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

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

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

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Highline Public Schools is deeply engaged in work around equity, race and identity to better foster and support an environment in which our students, families, and staff grow, thrive, and succeed.This work, and the language used to describe it, is rapidly evolving.This procedure will be reviewed at least annually to reflect current practices and language.

Institutional practices are those actions taken by an institution (a school, a department, the school district) that intentionally or unintentionally advantage or disadvantage certain groups.  In working to become an anti-racist institution we must actively work to develop and implement practices that are equitable.  We must also actively work to dismantle current practices that end with inequitable or discriminatory results.

Objective:  By using an Equity Lens Highline Public Schools aims to reduce inequities within the institution, including disproportionality in student outcomes.  This Lens is intended to help implement the vision outlined in the District’s equity policy and the strategic plan, which is our equity plan.  This Lens will also develop a common vocabulary and protocol for developing and evaluating policies, programs, practices, and decisions to result in more equitable outcomes.

Recognizing that applying the Equity Lens might look different at the school, department, or district level, the Equity Lens should be considered in decisions such as staffing; budgeting; initiating, developing, or ending programs or procedures/processes; developing design specifications; allocating resources and opportunities; and purchase or implementation of instructional materials. 

We acknowledge that the use of the equity lens can result in different decisions depending on the data set used and the people involved in the decision making.  While reasonable people can disagree, decisions do need to be made and the lens should not be used to paralyze administrative action.  To truly apply an equity lens to our work it is important that decision makers be involved in the broader Highline community to ensure an understanding of our students, families and staff.  

Process:  When using the Equity Lens, consider the following questions and consider the impacts on historically marginalized groups and communities:

  1. Who are the groups affected by this policy, program, practice or decision?  What are the potential impacts on these groups?  
  2. Does this policy, program, practice or decision have unintended consequences, such as ignoring or worsening existing disparities?
  3. How have we intentionally involved stakeholders who are also members of the communities impacted by this policy, program, practice or decision?  Can the stakeholders validate your assessments in questions 1 and 2?
  4. What are the barriers to a more equitable implementation of your policy, program, practice or decision?  (Consider mandates, politics, emotions, finances, or programs.)
  5. How will you mitigate any negative impacts and address any barriers that you have identified?

In addition to using the Equity Lens, we will:

  • Implement a proactive strategy to recruit, employ, support, retain, and continuously develop a workforce of racially and culturally competent administrative, instructional, and support staff that increases the diversity and inclusiveness of the Highline work environment and reflects the Highline Promise.
  • Distribute Highline resources in a way that considers equity in a student centered mindset to eliminate or significantly reduce systemic, measurable inequities in achievement.
  • Continuously and comprehensively review disaggregated district-, school-, and student-level data to identify areas of disproportionality and identify strategies to eliminate achievement gaps.
  • Assure that all students have access to the same rigorous, culturally relevant, standards-based materials and instruction while ensuring the creative use of culturally-relevant supplemental materials that engage our community of diverse learners.
  • Incorporate student voice as a critical part of decision-making. 
  • Implement and monitor culturally-responsive, anti-racist and gender affirming practices throughout the district and in each school.  This can be accomplished through the development of equity teams and the creation of norms and protocols to support these conversations.
  • Foster a work environment that provides a safe environment for staff of color that includes accountability of professional and respectful behaviors.
  • Hold each other accountable for our individual and collective responsibility to intervene when they see instances of inequity, racism, and institutional bias.

At least annually the Superintendent will issue a report updating each area of work, including progress made and areas for improvement, as well as areas that will be changing for the upcoming year.  The report should include both qualitative and quantitative data and may result in recommendations to change policies, procedures, or practices throughout the district.

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: November 2019