The district considers applications for the enrollment of students who reside outside of the district’s boundaries. Non-resident enrollment applications are considered as long the anticipated needs of resident students are met first. The application process takes into consideration instructional and projected capacity; financial hardship on Highline Public Schools’ resources; and other factors as outlined in the admission criteria (section 1.b)
1. Assignment of Students:
a. Duration of Assignment: Non-resident assignments are effective for one academic year only. Non-resident students must submit an application every academic year to request enrollment in Highline Public Schools (HPS). At the end of each academic year, all non-resident assignments are discontinued and students are withdrawn from their current school.
If a student moves out of the district during the academic year and becomes a non-resident their assignment is not automatically continued. Non-resident students that wish to be considered for continued enrollment must apply for non-resident enrollment as outlined in section 2. Non-resident students are subject to all non-resident admission criteria. Please refer to section 1.b for more information.
b. Admission Criteria
i. HPS will consider non-resident applications except in the following circumstances:
1. Instructional capacity does not exist, or is not projected to exist in any particular grade, school or program. Resident students cannot be disadvantaged by a non-resident enrollment.
2. Acceptance of the student would result in the district experiencing significant financial hardship.
3. Discipline records indicate there is a history of violent or disruptive behavior, gang membership,or whether the student has been expelled or suspended from public school for more than ten consecutive days.
4. The non-resident application has requested attendance in a school that is closed to non-resident enrollment for that academic school year.
5. The non-resident application has requested attendance to enroll in HPS to access academic options or extracurricular options not offered by the resident district except as outlined in section 5 of this procedure.
6. The application is incomplete.
ii. HPS will take into consideration non-resident applications that are complete and meet one or more of the below criteria:
1. The non-resident application includes the student’s discipline record and verifies that there is not a history of violent or disruptive behavior or gang membership; and indicates that there is no evidence of expulsion or suspension from public school for more than ten consecutive days.
2. The non-resident application has requested continued enrollment, with the same school assignment, for the remainder of the school year after the student has moved. Additional documentation verifying the date of move is required.
3. The non-resident application has been requested because placement is more accessible to the parent/guardian’s place of work or childcare. Additional documentation verifying location of employment and or childcare is required.
4. The non-resident application has been requested because of severe hardship. Additional documentation of hardship is required.
5. The non-resident application has been made because the student has a sibling currently enrolled in the requested school. Sibling requests will only be considered if both siblings will be attending the same school during the same year.
6. The non-resident application has requested attendance in the non-resident district because the parent/guardian of the child is a district employee. Applications will be considered based on the employee’s verified work location and must be within a school forming the K-12 continuum. All other employees will be considered only on a space available basis.
2. Application Process:
a. Requirements: Non-residents may apply to attend HPS by submitting a Choice Transfer Request and all appropriate district forms within the non-resident enrollment timeline. HPS requires additional documentation to be presented to the Student Placement Office in order to complete an application for non-resident enrollment. An application is not considered submitted until it is complete and includes all required pieces of documentation as outlined in this procedure. Additional documentation must be submitted during the open non-resident enrollment window (section 2.b) and will not be accepted after the deadline. If a non-resident application is approved for the academic year, the student’s parent/guardian will be required to complete district enrollment procedures as followed by residents.
A student that lives outside of Highline Public School District must submit the following documentation to complete a non-resident enrollment application. Applications to alternative programs and schools may indicate different application requirements (section 5).
i. Choice transfer release request form. This is obtained through the district where the student resides.
ii. Non-Resident Application Form. This is obtained on Highline’s website or at the HPS Central office.
iii. Discipline documentation. Verification that the student has not had any disciplinary issues in the past year. Please provide a report of disciplinary actions from the current school of attendance. Students currently enrolled in Highline Public Schools requesting non-resident enrollment for the next school year are not required to submit discipline documentation.
iv. Special Education Records and or 504 plan. If applicable, please provide copies of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or 504 accommodation plan. Students currently enrolled in Highline Public Schools requesting non-resident enrollment for the next school year are not required to submit IEP or 504 accommodation plan(s).
v. Additional Documentation may be required. Please see section 1.b.ii.
i. Applications for non-resident enrollment (including renewals and new requests) will be accepted beginning the second Monday in July. The non-resident enrollment window will close the first Friday in August.
ii. Applications submitted prior to the second Monday in July will be held for family’s convenience. Those applications will be considered to have been received on the first day of the non-resident application window. Families submitting applications prior to the open non-resident application window will be notified that their requests will be held for review. Applications submitted after the first Friday in August will automatically be denied. The only applications that will be considered after the first Friday in August will be non-resident applications of former resident students who move out of the district during the academic year and non-residents requesting attendance to alternative learning programs with different timelines.
iii. Applications requesting continued enrollment after a move are required to submit all application materials within 20 school days of the move. Students that do not comply are subject to withdrawal from the current school of attendance.
iv. Non-resident applications are not wait-listed.
i. Applications from students of district employees are processed first, followed by renewal applicants who wish to continue in their current school, then by applications for siblings whose sibling will be in the same school the same school year. All other completed applications will be processed in the order received.
d. Appeal Process:
i. If a non-resident application is denied, the parent/guardian may appeal the decision by requesting a hearing through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Olympia.
3. Students with IEPs or Section 504 Plans:
a. Students that have a current Individual Education Program (IEPs) or receive any special education services will be required to submit additional documentation. Failure to submit appropriate documentation at the time of the application may result in revocation of non-resident enrollment.
4. Students eligible for McKinney-Vento Program or in Foster Care:
a. Students qualified for McKinney-Vento services receive services for the duration of the school year even if a family finds permanent housing during the school year. Once the school year ends, McKinney-Vento eligibility ends if the family finds permanent housing. Students eligible for McKinney-Vento services do not require a Choice Transfer Request. Once a student establishes housing and is no longer eligible for services, and the student resides outside of the district they are required to follow the non-resident application process.
b. Students in Foster Care do not require a Choice Transfer Request. Once a student is no longer eligible for Foster Care services, and the student resides outside of the Highline School District boundaries, they are then required to follow the non-resident application process.
5. Choice Schools & Alternative Learning Options within Highline Public Schools
a. Application Schools: Big Picture Schools, CHOICE Academy, Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS), and the International Baccalaureate Programme at Mount Rainier will have applications available to students starting in January. The non-resident application process specific to each school is outlined as follows. Non-resident applications only require a Choice Transfer release form from the resident district. Additional documentation is not required except in applications with students that have IEPs or 504 accommodation plans.
i. CHOICE Academy: CHOICE Academy will open to non-residents after a lottery is conducted for residents. A non-resident must complete the school-based application in order to be considered for enrollment; if the application is accepted the applicant must submit a Choice Transfer Request no later than the first Friday in August.
ii. Big Picture School: Big Picture will open to non-residents after a lottery is conducted for residents. A non-resident must complete the school-based application in order to be considered for enrollment; if the application is accepted the applicant must submit a Choice Transfer Request no later than the first Friday in August.
iii. Raisbeck Aviation High School: RAHS will allow non-residents to apply for non-resident enrollment during the open application window in January. Raisbeck Aviation enrollment comprises 51% Highline Public School residents; 20 seats are reserved for Seattle Public School residents, and 30 seats are reserved for residents from other school districts within the Puget Sound Region. Choice Transfer Requests for non-residents are due no later than first Friday in August.
iv. International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) at Mount Rainier High School (MRHS): MRHS will open to non-residents after a lottery is conducted for residents if space should be available. Applicants are required to complete a Choice Transfer Request in the timeline as outlined in Section 2.b to be considered.
b. Puget Sound High School (PSHS): Puget Sound High School offers two program options. Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service (WELS) program is not open to non-resident enrollment. Vocational Instruction through Applied Learning (VITAL) is a program open to non-resident students. Non-resident students wishing to be enrolled in the VITAL program require an Inter-district Agreement form. VITAL students wishing to graduate with PSHS require a Choice Transfer Request.
c. Puget Sound Skills Center (PSSC): Puget Sound Skills Center programs have open enrollment. Non-resident students residing in the PSSC Consortium do not require an Inter-district Agreement request. Their enrollment requirements are covered by the Consortium Agreement. All other non-resident students wishing to attend PSSC are required to complete an Inter-District Agreement form.
d. Open Door Programs: Career Link, Southwest Youth and Family Services, Pathway to College, ELL EXCEL: Open Door Programs have open enrollment. They will accept non-resident applications on an ongoing basis. Non-resident applications only require a Choice Transfer release from the resident district.
e. New Start: New Start is not open to new non-resident students, however Highline Public Schools (HPS) will take into consideration applications of former HPS resident students previously enrolled who move out of district boundaries.
6. Transportation: If a Choice transfer is approved, transportation will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian except when required under 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
7. Schools Closed to Non-Resident Students: Some schools, grades, or programs may be closed to non-resident enrollment. Non-residents may only be assigned to schools, grades, or programs that have seats available and that are not closed to non-residents. Preschool programs are not open to non-resident students. Non-resident enrollment school closures will be posted online a week prior to the non-resident transfer application window. The following factors are considered in the process of closing schools:
a. Any school/grade/program that has denied resident student transfers based on capacity will not be open to non-resident enrollment.
b. Any school/grade/program that has waitlisted resident students will be closed to non-resident students.
Any school/grade/program that has balanced students (refer to Procedures 3132 for more information) in the previous school year and is projected not to have instructional or projected capacity in any particular grade, school or program.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: August 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 05.89, 10.97, 1.28.19, 4.19