Tomball ISD trustees approved the district’s first artificial intelligence policy on Aug. 8 while administrators work to prevent students from using AI to complete academic assignments.

The big picture

TISD’s school board unanimously approved the district’s 2023-24 Student Code of Conduct, which includes a new section on student AI use under the Digital Resources Acceptable Use and Internet Safety Policy. Student work submitted for academic credit and completed using AI will be considered plagiarism, Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said during a board workshop on Aug. 7.

“We are looking at additional avenues in which we can really ensure that students aren't taking an avenue that doesn't help them,” Salazar-Zamora said. “[By using AI] they’re really hurting themselves in the end.”

Going forward

TISD does not have software to detect when a student uses AI to complete an assignment, Salazar-Zamora said. However, a group of TISD administrators will begin meeting Aug. 18 to take courses on AI and potential applications for educators as well as how to safeguard students, Chief Academic Officer Michael Webb said Aug. 7.

“We're just now beginning to learn about AI in schools,” Webb said. “This is just our first stab of trying to have something referencing AI in policy.”

Quote of note

“We need to not be uncomfortable to have students know more in areas such as this than us, but ensure that we protect them, and that we help them produce the great work that we know they can produce without the assistance of artificial intelligence,” Salazar-Zamora said.