Behavioral Expectations

At The Overlake School, we believe that personal accountability and ethics can be developed only when students are afforded the opportunities to pursue their interests and goals, independently or collectively.  As such, we have established certain rights, inalienable to the student body, that should enable and preserve such opportunities. However, with these rights come responsibilities.  Individual interests must be balanced with the common good.  All students have the right to pursue an education without interference. To create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, where all students within the Overlake community have the ability to develop unencumbered, the guiding principles must be compassionate behavior, concern for the feelings and rights of others, and regard for public and private property. In certain situations the school may consider that the impact of an infraction on the community supersedes the impact of the disciplinary consequence on the individual.

The school’s discipline policy centers around one integral idea: In any situation in which a student comes into contact with our disciplinary policy, it is an opportunity for growth, personal responsibility and learning to occur.

With student and community wellness in mind, The Overlake School’s discipline policy has three goals:

  • To teach students that they are accountable to a community with high expectations for their behavioral integrity.
  • To assist the student to grow from the disciplinary process.
  • To develop self-awareness and a clear understanding of the impact of the student’s behavior on themselves and the greater community.

While the Middle School Head and the Upper School Dean of Students are directly responsible for handling matters of discipline, it is our community that will accomplish the goals outlined above.  Through collaboration and open communication we as a community hold ourselves accountable for the school culture that we create.

Expected Behavior for Students at School and During School Activities

The following provides a description of many of the expected behaviors for students. It cannot address all matters, but provides general guidelines to students so that they can understand expected conduct.

Definitions of "the campus," and "at school," are understood to be broad enough to sufficiently cover the intent as well as the letter of the following policies. For example, all classes, practices, games, rehearsals, performances, projects, retreats, field trips and transport on school busses are considered school sponsored activities and are covered by the policies.

  1. Tolerance: All students are expected to be courteous to others and to respect the rights of other individuals. Any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, of another individual will not be tolerated. (See Harassment Policy)
  2. Dress: Students are expected to be dressed appropriately for the occasion or task at hand, and in a manner that will not detract from the personal safety of the individual or group. A shirt, bottom (pants, shorts, leggings, a dress, etc.), and footwear must be worn at all times. Clothing that is see-through, displaying offensive or distracting words, pictures or slogans, advertising or promoting alcohol, illegal drugs, or a controlled substance, or containing sexual innuendos are not allowed. If a student is in violation of the code, please share that information with the Upper School Dean of Students. Students will be counseled by the Upper School Dean of Students if their clothing is deemed inappropriate.
  3. School Day: All students are expected to arrive at school on time and stay during the full school day. Students are expected to attend all of their classes, assemblies, grade level meetings, advisory time, assigned study halls, school assemblies and activities. Any time a student leaves the campus he or she must have a signed note, email or phone call from a parent to the Overlake School attendance phone line or Front Office staff prior to leaving. The student must personally sign-out and sign-in upon returning. Sheets for signing in or signing out are located in the Front Office.  Senior privileges, which are reviewed on an annual basis, may result in a different reporting time, but this does not alter the requirement to sign in and out.

    Senior Privileges include the following exceptions:

    • Seniors are allowed to arrive to school late if they have a free block during first block.  They must arrive at school no later than 9:00 AM and if tardiness is a consistent problem, their privileges can be revoked.
    • Seniors are allowed to leave school after they have completed their last class for the day.  Seniors that choose to leave campus after their last scheduled class must sign-out and not return to campus.  
  4. Campus: Certain areas of the campus are off limits during the school day. These include the pastures and woods surrounding the campus. Middle school students have specific guidelines about which areas of campus they may access during the day.  During the day seniors may go to their cars in the upper lot to retrieve something but they may not “hang out” in the parking lot or in cars that are parked.  Students who drive and have parked in one of the lower lots who need to go to their car during the day must check with either their advisor, the US Dean of Students, or Upper School Head before going down to the lot and upon returning.
  5. Classroom: In the classroom, students are expected to be courteous and respectful of fellow students and faculty. This includes arriving on time and not disrupting the class for personal needs.  Teachers are responsible for the management of their classrooms and have the ability to give detentions or other consequences directly to students if they deem it necessary.  In the event that such measures are not effective, students will be referred to the Middle School Head or Upper School Dean of Students.   
  6. Property: All students are expected to respect individual and school property. If a student borrows someone's property, he or she must have the owner’s permission. Borrowing without permission is theft and is a major infraction.  Keeping classrooms and the campus clean and neat is the responsibility of all members of the Overlake community. 
  7. Respect: Appropriate language will be used on the Overlake campus and at Overlake School functions. Behavior that is disruptive to classes and school activities is not acceptable. Certain public displays of affection (such as that which may make others uncomfortable) are inappropriate in a school setting. Students should use discretion ro ensure that their actions are not offensive to others.
  8. Parking:  At Overlake, there is limited parking.  In order to be eligible for an Overlake parking spot, drivers must register their car(s) with Overlake by filling out the Overlake Vehicle Registration Form.  Once completed, they will either be assigned a spot on upper campus if they are seniors, or asked to park in one of the three lower lots.  It should be noted that dependent on space, seniors may not get a spot on upper campus, and that parking spots are dependent on space available.  Parking in unauthorized parking spots on campus is not allowed and is considered a disciplinary matter and parking off campus is at sole risk of the student if they choose to do so.  
  9. Walking: Overlake is a walking campus. The use of skateboards, scooters, in-line skates etc., is not permitted on campus. Bicycles may not be ridden on campus during the school day. Students who choose to ride to school must park their bikes until they leave. Bicycles may be ridden only in the parking lot or on the paved roads.
  10. Games: The center of campus is not an athletic field. Those wishing to engage in athletic activities (i.e., Frisbee, lacrosse, football, etc.) must use the fields below the campus center or on the north side of the library. Teachers have the right to terminate any athletic activity which interferes with their classes or presents a safety risk.
  11. Weapons: No weapons of any kind or weapon look-alikes may be carried onto the school premises, school transportation, private vehicles or any area being used for a school activity. Weapons include, but are not limited to, any firearm, knives, sling shots, air guns, “throwing stars,” “nun-chu-ka-sticks,” or any other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250. (See Major Infractions) Students who wish to bring a weapon to school for an educational purpose must have the permission of the division head in advance and must present the item to the teacher for safekeeping immediately upon arrival to school.
  12. Driving: See Driving and Riding
  13. Drug & Alcohol:  See Harmful Substances Policy