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

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

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The Highline School District is committed to maintaining neighborhood schools for its students. In support of this goal, the following procedures will be adhered to in implementing Board Policy 3132.

1.       Assignment of Students

a.    Neighborhood Attendance Areas

The Highline School District is subdivided into geographically identified attendance areas.  Students residing within the district's boundaries attend the school offering the appropriate grade level which serves their attendance area unless specifically reassigned to another school.

b.    Enrollment/Registration of Students

                            i.  Student enrollment will take place online via the online parent portal. Students enrolled in Special Education, Highly Capable, and Dual Language programs may be assigned to schools according to the placement of Teaching, Learning and Leadership Department, if other than their neighborhood schools.

c.  Duration of Assignments

Students will remain enrolled in their assigned elementary and/or secondary schools until:

                                          i.    The student's school attendance area is changed or the district system of assigning students is changed.

                                         ii.    The student is authorized by official district action to transfer to another school or program.

                                        iii.    The student is no longer available for schooling.

                                       iv.    The district takes other action to change the student's assignment.

                                        v.    The student completes the highest grade level of a transfer school (grade 5 or 8) and is automatically returned to their neighborhood school's feeder pattern.

                                       vi.    If a student moves outside of the current school’s boundary during the academic year, but remains within the district’s boundary, the student may attend the current school for the remainder of the current academic year.  See section 4 below for more information.   Transportation will be the responsibility of the family.

                                      vii.    If a student moves outside of the district boundaries please follow the process outlined in Policy and Procedure 3141.

d.  Determination of Residency

                          i.    Generally, the residence of a student is the residence of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The residence of parent(s)/guardian(s) is defined as the place where they eat, sleep, and otherwise find their principal place of residence.

                         ii.    Students at any grade level who become homeless or are placed in Foster Care during the school year may choose to:

1.    Stay in their school of origin and receive extended transportation if feasible (school designees will initiate the transportation arrangements for the parents by contacting the McKinney-Vento/Foster Care Liaison), or

2.    Enroll in another school based on the new temporary address with transportation subject to standard transportation guidelines.

e.    Residency Verification

The parent/guardian or adult student must provide documentation to verify residency. Examples of acceptable documentation may include:

                            i.    Final documents showing purchase or construction AND occupancy of a home at a specific address for the parent(s) or guardian(s) or adult student.

                           ii.    A copy of a residential rent or lease agreement, signed by the landlord, showing the parent or guardian or adult student’s name and mailing address. A post office box is not acceptable for this purpose.

                          iii.    Documents of public agencies; e.g., courts, Department of Social and Health Services medical coupon or rent voucher, a public utility bill, waste management, or power bill, etc., showing parent’s or guardian’s or adult student’s name and address. 

                         iv.    Official court documents establishing a legal guardianship and the guardian’s residency.

                          v.    If a student coming from outside Highline School District is identified as homeless and does not have documents necessary for enrollment, the district’s McKinney-Vento/Foster Care liaison and school staff will assist the parent/guardian in obtaining documents normally required for school. The lack of documents may not delay a homeless student’s access to school, free lunch, and transportation.

                         vi.    Falsification of an address or residence (or conditions of living arrangement) to obtain a school assignment will be cause for the revocation of the student’s school assignment and return to the proper school of assignment and forfeiture of any future transfer rights through the highest grade level of that school.

f.     Transportation
If a transfer is approved, transportation is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian except in cases of balanced students (see Section 5 below) in the first year of balancing.  Exceptions are that transportation will be provided for students enrolled in the Highly Capable program (grades 2-8), Dual Language Partner Schools, the Puget Sound Skills Center programs (resident students only; grades 9-12), the International Baccalaureate Programme, and students whose IEP or 504 plan calls for transportation.

g.    Interscholastic Athletics

Current 9th through 12th grade students who transfer from one Highline District school to another without a corresponding change of residency by the entire family unit will be eligible at the sub-varsity level for one calendar year.

2.          In-District Transfer Procedures

In order that resident students may have the opportunity to attend their neighborhood school it is necessary to reserve space for service area resident students.  Parent/guardian initiated requests for transfer will be authorized according to the adopted Student Transfer Policy if space is available at the receiving school.

At the elementary level, the requested school class (es) capacity equals three (3) students less than the negotiated ratio for the district average class size at each grade level.

a.    An In-District Transfer Request form must be completed by the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student for each student seeking a transfer and submitted to the Student Placement Office. 

b.    Highline Public Schools offers one transfer window. The transfer window will be open January to May. Please see the website for specific dates for each window.

c.    Requests received will be divided into separate groups: general education, and special education and addressed separately.  The Special Education department will inform Student Placement of student program placement assignments prior to transfer requests being processed by the appropriate department.  

d.    . Transfers received outside of the open transfer window will be reviewed for extenuating circumstances. Requests received during the months of June-August may be held until after the start of the school year.

e.    All transfer requests will be evaluated against the district’s transfer categories (see section 4 below) and all transfers are subject to space availability (capacity) in the school or program.

f.     Requests for enrollment into one of the district’s application schools or programs are addressed in section 9 below.

g.    Requests for transfer into a Dual Language partner school are addressed in sections 4, 6, 7 and 8, below.

h.    The Student Placement department will notify the family as well as the appropriate sending and receiving schools whether the transfer has been approved or denied.

3.         Appeal Process

a.    If capacity is the reason for the denial, there is no appeal process.

b.    If a transfer is denied for reasons other than capacity, the parent/guardian may request reconsideration by contacting the Student Placement Office within ten (10) school business days. The superintendent’s designee will review all relevant information regarding the denial and either uphold the decision or grant the transfer. The decision will be communicated in writing within ten (10) school business days.

c.    A parent/guardian may further appeal the decision of the superintendent’s designee to the school board by requesting a board appeal hearing, in writing, within five (5) business days of receipt of the review findings to the Student Placement Office.

4.         Transfer Categories

a.    Childcare

                                          i.    Childcare transfers may be granted on a space available basis if current childcare circumstances directly impact the student’s ability to attend their neighborhood school.  In all cases supporting documentation will be required.  Transportation will be the responsibility of the family.

b.    Continuation

                                          i.    Students who move during the school year will be able to remain in their school for the remainder of the year.  Families that wish to remain at the current school beyond the current year must apply for an in-district transfer for the following year at the time of the move.   Student Placement will review these transfer requests at the time they are submitted. Transportation will be the responsibility of the family.

c.    Hardship

                                          i.    A student may be granted a transfer on a space available basis if attendance in the neighborhood school will cause severe hardship. Severe hardship is defined as any condition that directly interferes with the student's ability to attend the neighborhood school. In all cases, supporting documentation will be required. Transportation will be the responsibility of the family.

d.    Sibling

                                          i.    Sibling transfers will be considered on a space available basis. The granting of a transfer request does not guarantee that other siblings will also be granted a similar transfer.  A sibling transfer request will only be considered if the siblings will be attending the same school during the same year.  Transportation will be the responsibility of the family.

e.    Dual Language

                                          i.    Students who do not live in a dual language partner school service area may request a transfer into a dual language program.  Transfers will be granted on a space-available basis.  Transportation will be the responsibility of the family. More information on Dual Language transfers in section 8.

f.     Children of District Employees

                                          i.    Children of current Highline Public School employees may request a transfer to the school to which the employee is assigned or to a school forming the district’s K- 12 continuum that includes the school to which the employee is assigned.

                                         ii.    Children of current Highline Public School employees may request a transfer to a school other than the one they are assigned to or a school in that K-12 continuum.  These requests will be considered on a space available basis.

5.         Balancing

a.    Balancing authorizes district staff to reassign students among elementary schools in order to balance students more evenly by grade level and classroom.

b.    Students who enroll after the last day of school are the first to be balanced.  Students will then be balanced based on date of enrollment, with later enrollments balanced first.  Balancing will continue until schools and classes have reached their class size limit.  The district shall give priority to minimizing the disruptions of the students’ established relationships with a school. All elementary students transferred by the district for purposes of balancing may request a transfer to remain within the newly assigned school if space is available, in subsequent years.  If the request is approved transportation will not be provided.

c.    The district will try to keep siblings in the same elementary school.  Parents/guardians may request that siblings are balanced to the same school if space is available.

d.    All elementary students transferred by the district for purposes of balancing who do not request a transfer are automatically returned to their neighborhood school the following school year.

6.         Dual Language Partner Schools—Spanish-English Programs

Each school-wide dual language (DL) elementary school is partnered with another elementary school nearby that offers an English-only program.  Students who live in the dual language or English-only school who want to attend their partner school must:

a.    First be enrolled in their neighborhood school

b.    Go to that neighborhood school and request placement at the partner school

c.    The request will be processed and the student will be enrolled in the partner school if space is available

d.    If space is not available in the requested English-only program the student will be transferred using the Balancing process

e.    Partner schools are:

                                          i.    Hilltop (DL) and Beverly Park

                                         ii.    Madrona (DL) and Bow Lake

                                        iii.    Mount View (DL) and Shorewood

                                       iv.    Hazel Valley (DL) and Seahurst

                                        v.    Midway (DL) and Parkside


7.         Dual Language Partner School—Vietnamese-English

White Center Heights offers a Vietnamese dual language program.  Partner schools for the Vietnamese program are Beverly Park, Cedarhurst, Hazel Valley, Mount View, Shorewood and Southern Heights Elementary.  Families who live in one of those service areas and wish to attend the Vietnamese program must:

a.    First be enrolled in their neighborhood school

b.    Go to that neighborhood school and request placement at White Center Heights

c.    The request will be processed and the student will be enrolled if space is available

8.         Dual Language—Middle & High Schools

a.    Students who are enrolled and transferred in to Dual Language at the elementary school level will automatically be placed at the corresponding neighborhood middle school and later high school that offers continued dual language instruction and programing. The parent/ guardian must opt their student out of the program. A transfer for continuation is not required for dual language enrollment. 

9.         Admissions process for schools requiring an application.

a.     Big Picture Schools, CHOICE Academy, Maritime High School, Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS), and the International Baccalaureate Programme at Mount Rainier will have applications available starting in January.  To apply students must:

                                    i.    Submit a complete application during the application window to be considered

                                   ii.    Meet the criteria for success in the unique education program at the school

                                  iii.    Commit to the program after being fully informed about the benefits and expectations

b.    If selected in the lottery, schools staff may meet with the applicant and a parent or guardian to confirm that they fully understand the program and are prepared to commit to it.

c.    Non-residents who are accepted into one of the schools must still comply with the non-resident attendance rules (See Policy and Procedure 3141) prior to finalizing enrollment.

d.    RAHS Lottery will consist of three segments:

                                  i.    Highline: 55 seats (51%) will be drawn from applications submitted by students residing in Highline district boundaries

                                 ii.    Seattle: 20 seats will be drawn from supplications submitted by students residing in the Seattle School District boundaries

                                iii.    Other: 30 seats will be drawn from applications submitted by students not residing in the Highline or Seattle boundaries, but in other school districts within the Puget Sound Region.


e.    Maritime High School will consist of two segments:

                                          i.    Highline: 51% will be drawn from applications submitted by students residing in Highline district boundaries.

                                         ii.    Other: 49% will be drawn from applications submitted by students not residing in Highline boundaries.

f.     For the International Baccalaureate Programme at Mount Rainier High School, up to 15 seats per graduating year will be reserved for each of the high school service areas (Highline, Tyee and Evergreen). If more than 15 students submit an application from each campus, a lottery system will be implemented.

Legal Reference:  
Adults, children from other districts, agreements for attending school–Tuition - RCW 28A.225.220
District policies-Procedures and criteria for release of resident students and admission of non-resident students - WAC 392-137-040
Appeal notice - WAC 392-137-055    

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: May 24, 1989
Revised by the Superintendent: 08.91, 09.91, 08.93, 07.95, 12.98, 02.02, 06.06, 10.06, 01.10, 01.14, 01.15, 12.15, 06.16, 10.16, 3.18, 12.18, 12.20