examinations at the scheduled time will have their situation reviewed by the Upper School Administration Committee, and appropriate and compassionate arrangements will be made. When the absence is for medical reasons, an acceptable doctor’s note will be required for the student to qualify for such a review.

UCC is an academic institution and community. Honesty is fundamental to all aspects of academic work. Maintaining academic integrity is the responsibility of all members of a scholastic community, and students at UCC are held to the highest standards of conduct in this regard. In addition, the International Baccalaureate Organization demands of Diploma candidates the very highest standard of integrity in all aspects of internally and externally assessed work.
The College also recognizes its responsibility to prepare students for university and to develop in them the habits and personal standards of academic honesty. All universities consider academic dishonesty to be a serious disciplinary matter; the commission of an offence against academic honesty at university will always compromise a student’s grades and good standing.
At UCC, cheating, plagiarism and all forms of academic dishonesty are serious violations which undermine and compromise both the student’s education and the integrity of this learning community.
An offence against academic honesty is judged to have been committed knowingly if the student(s) ought reasonably to have known that the conduct was an offence.

Any deceit in academic work is cheating. At UCC, it is an offence for a student to knowingly, for example:
  • use unauthorized notes or other aids, or to copy from or be influenced by someone else’s work during a quiz, test or examination
  • give unauthorized aid to someone else; and allowing someone else to copy or use one’s quiz, test, examination, assignment, essay or homework
  • use help on homework or take-home tests beyond the limits specified by the teacher
  • submit the same work for credit to more than one teacher, unless both teachers have given their permission in advance
  • use translations of texts studied in class without the permission of the teacher.

Plagiarism, a specific form of cheating, is the theft of someone else’s work. To use another’s words, ideas, arguments or research without proper acknowledgment is to plagiarize. At UCC, it is an offence for a student to knowingly, for example:
  • submit work as his own, any part of which was written or created by someone else
  • submit work as his own, any part of which was copied directly from a source without being placed in quotation marks and without due acknowledgment, or paraphrased from a source without due acknowledgment submit work as his own, any part of which was based on an idea or research unique to a particular source without due acknowledgment.

Student Responsibility
It is the student’s responsibility to be honest in all aspects of academic work, to be familiar with the UCC Code of Academic Honesty, and to conform to all practices and guidelines for academic honesty given by teachers and in the UCC Style Guide. For example:
Homework: Homework is to be completed by the student himself. It should never be completed or copied in whole or in part from another person, student or source. While it may be permissible to discuss homework assignments with other students, such discussion is a preliminary stage only, to be followed carefully at all times by individual effort, research and answering. In presenting homework, the student is in effect declaring, "This is my own work."
Assignments: Assignments prepared out of class, including lab reports, written responses, creative work, homework, and take-home tests or components of tests must be completed by the student and reflect the student’s own work. They should never be copied in part or in whole from another person, student or source, nor should they present the words, research or ideas of another person, student or source without proper acknowledgment. The student is expected to follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the assignment, and adhere to the practices for academic honesty outlined in the UCC Style Guide. When submitting an assignment, the student is in effect declaring, "This is my own work."
Essays: Essays must be completed by the student and be the student’s own work. Essays must never be copied in part or in whole from another person, student or source nor present the words, research or ideas of another person or source without proper acknowledgment. The student is expected to carefully follow instructions for preparing and submitting the essay, and to adhere to the practices of academic honesty outlined in the UCC Style Guide. When submitting an essay, the student is in effect declaring, "This is my own work."
Class Presentations and Seminars: Any work the student has prepared out of class for presentation in class is presumed to be entirely his own, unless he has made proper acknowledgment of help from another person, student or source. In making a class presentation, the student is in effect declaring, "This is my own work."
Collaboration: Unless specifically directed or permitted by the teacher, collaboration with another student in any academic work, including assignments, lab reports, essays, take-home tests or components of tests, is to be avoided at all times. The College encourages students to discuss and debate their ideas, for discussion and debate are basic to the educational experience. But in an academic assignment of any sort, discussion represents a preliminary and limited stage only, a means of stimulating one’s own approach and thinking. It must be followed by individual and unaided research, thinking and writing. Pooling ideas, sharing or assigning sections of writing, and incorporating another student’s ideas and writing into one’s own are examples of unacceptable collaboration. When such collaboration happens, the student cannot declare, "This is my own work." Unacknowledged collaboration or collaboration which has not been permitted by the teacher is cheating—and students whose academic work shows collaboration will be considered to have committed an offence against academic honesty.
Sharing Academic Work: Students should decline to share homework, assignments, essays and any notes or research with other students. In responding to a classmate’s enquiries for help, the student should do no more than clarify the assignment; he should not provide answers, ideas or materials. The classmate is expected to ensure that his work is "his own work" in all respects. When cheating or plagiarism occurs, a student who had allowed a classmate to borrow his work or who had given an inappropriate degree of assistance will be considered a party to the offence against academic honesty.
Receiving Outside Tutoring: A student who, for understandable reasons, engages a tutor for support in his academic work is especially reminded that a tutor is not a substitute for the student’s own research, thinking and writing. A responsible tutor guides the student by questioning and teaching necessary skills; the tutor does not do the work for the student. A student who receives excessive assistance from a tutor cannot declare, "This is my own work."
Seeking Guidance in Matters of Academic Honesty: A student who is in doubt about any aspect of the principles and practices of academic honesty should consult his teacher, House Adviser or the Librarian.
Academic Work for a Course: Academic work submitted for a course must always be submitted for that course only. Unless the student has requested and received explicit permission in advance from both teachers, the same piece of work, in whole or in part, must never be submitted in two separate courses.
Quizzes, Tests and Examinations: A student must write a quiz, test or examination based on his own knowledge and ability. The possession and/or use of unauthorized aids, texts, or notes of any kind during the writing of a quiz, test or examination is cheating. A student who gives unauthorized aid to another student in a quiz, test or examination will be considered a party to the offence against academic honesty.
Students in the IB: An offence against academic honesty in any area of formal IB evaluation, including all internally and externally assessed components, the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge, will compromise the awarding of subject grades and the diploma. Students enrolled in the IB program are especially reminded that, according to the Vade Mecum, "all work is to be the unaided work of the candidate" and "any breach of regulations resulting in a candidate’s work not being his own is considered to be malpractice by the person(s) involved." Students who comply with the UCC Code of Academic Honesty regarding their IB work can be confident that they meet IB expectations for academic honesty.

Disciplinary Response
The disciplinary response to offences against academic honesty is designed to protect academic integrity in the interest of learning, and to promote the development of the habits and skills of academic responsibility in students. Cheating of any sort is a violation of community standards and the principles upon which an academic institution is built, and will not be tolerated in any form. In addition, an offence against academic honesty in academic work submitted by a UCC student in fulfilment of IB examinations, which includes all externally and internally assessed components, Extended Essays, and Theory of Knowledge, is subject to the penalty detailed in the IB Malpractice Policy.
The full text of the Code of Academic Honesty also appears in The Upper School Family Handbook, and should be consulted by all students.