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

Office Hours:

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

Student Conduct & Discipline

Student Conduct

All students come to school wanting to learn, to be challenged, and to be successful. When mistakes happen, we will intervene to redirect student behavior and to ensure that learning continues, and we will also use mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow together as a community.

Highline Public Schools has adopted ‘Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports’ (PBIS) as a model to help guide our behavior and our interventions. PBIS is a framework used to support the social and behavioral competence of all students in a school. Within PBIS, there is a continuum of intervention levels that can address the needs of all students. Policy 3235 lays out our PBIS model, and each school is expected to have a PBIS plan and an identified coordinator. The PBIS model helps schools identify the interventions and supports that will help students stay in school and be successful, and schools are implementing these plans as we continue to work to eliminate out-of-school suspensions except when necessary for student or staff safety. School-based interventions will be supported by the district through professional development, assistance in developing intervention plans, and other support as necessary.

It is important for students to recognize that student conduct impacts the learning and working environment for the whole school. As a general rule, no student will receive a short-term or long-term suspension unless the student’s conduct poses a safety risk or the school believes that previous interventions have not been successful. The conduct identified in the Glossary of Inappropriate Conduct does not meet Highline Public Schools’ expectations for our students, and warrants interventions when such behavior occurs on school grounds, on a school trip, or on school transportation. Conduct marked with an asterisk (*) is considered exceptional misconduct and will result in a suspension for the first offense. See Policy 3240 and Procedure 3240 for additional details.

Student Discipline

Our approach to student discipline is to set high expectations for all our students and teach them how to meet those high expectations. We have a shared responsibility to educate our students. We believe that all students can be successful when they know and understand these expectations. 


Alternative to Suspension

Responses to student behavior that help direct or redirect the student without resorting to suspension.

Continuation of Educational Services

Students who have been short-term suspended are eligible to continue with their regular coursework, although if the suspension is an out-of-school suspension the student will have to complete coursework off campus.  Students who have been short-term suspended must be allowed to turn work in and not have their grades penalized solely for missing class because of a suspension.

Students who have been long-term suspended or expelled will be allowed to continue to receive educational services, although such services will be offered in an alternative setting.  Generally students who have been long-term suspended or expelled will be referred to the Connections Center for placement. Other opportunities may include tutoring or online services.

Students who qualify for an Individual Education Plan or a Section 504 plan will be afforded the opportunity to continue to receive educational services under any type of suspension.


All forms of corrective action other than suspension or expulsion. It shall include, but not be limited to, the removal of a student from a class or activity by a teacher or administrator for not longer than the balance of the immediate class or activity. All discipline must be documented.

Emergency Expulsion

The immediate denial of the right of school attendance because the student is either an immediate and continuing danger to himself, other students, or school personnel, or poses a threat of substantial disruption of the educational process. An emergency expulsion must be converted to another form of discipline (usually short- or long-term suspension) within 10 school days.


The denial of attendance at any single class, or any full schedule of classes, or any other activity conducted on or by the school district for up to 90 days from the date of the incident.

Expulsion for a Gun

Students who have a firearm on campus, transportation or a district event will be expelled for one calendar year from the date of the incident.

In-School Suspension

Disciplinary action that may be used in schools, in which students continue their classwork at school but not necessarily in their regular classroom.  While Highline considers ISS an opportunity to positively intervene with a student’s behavior while continuing education, the state requires that we call it a suspension and report it as such.


Interventions are responses designed to modify or correct student actions or conduct while keeping the student in school and learning. The continuum of interventions can range from a quick check-in at the start of the day to stronger actions such as providing a student with an in-school suspension. Interventions should be documented to ensure that trends can be tracked and successful interventions can be transferred to other schools.

Long-Term Suspensions and Expulsions

Recent state law changes mean that students can only be long-term suspended or expelled for specific actions outlined by the law.  Procedure 3240 outlines the specific things that students can be long-term suspended or expelled for.

Recent changes also limited long-term suspensions and most expulsions to a maximum of 90 school days.  The exception to that is bringing a firearm or gun to school. Students who possess a firearm or gun on school grounds, on school district transportation, or at a school district event are required to be expelled for one calendar year.

Schools that believe a 90-day expulsion is insufficient may follow the process outlined in Procedure 3240 to petition the Superintendent to extend the expulsion.  

Students or families may apply for readmission at any time by following the process outlined in Procedure 3240.

Out-of-School Long-term Suspension

A suspension that exceeds 10 consecutive school days and where the student is not allowed on school district property.

Out-of-School Short-term Suspension

A suspension for all or any portion of a school day up to but not exceeding 10 consecutive school days and where the student is not allowed on school district property.

School Business Day

Any calendar day, exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays, and any federal or school holidays, upon which the office of the superintendent is open to the public for the conducting of business.


The denial of the right of attendance at any single class, or any full schedule of classes, or at any other activity conducted on or by the school district for a finite period of time.

Discipline Approach

This illustration shows our collaborative discipline approach what happens when students get off track.

Use these links to view the illustration online:

Use these links to print the illustration:

Re-Engagement Meetings

Schools are required to hold a re-engagement meeting for students who have been long-term suspended or expelled, to discuss the student’s return to school. The meeting should be held within 20 days of the suspension or expulsion, but must be held not less than 5 days before the student returns to school.


Any student who has been suspended or expelled may apply for readmission at any time by written application to the Student Placement Office. The letter should include the reasons for readmission and a statement assuring that the problem will not reoccur. The school principal or designee will reply within 30 days of receipt of the application.