Signature Programs

Guest lecturer programs

Leading academics and experts speak at Overlake each year, enriching learning for students, their families and the broader community. Our two main programs are:

Distinguished Lecturer

Distinguished Lecturers are encouraged to talk about an aspect of their work that they want to share with the lay public in an evening lecture open to all. In recent years, Overlake has participated in the POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) Equity and Inclusion Series that partners with area schools to bring noteworthy speakers that we would otherwise not be able to bring to campus. This partnership has allowed Overlake to elevate the level of scholarship offered to our community, including a conversation with Dr. Bernice A. King of the King Center. You can learn more about upcoming Speaker Series’ and the POCIS group here.

Writer's Symposium

The Writer's Symposium brings a well-known writer to Overlake in the fall and spring to spend a day talking with and running workshops with students in classrooms on writing and the writing process. Each author targets a specific audience with some focusing on Middle School students and some focusing on Upper School. The writers also present at an assembly to the full Middle School or High School. Recent guest writers have included author and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Hua Hsu, and writer Maggie Tokuda-Hall.

We also periodically host additional authors and lecturers. In 2023 we were honored to host Dr. Rajani LaRocca and Expert in Residence, Natasha Singh.

Student Programs

Project Week

Project Week is a very special week at Overlake. Teachers propose an activity, from sewing or cooking to canoeing a backcountry river or building a wooden boat, to traveling to Italy or France or performing service around our region or around the globe. Students choose from among them, and all spend a week (sometimes two) in spring participating in these activities that are so different from the regular classroom. Project Week is an important, required part of the curriculum.

Senior Projects

Seniors finish their regular school year in mid-May when they leave the campus for several weeks to participate in a Senior Project they have developed. It may be in-depth study of a subject they choose, or an internship. They present their projects publicly during the last week of school, and must pass in order to graduate. Recent projects have included painting the mascot on the gym wall, studying paleontology at a fossil site and interning at an arts center and a systems biology institute.  View the Senior Projects FAQ.