Student Conduct & Discipline
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.
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
- Continuation of Educational Services
- Emergency Expulsion
- In-School Suspension
- Long-Term Suspensions and Expulsions
- Out-of-School Long-term Suspension
- Out-of-School Short-term Suspension
- School Business Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
This illustration shows our collaborative discipline approach what happens when students get off track.
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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.