Naperville Central HS Students Caught in Cheating Scandal

Students participating in the Bring Your Own Device pilot program allegedly used their devices for cheating

The Administration at Naperville Central High School is dealing with an increased number of cheating incidents, involving a pilot program that allows cellphones and other electronics in the classroom.

Principal Bill Wiesbrook sent out a letter to NCHS parents Friday stating the "Academic Integrity" of the school was called into question after several students came forward to report incidents of cheating through the "Bring Your Own Device" program, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report. His letter was posted on Central Times, NCHS's student newspaper.

Bring Your Own Device, a pilot program in Naperville School District 203, allows student to use their laptops, tablets, iPads, smartphones, and other electronic devices.

"The intent of 'Bring your own device' is to allow students to engage in learning using these devices and to safely access District solutions and resources such as our Learning Management System, Student Information System, Naviance, email, calendaring, SharePoint, library systems, common productivity applications and many other web-based resources including Internet access to enhance and, at times, transform their learning experience," Naperville School District 203 Chief Information Officer Roger J. Brunelle stated in his Dec. 2012 newsletter on the district's website.

Wiesbrook did not identify how many students or classes were involved in the alleged cheating incidents in his letter to the parents. However, he stated that the incidents "extend beyond the content of a single test, the sharing of a 'few answers,' or the copying of someone else’s words, which is the lesson we want all students to understand."

The cheating was discovered after a student came forward before a test and reported it to the teacher, who took the information to the dean, Sun-Times reported.

Accused students then had their phones examined, which helped the school's investigation with how many students and classes were involved, Sun-Times stated.

During a meeting with Central Times reporters, Wiesbrook said examining the phones led the administration to discover a significant number of academic dishonesty cases and at least one drug-related case. He told the reporters punishments would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The pilot officially concludes later this month, according to Brunelle's online post about the pilot program. Brunelle reported the initial feedback from the program has been positive.

Read the Sun-Times report for more details on this story.

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