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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Contracts totaling less than $250,000, as outlined in Board Policy 6225, may be authorized without School Board approval.  This procedure outlines the approval process for contracts, memoranda of understanding (MOU) or other agreements between Highline Public Schools and outside organizations, or between individual schools and outside organizations.  All contracts, MOUs or other agreements that are sought or approved should be aligned with the district’s strategic plan and should further the district’s goals. 

Contracts may require additional forms, such as a Personal Services Contract form, Sole Source Approval Form, or a Data Sharing Agreement, or may require additional documentation, such as background checks or proof of insurance. Business Services will assist the school or department with setting up necessary structures to enable the use of certain grants.


Approval of Contracts
This section applies to any non-construction agreement between Highline Public Schools and another organization, or an individual school and another organization that is not a grant, including Memoranda of Understanding and Independent Contractor/Personal Services Contracts. All contracts with financial implications should follow requisition process as outlined in the purchase order preparation guide found on COLLAB.

Approval requirements vary based on the dollar amount of the contract.

  • Schools or departments may sign contracts or agreements up to $25,000 with the approval of the principal or supervising administrator.
  • Contracts or agreements between $25,001 and $100,000 must be signed by the Principal/Director, Supervising Administrator and the cabinet member with oversight of the department.
  • Contracts or agreements over $100,001 must be signed by the Principal/Director, Supervising Administrator, Cabinet Member and the Superintendent.

Business Services must approve all contracts with a financial implication. All contracts or agreements with a technology component must also be approved by the Department of Technology Services. Other review may be required per the Contract Approval Form.

No work may begin under any contract or agreement prior to completing the approval and requisition process outlined above. 

Construction contracts are managed through the Facilities department; questions about construction contracts should be directed to the Director of Facilities.

Emergency Contracts
An emergency exists when unforeseen circumstances beyond the District's control (a) present a real, immediate threat to the proper performance of essential functions; or (b) may reasonably be expected to result in (i) material loss or damage to property, (ii) bodily injury or (iii) loss of life, if immediate action is not taken.  The time required to contract using sealed bids shall be taken into account when determining whether immediate action is necessary.

A. Responsibility

Business Services staff shall play a vital role in contracting under this procedure. The department seeking to obtain the services (the "Customer") shall provide necessary support and information to Contracting Services as requested.  The Customer shall, with the assistance of Business Services, prepare the Emergency Determination and the written contract. Department staff shall maintain a file on all such contracts, which shall include the Determination, the written contract, and shall make the file available for public inspection as a public record not more than two weeks after the contract is let.

B. Emergency Determination

Prior to contracting without sealed bids, a proposed Emergency Determination ("Determination") shall be submitted by the Customer in writing to the Chief Financial Officer or the Superintendent for approval. The Determination shall contain such detail as is appropriate under the circumstances, but shall provide at a minimum the name of the contractor, the thing to be purchased or the public work to be performed, the maximum amount of the contract, the basis for payment and the basis for the determination that the emergency exists.

C. Written Contract

A written contract shall be executed for all emergency contracts over $5000 prior to commencing work. Where a purchase is made or work contracted without a prior written contract, a written contract shall be prepared and executed as early as possible. The contract shall contain such detail as is appropriate under the circumstances. At a minimum the contract shall state the parties, the item to be purchased, the maximum amount, the basis for payment and require that the contractor comply with all statutory requirements, such as prevailing wages. A copy of the contract shall be kept on file by the requesting Department.

Because an emergency situation may require immediate action without incorporating all of the usual and customary contract provisions, The Customer and Business Services staff should consider use of a short term contract with limited authority whenever possible.

During this interim period, alternatives should be considered, such as competition (by sealed bids or otherwise) for the remaining purchases or work, or a more detailed contract which incorporates the usual and customary terms.

D. Competitive Process

Even where an emergency is determined to exist, the District shall obtain competition whenever practicable, as the best means to assure quality services and minimum cost.

E. Budget

Business Services will be informed promptly at any emergency declarations and provided the necessary direction to record contracted obligations.

F. Contracting Authority

Up to $100,000 – Chief Financial Officer

Between $100,000 to $250,000 - Superintendent

Over $250,000 - Superintendent (provided however, that the Board shall be notified in writing promptly after execution of such a contract, and ratification shall be requested at the next regular school board meeting)

This procedure is to supplement the powers of the District and not to limit the current powers of the District with regard to other exceptions from competitive bidding requirements.

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: October 2014
Revised by the Superintendent: 08.16, 09.18, 12.18, 02.20, 10.20, 05.22