Attendance Procedures & Policies
Overlake offers an educational program that sets high standards for student academic performance. The program requires that students be committed and participatory members of the school community to derive the most positive benefits. Attendance is critical to student success. Therefore, students are expected to be in school from 8:10am until 3:10pm, attending all classes and programs.
Sign-In and Sign-Out
Students are expected to be on campus during the entire school day. Occasionally appointments or other events require a student to arrive late or to leave school during the day. Students must sign-in and sign-out in the front office. When possible, a note should be provided from a doctor or parent indicating reasons for late arrivals and/or early dismissals. Students who repeatedly fail to follow the appropriate procedure for signing in or out will be subject to disciplinary action.
If a student is ill and/or unable to attend school, a parent should email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the attendance line (425-868-6191, press 1), by 8:30am to report the student’s absence. It is the responsibility of the absent student to obtain assignments and make arrangements with teachers to complete missed work. If a student is absent on the day of a game, he or she may not participate in the game.
An absence is considered excused if it is due to illness, medical appointments, religious observances, or for extenuating circumstances pre-approved by the Middle or Upper School Head.
All other absences will be considered unexcused. Of particular note are family vacations. Family vacations when school is in session are discouraged. There are ample regular school holidays. Parents should schedule trips and vacations accordingly. It is unfair to ask teachers to make special arrangements for students or to help students with work missed when they are not in school as a matter of family choice. Thus, absences due to family vacations will be considered unexcused.
Impact of Student Absences and Make-up Procedures
Time away from school creates a hardship for students as they miss meaningful discussions and vital presentations of concepts that are essential building blocks for future learning. It also creates hardships for teachers who must re-explain missed lessons and administer make-up exams. In reality, no missed class can ever really be “made up.”
From the perspective of our school mission, an absence is an opportunity for students to practice responsibility. Whenever students are absent, they must take the initiative to make up the material that is missed and get class notes from a friend or from the teacher. If a student misses in-class work, it is the student’s responsibility to set a time with the classroom teacher for that work to be completed. In the event that a student knows s/he will be absent in advance, it is imperative that work is requested (and, if possible, completed) in advance. We encourage students to ask teachers the question “Can we create a plan for me to make up what I missed/will miss during my absence?” as soon as possible so that they can stay on top of their learning.
In the Middle School, teachers can decide that an assignment may not be made up if the process of making it up causes extreme hardship for the teacher and/or the student. A different assignment may be used, or in the case of an unexcused absence, the teacher may give zero credit for the assignment.
In the Upper School, students whose absence has been unexcused will receive a zero for work required for that day. This includes tests, exams, projects, lab reports, homework or any other graded work. Also if the parent neglects to call the school on the day of the absence or within twenty-four hours of the absence, the absence will be deemed unexcused. Besides having a grade negatively affected, a student may incur other consequences if he or she misses class without permission, such as not being allowed to make up work, detention, or any other consequence deemed appropriate by the teacher in consultation with the Upper School Head and Dean of Students.
Upper School Truancy Policy
In an effort to support the faculty and ensure the success of the student, the school implements the following truancy policy for grades 9-12.
If a student is absent eight (8) times in a class in a semester, whether excused or unexcused, the teacher will notify the parents. The parents will be expected to help the student be more diligent in attending class.
If a student’s absences reach twelve (12) in the semester, and the parents have already been duly notified, the Dean of Students will call a conference with the parents, the student, and the student’s advisor to discuss the ramifications of the student’s non-attendance. At that time the student may be asked to sign an attendance contract. This contract holds that only a written excuse from a doctor, therapist, or other health professional will constitute an excused absence and afford the student the opportunity to make up the missed work. All other absences, unless approved by the Dean of Students, will be deemed unexcused and will result in the academic consequence for unexcused absences (no make-up work, zero for tests/projects, assignments, etc.).
If a student’s absences reach sixteen (16) in the semester in any given course, and the parents have been duly notified, the student will not receive credit for the semester course. Exceptions due to circumstances such as an extended illness may be made at the discretion of the Upper School Head and the Dean of Students.
This policy is not intended to punish students who have legitimate reasons for being absent or who are victims of long-term illness or tragic circumstances. Rather, it is intended for those students who need to intensify their commitment to learning and maximize their opportunities in the educational process.
Absences for College Visits
At the Overlake School, we understand the importance of visiting colleges as part of the college decision process. Therefore, all students in the Junior and Senior classes are allowed 4 excused absences for the purpose of visiting colleges. Students should complete the College Visit form that is available in the College Advising Office prior to their departure.