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Sacramento Schools Monitor Student Use of AI

Sacramento City Unified School District has implemented a policy barring students from using generative artificial intelligence for homework or research without a teacher's approval.

Aerial view of a laptop sitting on a wooden surface with a quiz on the screen. Resting on the laptop is a tablet with the quiz question entered into the ChatGPT web page.
(TNS) — With technology at the palm of your hand, you typically don’t hesitate to look up the answer to a question — and it’s often just a click away.

For students, is there anything stopping them from doing the same? How are schools monitoring student use of artificial intelligence?

During the 2022-2023 school year, AI became an almost readily available technology that anyone could use, according to Policy Analysis for California Education.

The Sacramento City Unified School District has taken measures to monitor students’ AI use on assignments.

Alexander Goldberg, a spokesperson for the district, shared the district’s new technology use agreement surrounding AI.

“Students are not permitted to access AI for assistance with assignments or research unless done under the guidance and approval of a teacher,” the district states in the agreement. “Unpermitted use of AI may lead to penalties for academic misconduct.”

Breeze Davis, a chemistry teacher at C.K. McClatchy High School, said if students are caught cheating or plagiarizing by using AI, it can be penalized by night school, a parent conference and suspension.

“From my experience, it’s sort of up the teacher what they would like to do when this occurs, but most will give a zero on the respective assignment and email (or call) home,” Davis wrote in an email to The Bee.


In a report from the United States Department of Education, the department set out broad guidelines for the use of AI.

Educators need to revise assignments that require students to use critical thinking assuming that students have access to AI, according to the report.

Some examples of critical thinking assignments include:

  • Research projects
  • Essays
  • Analytic writing

Davis said they and other teachers are aware that students are using AI on school assignments.

“I try to work my assignments around (AI),” Davis said in a phone interview with The Bee. “I incorporate a lot of elements where students really have to think.”

The district has blocked students’ access to AI tools such as ChatGPT on their school-issued Chromebooks, but Davis said students can still possibly access it on their cellphones and personal computers.

“Because I spend so much time reading my students’ writing, I can tell when they have used AI. It’s the same thing as being able to tell when students have plagiarized before AI existed,” Davis said.

Though it is difficult to stop a student from using AI, Davis said they often discourage students from doing so by letting them know that they can tell when AI is used on assignments.


Students should be taught practices for how to properly use AI, according to the Policy Analysis for California Education. Teachers should set boundaries for the different expectations of assignments and how students demonstrate they are learning.

“I have facilitated students use of (AI) on some projects,” Davis said.

For a project involving a hybrid car design, Davis said they allowed students to use AI to overcome their writer’s block to come up with a name for the car.

“There are great ways to use AI,” Davis said.


Davis said they use AI in a lot of aspects as a teacher.

“I started out using it last year to streamline my life,” Davis said. “Not to do things for me that I already know how to do, but just some of the leg work. It helps me be more present for other things.”

For assignments, Davis said they use ChatGPT to generate questions for student projects, quizzes and reflection assessments.

Davis said they also use Magic School AI which helps teachers create lesson plans, labs and student work feedback.

“It has changed the game for me,” Davis said.

As a teacher, Davis said there are lot of roles to fulfill.

“There’s so much that needs to be done, so if there’s something that’s going to make that easier for me, I’m going to do it,” Davis said. “I’ve seen it improve my presence in the classroom.”

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