Harmful Substances

General Statement

The possession, use, distribution, or sale of harmful substances is prohibited. Student abuse of these substances is both unacceptable to our community and against the law. In addition, the display of any drug paraphernalia intended for drug or alcohol use is also unacceptable. Harmful substances, as well as being under the influence of these substances, are prohibited on campus and at school-related functions. The Overlake School considers harmful substances to include, but not be limited to, the following: any substance deemed illegal for use by residents in the State of Washington under the age of 21, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, inhalants, off-label prescription drugs of Schedule I, II or III*, or any other substance used as a mind-altering agent.

The school believes that in all activities, both curricular and co-curricular, there is an explicit contract between the students and the faculty/staff.  The faculty/staff trust that the students understand their obligation to adhere to the school’s behavioral expectations, as outlined in this policy.

The school encourages students to seek help if they have a problem with alcohol or drug use. If a student comes forward to a teacher, counselor, or administrator and expresses concern about his or her use, every effort will be made to get that student needed assistance.

*Off-label drugs are those used for a purpose for which they have not been specifically approved.  Schedule I-III drugs have moderate to high potential for abuse and are considered dangerous.

Possession, Use, Distribution, or Sale of Drugs & Alcohol on Campus or in Connection with a School Event

If after due investigation it is confirmed that an upper school student at a school event has been under the influence, in possession of, using, distributing, or selling drugs or alcohol, the student will be referred to the Student Review Board (SRB). The SRB will hear the case and recommend consequences.  

In addition to the consequence determined by the SRB, each of the conditions below must be met within two weeks of the infraction:

  1. The student must obtain a drug and alcohol assessment from a qualified (licensed or certified) drug and alcohol counselor or state-approved agency. This must include a urinalysis. If treatment is recommended, the student must participate in treatment as recommended. The family will be responsible for payment of all services, including any testing, assessment, and treatment programs. If parents need a referral, The Overlake School will provide a list of appropriate assessment and treatment agencies.
  2. Parents must sign a “Consent for Exchange of Information” form before any testing, allowing The Overlake School access to all results and recommendations.
  3. The student and parents must attend a conference with school administrators where they discuss the results of the assessment and the recommendations for treatment. Complete results of this assessment must be available at the meeting. The student’s continued attendance at the school is conditioned upon receipt of this assessment and a clear plan to begin following the treatment guidelines.

If the violation of this policy includes exceptional misconduct, the SRB may recommend more serious consequences, including expulsion. Exceptional misconduct may include, but is not limited to:  Driving or operating machinery under the influence of intoxicants; administering drugs or alcohol to an individual without his or her knowledge or consent ('spiking' drinks, etc.); using drugs or alcohol in a manner that poses an acute health threat to any person, including the user; causing harm to persons or property as a result of intoxication.

If the family or student refuses to abide by the requirements set in motion by this policy, their only alternative course of action is to withdraw the student from the school. The student cannot complete coursework for the term but may receive partial credit for work completed up to the time of the withdrawal.

Possession, Use, Distribution or Sale of Tobacco

Overlake is a tobacco-free campus.  The use of any kind of tobacco by students is prohibited at all Overlake activities on and off campus.  Infractions will be referred to the SRB which will make a recommendation for disciplinary action to the Upper School Dean of Students.  In the Middle School infractions will be referred to the Middle School Head.

Showing Concern Policy

Students are closely supervised at The Overlake School. Our student-teacher ratio offers an opportunity for careful supervision during the school day, and we combine that with friendly “casual supervision” during common periods like lunch and before/after school. Overlake has a closed campus policy, not permitting students to leave during free periods or lunch.

If a student is suspected of drug or alcohol use, whether during the school day or at any of our school-sponsored activities, on or off campus, Overlake personnel follow the Showing Concern Policy guidelines.

We will take the student aside, away from other students, and carefully describe the behavior we have witnessed. We ask the student if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and we carefully evaluate their reaction. At this point we may return the student to class or to the school activity. However, if we have ANY suspicion or concern, we contact an administrator and report our contact with this student. The administrator, if he/she determines the concern to be significant, will call the parents and ask that they help us assess the situation. If it is determined that the student has been using drugs or alcohol, we will begin to follow our Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Any application of this Showing Concern Policy must be reported immediately to school administrators. If parents have questions about these actions, they should contact the Dean of Students.

Outside of School
Occasionally information comes to the attention of the Dean of Students about events or parties off campus where drugs and or alcohol were present.  Although this is not a disciplinary matter, it is our practice to inform the parents of information that we deem credible. (See Parent Collaboration Agreement Below)

Parent Collaboration Agreement

Rationale. We believe that our common goal is to educate our children to be independent thinkers who make wise choices. We recognize that the larger social world presents young people with difficult decisions regarding alcohol, drugs, and driving. We know that if children make poor choices, it may jeopardize not only their own health, safety, and lives, but their friends’ as well. We believe that the best way to instill in them the values and habitudes leading to healthy and safe lifestyles is to help them apply these values consistently across their social circles. With this goal in mind, we seek to establish an agreement to collaborate among ourselves and with the school to promote legal and appropriate social activities, safe environments, and good decision-making skills for our children.

Statement of Belief.  We, the parents of students of the Overlake School, believe that we can keep children safe by

  • Communicating with our children about the risks of unchaperoned parties.
  • Not allowing our children to host or attend unchaperoned parties.
  • Not providing alcoholic beverages for our teens or their friends.
  • Knowing the whereabouts of our children when they are not at home.

We believe that parents working together can more effectively cultivate good-decision making habits among all our children. Using good judgment and being respectful of one another, we can

  • Communicate with one another about our children’s activities that may endanger their health and safety.
  • Communicate with one another about parties our children are attending to make sure there are visible chaperones.
  • Enlist one another to help supervise our children when we have to be away for an extended amount of time.
  • Enlist the school to act as an intermediary in potentially sensitive situations.

The School’s Role. Often what students do during their free off-campus time has an impact on the quality of their performance at school, their relationships with other students, and teachers’ time. When students are engaged in illegal or inappropriate activities, like using drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly, or otherwise endangering their lives or welfare, teachers and advisors often become pulled into the circumstances. As partners with parents in the education of the whole child, the school is sometimes in a position to exert a powerful influence on students’ moral and ethical development.

Off-campus student activities that are illegal or that put students at risk are outside of the school’s jurisdiction. We have no recourse for disciplinary action other than to inform parents when we are concerned about off-campus student activities.

Statement of Belief. We, The Overlake School, believe the school’s role then is to inform the parents when we hear of activities that may put our students at risk. In carrying out this responsibility, the school agrees to

  • Communicate when we learn of activities that cause concern.
  • Determine to the best of our ability the facts around the activities.
  • Call parents and impart information in such a way as to share our genuine concern.

Any ensuing consequences become the responsibility of the parents. In situations where we do have jurisdiction, like the ones involving students participating in on campus activities, we will pursue appropriate action.