Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Rights & Responsibilities

Changes for 2019-20 School Year

Why have the rights changed?

We have updated the Rights & Responsibilities to reflect an update to our strategic plan and changes in state rules that govern student discipline, including suspensions and expulsions. The state’s new rules limit the types of behavior for which students can be suspended or expelled. The new rules also change the process for appealing school discipline. 

We hope that this new page will be easier for families and staff to navigate and that you will be better able to find the information you need.


In Highline Public Schools, we embrace high expectations for all students in academic achievement and conduct. All of us — superintendent and principals, teachers and staff, families and students, the Highline community — have a shared responsibility to educate our students. We believe that all students can be successful when they know and understand these expectations.

This document outlines the rights and the responsibilities for all members of the Highline Public Schools community. It serves as a reference for students, families and schools as we work together to ensure the safety of all students and staff and to maintain a positive learning environment.

Together, we can support all of our students so that every student is successful.


The primary responsibility of the Highline School District is to ensure every student is known by name, strength and need, and graduates prepared for the future they choose. Eliminating racism, racial inequities, and institutional bias will increase achievement and graduation rates for all students, while narrowing the achievement and opportunity gaps between the highest and lowest performing students.  Our strategic plan is the district’s primary equity plan, and our foundation will enable us to meet our goals in every classroom and in every school:


We will disrupt institutional biases and end inequitable practices so all students have an equal chance at success.


We will reduce achievement and opportunity gaps by using culturally responsive, inclusive, standards-based instruction.


We will know our students by name, strength and need and have open, two-way communication with students, families, and community partners.


We will increase student success by supporting their social-emotional and academic needs.

Highline Public Schools recognizes:

  • There is racial disproportionality in disciplinary responses within the district;
  • Each situation involving discipline can be complex with underlying factors that requires staff to understand the function of students’ behaviors;
  • Mitigating and aggravating factors should influence the disciplinary decision-making process;
  • There is a negative impact to students when using exclusionary practices.

Highline Public Schools staff are committed to:

  • Examining our own implicit biases, while working from cultural- and asset-based lenses;
  • Knowing, caring for, and establishing positive relationships with students;
  • Supporting the whole child;
  • Creating physically and emotionally safe classroom and school environments
  • Teaching the development of positive social, emotional, and behavioral skills to students;
  • Utilizing verbal de-escalation skills in an effort to create conditions in schools that allow students to be successful;
  • Using a variety of ways to shape behavior once harm has occurred, instead of relying on exclusionary practices;
  • Partnering with families, other staff, and community based organizations in the event that a disciplinary action has occurred.

Rights and Responsibilities for...

Each of us has rights and responsibilities as members of the Highline Public Schools community. The districtwide rights and responsibilities are outlined below; your school may have additional expectations.


STUDENTS have the right to:

  • An orderly and safe learning environment.
  • Courtesy and respectful treatment.
  • A quality education with clear, challenging learning goals.
  • Positive behavior reinforcement and appropriate correction when conduct does not meet expectations.
  • Equal access to classes, services, and extracurricular activities.
  • Equal treatment in the enforcement of school rules and due process.
  • Help in the classroom and support from the school as a whole.
  • The opportunity to reconcile a wrong and a second chance to exhibit appropriate behavior.

STUDENTS have the responsibility to:

  • Model positive behavior and be active leaders of school culture.
  • Treat teachers, administrators, staff, other students, themselves, and property with respect.
  • Take responsibility for their learning and behavior and hold themselves to high standards of achievement and conduct.
  • Follow school and classroom expectations and rules.
  • Come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn as participating members of the school community.
  • Comply with appropriate requests from school staff.
  • Participate in problem-solving of individual and school concerns.
  • Report serious violations of safety and security to a teacher or other adult at school.
  • Practice self-discipline.


FAMILIES have the right to:

  • Send their child/ren to an orderly and safe school environment.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Be informed of their child/ren’s academic progress, attendance, and behavior concerns in a timely manner.
  • Participate in problem-solving discussions about their child/ren and the expectations of their school as the expert on their child/ren’s needs.
  • Receive information from school staff about ways to improve their child/ren’s academic or behavioral progress including, but not limited to: counseling, tutoring, after-school programs, academic programs, and mental health services.
  • Schedule conferences or classroom visits with teachers, principals, and other school staff.
  • Bring concerns to the attention of school authorities.
  • Challenge disciplinary action through the grievance or due process procedures outlined in this document.
  • Receive translation and interpretation services.

FAMILIES have the responsibility to:

  • Encourage their child/ren to understand their culture and learn about other cultures.
  • Model positive, respectful, and appropriate school behavior by treating school personnel and others with professional etiquette.
  • Hold their child/ren to high standards of achievement and conduct; encourage and praise their child/ren’s accomplishments.
  • Ensure their child/ren attend school daily, on time, and ready to learn.
  • Take responsibility for the behavior of their child/ren as determined by law, community practice, and school expectations.
  • Provide their child/ren a space to complete their homework or allow participation in after-school programs that permit the completion of homework.
  • Report and discuss any child/ren behavior concerns or needs with a staff member and/or administrator; participate in problem-solving for their child/ren and the school.
  • Follow up on discipline reports by discussing the incident with their child/ren and focusing on how to make good choices.
  • Provide school with written explanations for child/ren absences or tardiness and attend parent conferences.
  • Provide updated contact information in a timely manner.


STAFF have the right to:

  • Work in an orderly and safe environment.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Receive cooperation from students and parents/guardians.
  • Feel safe, engaged, and continuously supported with professional development as successful and culturally responsive educators.
  • Receive the necessary resources to deliver quality instruction.

STAFF have the responsibility to:

  • Play a role in creating a culturally accepting environment by being responsive to sharing their culture and learning about other cultures in the school community.
  • Model professional standards of behavior, including ensuring that interaction with students is respectful and caring.
  • Maintain high expectations for all students.
  • Attend work daily, be punctual, and use well-planned, creative, and engaging instructional plans every day.
  • Engage students in defining classroom-specific expectations and rules that elaborate on the district and school expectations.
  • Teach expectations early each school year and review them with students throughout the school year, including an orientation process for new students.
  • Collaborate with their teams and the full staff in developing and implementing school and classroom plans.
  • Utilize responses that address the needs of the students who do not meet student conduct expectations, those people directly affected by the behavior, and the school community.
  • Communicate regularly with the families of their students.
  • Identify students who are struggling with academic, attendance, or behavior issues and participate in problem-solving to resolve those issues.
  • Provide makeup work for students with excused absences, including those students who are absent for disciplinary reasons.


PRINCIPALS have the right to:

  • Work in an orderly and safe environment.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Receive cooperation from students and parents/guardians.
  • Receive direction, support, and ongoing training from central office.
  • Set high expectations for implementing equitable discipline practices and quality academic standards.
  • Receive the cooperation and support of school staff in serving as the school’s educational leader.

PRINCIPALS have the responsibility to:

  • Create a welcoming school environment for teachers, students, and families.
  • Provide leadership with a focus on cultural competence; address racism among students and staff to ensure a culture of acceptance among the diverse groups within the school.
  • Maintain high expectations for all students.
  • Encourage student leadership that promotes the school’s expectations and culture.
  • Implement strategies to ensure a sense of shared leadership and community among school staff.
  • Model positive behavior, including practicing fairness and equity.
  • Provide leadership to ensure the full implementation of the schoolwide PBIS plan and response continuum as discussed in the ‘Student Conduct’ section.
  • Consistently support improved teaching practices and ensure staff have valuable, ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Ensure that school staff, students, and families know how to bring forward concerns and suggestions; and ensure that a process exists for responding to them.
  • Ensure that students are referred to the appropriate committees, departments, offices, divisions, agencies, and organizations when outside support is necessary.
  • Provide positive feedback to students and staff and consult with families of students who are conducting themselves in a manner contrary to the policy and school expectations.


Please talk with your school’s principal or contact the Family Center at 206-631-3104.

Official Notices

Official Notices

Find Information On:

  • Attendance Policy
  • Photo Release
  • Protecting your student's information
  • Special Education

Student Coduct Policy and Procedure 3240