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Community Norms and Commitments

Academic Integrity


All members of the community are expected to be honest and forthcoming in all communications, especially about their own actions, but also about incidents or events of which they may have knowledge. Cheating in any form is unacceptable behavior. Using someone else’s intellectual property (words, images, ideas, or any other creation) in one’s own work without giving credit to the source is plagiarism, which is a violation of our policies. Specific policies concerning plagiarism can be found in the Middle School and Upper School Student Handbooks.

Acceptance


Eastside Preparatory School embraces diversity and values the integrity of all individuals. To create an environment of inclusion, acceptance, and mutual respect that supports genuine learning, every member of the community must recognize and display appropriate, sensitive behavior. Examples of unacceptable behavior are threatening actions or language; use of sexually explicit language or materials except in the context of sex education, health discussions, or other specific academic contexts in which particular terms may be constructively purposeful; or any comment that is derogatory about race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, culture, national origin, socioeconomic status, personal appearance, or the like. If any members of the community feel that they have been subjected to any of these abuses they should tell the person whose behavior or language has been offensive. If direct communication is not possible, if the offender does not freely apologize, or if the behavior is repeated, they should tell a teacher, a staff member, or the Head of School.

Citizenship


The foundation of our community is built on the belief that respect for self, for learning, and for others is essential to the creation and the perpetuation of a learning community. At Eastside Prep, a high level of personal responsibility is expected of all students and adults. All members of the community should be able to assume that they teach and learn in a community whose members share a commitment to the school’s mission and the expectations expressed in official school publications. While philosophical beliefs and commitments may vary among families and employees, the expectation is that every member of the community understands and chooses to abide by the school’s published ideals, goals, rules, and policies. Guided by our ethic of good citizenship, all members of the community are expected to be conscientious about creating a school environment in which we can all think openly together about information, events, and problems, and can act on the basis of our deliberations. Students are asked to develop intellectual character, which is more than an aggregate of academic knowledge and skills; it is a commitment to take active charge of one’s learning and to use it for the purpose of making the world a better place.

Communication


We believe civil, direct communication is always the best way to approach the solution to any problem. We expect questions regarding the work we do and encourage any concern or issue regarding our faculty or staff to be taken directly to the person involved. At the same time, the Head of School and the Division Heads are available to help solve any problems that may emerge during the course of the year and can help to facilitate resolutions if efforts seem to be frustrated or unsatisfying. Complaints regarding the Head of School should be directed to the Head or, if necessary, to the President of the Board of Trustees.

The Head will promptly and fairly investigate all complaints brought to her attention. Eastside Prep has an open-door policy regarding complaints. That is, no member of the community will suffer direct or indirect retaliation or intimidation as a result of reporting a problem to the Head or assisting in an investigation of same. To the highest degree possible, allowing for a fair investigation, the school will treat all complaints in a confidential manner.

Conduct Outside EPS


In the event that a student’s behavior outside the community—and beyond the jurisdiction of the school regarding disciplinary response—reflects negatively on the reputation of the school or negatively impacts another member of the community, the Head of School reserves the right to review the student’s standing in the community. The decision about the action to be taken rests with the Head of School, and ranges from simple censure to expulsion. This policy includes online behavior as well as cyber-bullying, whether between EPS community members, or from community members about EPS.

Discipline


Membership in the Eastside Prep community is a privilege, it is not a right.

An important way of helping students grow into positive, principled members of society is for adults to model principled behavior when students are present. We remind ourselves that parents/guardians, employees, and Trustees have an opportunity to model good citizenship in each of their contacts with students. Our expectation is that students will emulate the best examples set by adults and act in accordance with behavior that is most conducive to an active and engaged community working and growing together.

Disciplinary matters will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Because we are a school, disciplinary action is educational rather than retributive; we will help the offender understand why a specific behavior or action requires attention. The nature of any corrective action will be commensurate with the nature of the offense and the frequency of the behavior. Corrective actions for students will range from meetings with the Division Head, to loss of privileges or opportunities to participate in activities, to suspension or even expulsion in the case of extremely serious infractions.

Faculty members are responsible for supervision of students, and for the implementation of school disciplinary policies. In situations in which student behavior is not improved as a result of the efforts of the teacher, the teacher will confer with the student’s Advisor to reach positive resolution.

If the teacher and Advisor are unsuccessful in their attempts to motivate positive resolution, the matter will be referred to the Division Head.

In extreme cases such as academic dishonesty (cheating or plagiarism), deliberate lying, bullying, or in any way threatening another person, the Division Head, in conjunction with the Head of School, will determine the appropriateness of the disciplinary response, which may range from sanction to expulsion.

Disciplinary actions are confidential between the school and the student. No information may be shared about a student to anyone other than the student’s parents/guardians. Allegations made by anyone against anyone else will be managed confidentially, i.e., the aim is to solve the problem as opposed to placing blame. There are no announcements about disciplinary actions to faculty, students, or parents/guardians, apart from matters with which they have direct, personal experience. Disciplinary action is documented in the student’s file and remains there until and unless the Head of School thinks it appropriate to expunge the file of information about disciplinary action.

Parents/guardians are expected to read and understand discipline policies described in Student Handbooks which can be accessed via our website (www.eastsideprep.org), under Current Families tab→Policies/Procedures→Handbooks. [password: EPS@20] Parents/guardians are expected to ensure that their students understand the discipline policies described in the Student Handbooks.

Equity and Inclusivity Statement


Our goal is to make Eastside Prep a community that welcomes all people regardless of age, color, creed, race, religious affiliation or lack thereof, disability, marital status, veteran status, socioeconomic status, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, or gender expression. Our curriculum, communications, admissions, hiring and staffing plans are proactively developed and implemented to further understanding of, interest in, and acceptance of people regardless of physical features or existential facts. Building such a community is a constantly evolving activity that requires flexibility, trust, and commitment to the idea that all people share a common humanity.

Financial Aid


Financial aid is available for families who demonstrate a financial need and whose students maintain a reasonable academic record with Eastside Prep. Aid is applied for on an annual basis through the school and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS), a division of the Educational Testing Service. The SSS analyzes family financial information and determines a suggested family contribution. Based on that suggestion, Eastside Prep will determine the actual amount of aid offered. Families must reapply for financial aid every school year, as circumstances may change.

Fundraising


The Board of Trustees assumes responsibility for authorizing and overseeing all development activities (including fundraising and constituent relations) conducted on behalf of Eastside Prep. No fundraising activities on behalf of the school may be undertaken without approval from the Head of School. As is true at most private schools, tuition together with Annual Fund donations covers the full cost of educating a student. Therefore, all members of the school community are asked each year to contribute to our Annual Fund Campaign. Dollars raised are applied to current operations, supporting everything from salaries to school equipment and program supplies. Please direct all questions regarding fundraising efforts to the Director of Institutional Advancement.

Project-based Fundraising

Monitored by the Institutional Advancement (IA) Committee, and approved by the Board of Trustees, fundraising in the EPS community is conducted for one of two purposes only. The Annual Fund is conducted every year to balance the operating budget and to make possible experiences that otherwise would not be available to the community. Fundraising for other special efforts (e.g., for the purchase or construction of major assets or endowment efforts) occurs intermittently based on program and facilities needs that cannot be expensed as part of the operating budget. No other fundraising—for any purpose—may be conducted at EPS. Occasionally, student groups work together to collect food, clothes, toys, and the like to meet the needs of organizations responsible for supporting those in need. Projects of this sort may be approved by the Division Heads’ offices. No fundraising can be done by any individual or group for any purpose unrelated to Eastside Prep; all fundraising activities are under the leadership of the office for Institutional Advancement.

Gift Giving

EPS is aware that parents/guardians sometimes wish to give gifts to individual teachers as a token of their appreciation for the faculty member’s hard work. Families should not feel obligated to give gifts and are requested to refrain from giving cash gifts to any employee or department. Gifts to individual employees may be made in the form of gift cards but should not exceed $100 in value.

Donations of Goods and Services

Families may, from time to time, wish to donate goods or services to Eastside Prep. In order to ensure that donations are recorded and donors receive recognition for their gifts, please contact the Director of Institutional Advancement regarding all such donations.

Gender Expression and Gender Identity


Federal and State law prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of gender expression and gender identity in K – 12 public schools. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division), the U.S. Department of Education (Office for Civil Rights), and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (Equity and Civil Rights Office) have issued guidelines and statements of students’ rights regarding gender expression and gender identity. These guidelines and statements can be found at the following website:

Eastside Preparatory School considers these guidelines and statements to represent current best practices for independent schools. As a result, Eastside Preparatory School adopts as its Policy on Gender Expression and Gender Identity the general guidelines and statements of students’ rights promulgated by the aforementioned agencies.1 Additional components of Eastside Preparatory School’s Policy on Gender Expression and Gender Identity are set forth below. This policy may be amended or modified at any time.

Scope

This policy covers conduct that takes place in the school, on school property, at school-sponsored functions and activities, on school buses or vehicles and at bus stops, and on school-sponsored trips requiring housing or overnight accommodations. This policy also pertains to usage of electronic technology and electronic communication that occurs in the school, on school property, at school-sponsored functions and activities, on school buses or vehicles and at bus stops, and on school computers, networks, forums, and mailing lists. This policy applies to the entire school community, including educators, EPS staff, students, parents/guardians, and volunteers.

Privacy/Confidentiality

All persons, including students, have a right to privacy, and this includes the right to keep one’s gender status private at school. Information about a student’s gender expression or gender identity, legal name, or sex assigned at birth also may constitute confidential medical information. Disclosing this information to other students, their parents/guardians, or other third parties may violate privacy laws. School staff shall not disclose information specific to a student’s gender expression or gender identity status to others, including parents/guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.

Students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and gender expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information. The fact that a student chooses to disclose gender identity or gender expression status to staff or other students does not authorize school staff to disclose other medical information about the student. When contacting a parent or guardian, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s sex assigned at birth unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise. (See following section on “Student Transitions”.)

Protecting the privacy of students must be a top priority and all medical information shall be kept strictly confidential. Violating confidentiality of this information is a violation of this policy.

Official Records

The school maintains a student record that includes a student’s legal name and gender assigned at birth. However, to the extent that the school is not legally required to use a student’s legal name and gender assigned at birth on other school records or documents, the school shall use the name and gender preferred by the student. The school will change a student’s official record to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of documentation that such change has been made pursuant to a court order, or through amendment of state or federally issued identification. School IDs, for example, are not legal documents and should use the student’s preferred name. In situations where school staff or administrators are required by law to use or to report a student’s legal name or sex assigned at birth, such as for purposes of standardized testing, school staff and administrators shall avoid the inadvertent disclosure of any confidential information concerning gender expression or gender identity.

Names and Pronouns

Every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. A court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change their official records. Teachers and staff should respect the manner in which a student prefers to be addressed at school or on school activities, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.

Student Transitions

In order to maintain privacy and confidentiality regarding any transition and gender expression or gender identity, students may wish—but are not required—to transition over a summer break or between grades. Regardless of the timing of a student’s transition, the school shall act in accordance with the following age-appropriate policies.

Generally, notification of a student’s parent/guardian about their gender identity, expression or transition is unnecessary, as they are already aware and may be supportive. In some cases, however, notifying parents/guardians carries risks for the student. Prior to notification of any parent or guardian regarding the transition process, school staff will work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent/guardian will be involved in the process and should consider the health, well-being, and safety of the transitioning student. When a student transitions during the school year, the school shall hold a meeting with the student (and parents/guardians if they are involved in the process) to ascertain their desires and concerns. The school should discuss a timeline for the transition in order to create the conditions supporting a safe and accepting environment at the school. Finally, the school shall train school administrators and any educators that interact directly with the student on the transition plan, and timelines for transition.

Parents/Guardians


Parents/guardians who wish to meet with a teacher or administrator are always welcome and encouraged to do so. Please contact the person with whom you wish to speak and make an appointment. We ask that parents/guardians check in at the TALI Hall reception area upon arrival, and follow all check-in protocols in place.

All communication between parents/guardians and EPS employees is expected to be honest, respectful, and reasonable. If you feel exceptionally concerned, frustrated or angry—wait for emotions to cool before contacting the person best able to help you.

Similarly, parents/guardians are expected—along with all other community members—to be respectful and to behave responsibly at all EPS performances, games, and activities.

Principles of Good Practice


This section is derived from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) website. Revised and approved by the NAIS board in 2004.

The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools, defining high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations, are designed to help guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be.

Parents Working with Schools/Schools Working with Parents

Parents and independent schools work together to create and sustain effective partnerships. The following principles of good practice describe the respective roles and responsibilities of both partners.

Parents Working with Schools

  1. Parents recognize that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be reached.
  2. In selecting an independent school, parents seek an optimal match for the needs of the student, their own expectations, and the philosophy and programs of the school.
  3. Parents are familiar with and support the school’s policies and procedures.
  4. Parents provide a home environment that supports the development of positive learning attitudes and habits.
  5. Parents involve themselves in the life of the school.
  6. Parents seek and value the school’s perspective on the student.
  7. When concerns arise, parents seek information directly from the school, consulting with those best able to address the concerns.
  8. Parents share with the school any religious, cultural, medical, or personal information that the school may need to serve the student best.

Schools Working with Parents

  1. The school recognizes that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be reached.
  2. The school clearly and fully presents its philosophy, program, and practices to parents during the admission process and encourages dialogue that clarifies parental expectations and aspirations for the student.
  3. The school seeks and values the parents’ perspective on the student.
  4. Teachers and administrators are accessible to parents and model candid and open dialogue.
  5. The school keeps parents well informed through systematic reports, conferences, publications, and informal conversations.
  6. The school defines clearly how it involves parents when considering major decisions that affect the school community.
  7. The school offers and supports a variety of parent education opportunities.
  8. The school suggests effective ways for parents to support the educational process.
  9. The school actively seeks the knowledge it needs to work effectively with a diverse parent body.

Re-enrollment


Students do not need to apply for re-enrollment each year; the Head of School will offer re-enrollment contracts based on student performance. The annual timeframe for re-enrollment is early January through early February. Eastside Prep has the responsibility to dismiss or deny re-enrollment to any student for unacceptable academic performance, for unacceptable behavior, or for any other cause when, in the reasoned opinion of the Head of School, the student’s continued presence is not in the best interest either of the school or of the student. Similarly, the school has a responsibility to dismiss or deny re-enrollment to a family if the parents or guardians have compromised—through failure to support the school mission and policies—the possibility for a positive and constructive working relationship between the school and family. Re-enrollment contracts may be withheld due to Academic Review (MS), or if a student is placed on Academic Warning/Academic Probation (US) or Disciplinary Probation, or if a family has not met their tuition obligation.

Religion


Eastside Prep is a school independent of religious affiliation. Out of respect to all, we do not allow distribution of materials intended to advocate or discourage any particular church, faith, or religious perspective. Eastside Prep respects individual choices concerning religion and religious practices. If absence from class or other school activity is required for religious practice or observation, families should feel welcome to excuse students from school. Faculty and staff are supportive of such decisions and will provide assistance to students who have missed assignments because of absence for a religious purpose.

Safety


Actions that are hurtful or potentially hurtful to self, others, or the physical environment are unacceptable. Use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco/vaping products, or weapons at school or school functions is prohibited. Violations will call into question the appropriateness of the offender’s presence in the community.

School Records


Eastside Prep maintains student files throughout the time of a student’s enrollment and for four years following graduation or withdrawal from the school. A student’s permanent record contains grades and comments, transcripts, and other correspondence pertinent to maintaining a record of the student’s academic performance. Permanent records are kept with the Eastside Prep Registrar. Following the student’s withdrawal or graduation, the record is kept intact for a period of four years, after which time the transcript is the single remaining document of record. For any questions, please contact studentrecords@eastsideprep.org.

Sustainability-Focused School


Eastside Prep operates in ways that conserve and improve human well-being, the school’s resources, and the health of the earth’s life-systems on which we depend. We do not waste resources, and we re-use and recycle to minimize our impact to our natural resources. Our intention is to make our human impact on the world conscious, deliberate, and constructive.

Tuition and Fees


Tuition and fees are established annually by the Board of Trustees and represent a significant portion of our operating income. Parents/guardians should refer to their copies of the enrollment contract for details regarding payments and responsibilities. Direct all inquiries about payment of tuition and fees to the Business Office, 425-822-5668 x 325.

Visitors on Campus


As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our campus secure and safe for our students, all visitors are required to check in at the TALI Hall reception desk.

Guests (including vendors, parents/guardians/relatives of students, alumni, and substitute teachers) are required to follow all visitor protocols while on campus. Guests are expected to sign out at TALI Hall at the end of their visit.

Parents/guardians who are dropping off food or projects for their student should leave items at the TALI Hall reception desk. Staff members will contact the student to get the item during passing or free period. Parents/guardians are asked not to go directly to their student’s locker or classroom.

1 Eastside Preparatory School adopts the statements of students’ rights articulated by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – Equity and Civil Rights Office save and except for the procedures associated with the filing and adjudication of a formal complaint or appeal thereof to a school district or OSPI.

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