Student Handbook 2019-20

Letter from the Principal/Director

On behalf of the Administration and staff at Puget Sound Skills Center and Puget Sound High School, we would like to say welcome to the 2019-20 school year. We believe you have made a great decision to prepare you for your educational pathway that will make a difference in your future by choosing to attend PSSC or PSHS. Your program participation will create opportunities for you to experience a personally designed education program that will help prepare you for your future college and career endeavors upon your graduation from high school. PSSC is entering its 53rd year of preparing bright minds for careers in their respective program interest.

PSSC offers students the benefit of blending theoretical and applied learning formats to accommodate multiple learning styles therefore providing students with a more personalized approach to their education. PSSC offers 18 quality Career and Technical Education Programs. 

At PSSC we strive to offer programs that are taught by industry experienced teachers on state of the art equipment. College and industry standard research has indicated that students who are involved in a career and technical education program that supports their core academic subjects have higher academic achievement, better attendance in school, fewer discipline issues and a higher rate of passage on state assessments and industry based certification exams. We see these successes each day at PSSC/PSHS. Our staff has high expectations of all students who participate in their respective programs. We truly focus on the mission of preparing students for college, career and citizenship with multiple pathways guidance and monitoring to ensure students reach their final post program destinations. Our teachers go the extra mile for each student to ensure this goal is met. 

Congratulations on your decision to attend PSSC/PSHS. We believe you have made the right choice for your future preparations. We look forward to having you on campus and working with you continuously throughout the completion of your school year.

Todd Moorhead, Principal/Director

Mission

Preparing our students with skills and knowledge for success in college, career and citizenship.

Vision

All students - prepared, passionate and pursuing a rewarding career.

Core Values

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Excellence

Focus Areas of PSSC Strategic Plan

  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • Relationships
  • Technology
  • Resources

PSSC & Highline Public Schools Policies

Academic Acceptance Policy

Prospective PSSC students work with their home school counselor or advisor to complete their application for enrollment. Student’s applications will be screened by the PSSC counselor who collaborates with the home school counselors in this process. Students will be accepted to PSSC based on the following criteria.

  • A current transcript with a GPA of 1.0 or above
  • Discipline History
  • Recommendations from home school counselors advocating for students

PSSC encourages students to contact the PSSC counselor and set up a day to tour the campus. There may also be instances when the PSSC counselor requests that a student come for a tour if there are any questions about the applicant’s academic or disciplinary background before a final decision is made.

Academic Equivalency Credits

Each CTE program at PSSC offers core subject equivalencies (English, Fine Art, Science, Math, etc.) credit that is unique to each program.  To earn academic equivalency credits at PSSC, a student must be enrolled in a Career and Technical Education program for a minimum of two semesters AND earn full credit and a “C” or above.  It is the student’s responsibility to declare intent to earn equivalency credits when enrolling in a PSSC program within the first semester.  At the end of two semesters the student may receive credit for up to three .5 approved equivalency credits if all coursework is successfully completed. Instructors provide individual PSSC program equivalency credit forms to their students.

Students who enroll for more than two semesters may earn equivalency credits not declared or earned during the previous year.  The sending school counselor will determine how equivalency credit will meet graduation requirements.

Senior Culminating Projects

Seniors who attend PSSC are able to complete their Senior Culminating Projects at PSSC. Our staff understand the importance of this graduation requirement and support students who decide to complete the project in their PSSC Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. 

It is important that each student first check with their respective sending school to determine senior culminating project requirements. The PSSC Senior Culminating Project consists of a rigorous portfolio with a good plan for life after high school and its presentation to an industry panel.

Student Appearance Policy

The Highline Public Schools and school staff believes that learning best occurs in a positive atmosphere.  To that end, we expect all of our students to help create that environment.  Dress and appearance play a significant role in creating a comfortable place for all students.  In an effort to promote this safe and comfortable atmosphere, all clothing and tattooing should be non-offensive to all staff and students.  They must be free from vulgarity, profanity, drug and alcohol advertising, and gang affiliation.  In addition, all attire, including body piercing, must not present health or safety problems, or cause disruption to the educational process.  The administration reserves the right to restrict appearance and attire with special consideration for safety, health, or disruptive issues.

To that end, students should report to school each day neat and clean.  Appearance expectations will be enforced throughout the campus.  Appearances that cause disruption of the educational process or presents health or safety issues will not be allowed.  The following appearance expectations are for PSSC and all Highline Public Schools and activities.

  • Clothes should be clean and in good repair.  Clothing with holes is not acceptable at school.
  • Shoes should be worn at all times.
  • Hats should not be worn at school or school functions.
  • Clothing or tattooing with inappropriate language or any reference to tobacco, drugs, alcohol, or gang affiliation (including bandanas) is not allowed.
  • Shorts, skirts, and dresses should be long enough to maintain modesty while standing or sitting.  These items should reach mid-thigh.
  • Shirts should meet the waistband of skirts or pants, even when students move or bend.  Shirts that are midriff in length and tank tops that have straps that fail to cover undergarments are inappropriate.
  • Pants should not have to be held up with a hand when walking.  The waistband of the pants must be worn at the waist.
  • Heavy, bulky winter-type coats are not to be worn in the classroom without instructor permission.
  • Piercing must not present health or safety issues to the individual or other students.
  • Large chains, whether worn as necklaces or on wallets, spiked collars or cuffs should not be worn to school.

Our goal is to create a positive learning environment.  While our student population is at an age of experimentation, working hard to define their own personal style we encourage appropriate judgment.

DRESS STANDARDS THAT APPLY TO ALL PSSC STUDENTS

Students at PSSC are expected to dress according to the standards of their particular industry, as defined by the program instructor.  As in the world of work, specific standards will vary from program to program.  In the case where the program standard for dress is different from what is allowed at the partner high school, a student may bring a change of clothing for their PSSC program.  Please allow time to change into your uniform or coveralls before class begins.  Protective clothing (as required by OSHA and WISHA) is required.

Conduct Expectations Policy

Puget Sound Skills Center students are expected to:

  • Respect themselves and others’ personal property and/or public property.
  • Arrive to class on time and prepared to work.
  • Contribute to a positive learning environment.
  • Follow instructions, directions and performance standards of the class at all times.
  • Work to achieve Quality Results!

Sexual Harassment Policy

(PSSC students complete an online assignment on sexual harassment prevention).

Prevention

It is the policy of Highline Public Schools to provide students with optimal conditions for learning by maintaining a school environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally harmed.

In order to ensure respect and prevent harm, it is a violation of district policy for a student to be harassed, intimidated, or bullied by others in the school community, at school sponsored events, or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process.  Students will not be harassed because of their race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, honorably-discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or other distinguishing characteristics.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  "Other distinguishing characteristics" may include, but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socio-economic status and weight. "Intentional" refers to the individual's choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).

Any school staff who observes, overhears, or otherwise witnesses harassment, intimidation, or bullying or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence.

Definitions
  • Aggressor is a student, staff member, or other member of the school community who engages in the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student.
  • Complainant is the person who files a complaint of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
  • Harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) means an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act that:
    • Physically harms a student or damages the student's property;
    • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education;
    • Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, embarrassing or threatening educational environment; or
    • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
  • Harassment, intimidation, and bullying can take many forms, including but not limited to, slurs, rumors, name calling, jokes,  innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, ostracism, gestures, hazing, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, or physical acts or electronically transmitted messages or images.
  • Conduct that is "substantially interfering with a student's education" will be determined by considering a targeted student's grades, attendance, demeanor, interaction with peers, participation in activities, and other indicators.
  • Retaliation is when a student, staff member, or other member of the school community takes adverse action or reprisal against a student because the student has reported incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying, or because the student has participated in an investigation of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
  • School community includes students, staff members, school board members, contractors, volunteers, parents and guardians, patrons and other visitors.
  • Staff member includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, classified staff, substitute and temporary teachers, volunteers, or paraprofessionals (both employees and contractors).
  • Targeted student is a student against whom harassment, intimidation and bullying has allegedly been perpetrated.

Prevention

Dissemination

In each school and on the district's website the district will prominently post information on reporting harassment, intimidation and bullying; the name and contact information for making a report to a school administrator; and the name and contact information for the district compliance officer.

Annually, the superintendent or designee will ensure that a statement summarizing the policy and procedure is provided in student, staff, volunteer, and parent handbooks (if handbooks are developed), is available in school and district offices and/or hallways, or is posted on the district's website.

Additional distribution of the policy and procedure is subject to the requirements of WAC 392-400-226.

Education

Annually students will receive age-appropriate information on the recognition and prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying at student orientation sessions and on other appropriate occasions.  The information will include a copy of the Incident Report Form or a link to a web-based form.

Training

Staff will receive annual training on the school district's policy and procedure, including staff roles and responsibilities, how to monitor common areas, and the use of the district's Incident Report Form.

Prevention Strategies

The district will implement a range of strategies including individual, classroom, school, and district-level approaches to prevent harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

Whenever possible, the district will implement evidence-based prevention programs that are designed to increase social competency, improve school climate, and eliminate harassment, intimidation and bullying in schools.

Staff Intervention

Any school staff member who observes, overhears, or otherwise witnesses harassment, intimidation, and bullying or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence.  Minor incidents that staff are able to resolve immediately, or incidents that do not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, may require no further action under this procedure.

Compliance Officer

The district compliance officer will:

  1. Serve as the district's primary contact for harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
  2. Provide support and assistance to the principal or designee in resolving complaints.
  3. Receive copies of all HIB Incident Report Forms, discipline referral forms relating to HIB, and letters to parents providing the outcomes of investigations.  If a  written report of harassment, intimidation or bullying indicates a potential violation of the district's nondiscrimination policy (Policy 3210), the compliance officer must promptly notify the district's civil rights compliance officer.
  4. Be familiar with the use of the student information system. The compliance officer may use this information to identify patterns of behavior and areas of concern.
  5. Ensure the implementation of the policy and procedure by overseeing the investigative processes, including ensuring that investigations are prompt, impartial, and thorough.
  6. Assess the training needs of staff and students to ensure successful implementation throughout the district, and ensure staff receive annual fall training.
  7. Provide the OSPI School Safety Center with notification of policy or procedure updates or changes on an annual basis.
  8. In cases where, despite school efforts, a targeted student experiences harassment, intimidation, and bullying that threatens the student's health and safety, the compliance officer will facilitate a meeting between district staff and the child's parents/guardians to develop a safety plan to protect the student.  A sample student safety plan is available on the OSPI website: www.k12.wa.us/Safety

Incident Reporting

Any student who believes he or she has been the target of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or any other person in the school community who observes or receives notice that a student has or may have been the target of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, or bullying may report incidents verbally or in writing to any staff member.

Step 1:  Filing an Incident Report Form

An individual need not reveal his or her identity on an Incident Report Form. The form may be filed anonymously, confidentially, or the individual may choose to disclose his or her identity (non-confidential). Staff members should report incidents of HIB on an Incident Report Form.

Status of Reporter

a. Non-Confidential

Individuals may file a report non-confidentially.   Complainants agreeing to make their complaint non-confidential will be informed that due process requirements may require that the district release all of the information that it has regarding the complaint to any individuals involved in the incident, but that even then, information will be restricted to those with a need to know, both during and after the investigation.

The district will, however, fully implement the anti-retaliation provision of this policy and procedure to protect complainants and witnesses.

Confidential

Individuals may file a report asking that their identities be kept secret from the accused and other students. Like anonymous reports, no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on a confidential report. (Example: A student tells a playground supervisor about a classmate being bullied but asks that nobody know who reported the incident. The supervisor says, "I won't be able to punish the bullies unless you or someone else who saw it is willing to let me use their names, but I can start hanging out near the basketball court, if that would help.")

b.    Anonymous

Individuals may file a report without revealing their identity. No disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on an anonymous report. Schools may use complaint boxes or develop other methods for receiving anonymous, unsigned reports.  Possible responses to an anonymous report include enhanced monitoring of specific locations at certain times of day or increased monitoring of specific students or staff. (Example: An unsigned Incident Report Form dropped on a teacher's desk led to the increased monitoring of the boys' locker room in 5th period.)

Step 2:  Receiving an Incident Report Form

All staff members are responsible for receiving oral and written reports. Whenever possible, staff members who initially receive an oral or written report of harassment, intimidation, and bullying shall attempt to resolve the incident immediately.  If the incident is resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved, or if the incident does not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, no further action may be necessary under this procedure.

All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be recorded on a district Incident Report Form and submitted to the principal or designee, unless the principal or designee is the subject of the complaint.  If the principal or designee is the subject of the complaint the Incident Report Form should be submitted to the district compliance officer.

Step 3:  Investigations of Unresolved, Severe, or Persistent Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be investigated with reasonable promptness.  Any student may have a trusted adult with them throughout the reporting and investigative process.

a. Upon receipt of the Incident Report Form that alleges unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the school or district designee will begin an investigation.   If there is potential for clear and immediate physical harm to the targeted student, the district will immediately contact law enforcement and inform the parent/guardian.

b. During the course of the investigation, the district will take reasonable measures to ensure that no further incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying occur between the targeted student and the alleged aggressor. If necessary, the district will implement a safety plan for the student(s) involved. The plan may include changing seating arrangements for the complainant and/or the alleged aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a safe person for the complainant; altering the alleged aggressor schedule and access to the complainant, and other measures.

If, during the course of an investigation, the district employee conducting the investigation becomes aware of a potential violation of the district's nondiscrimination policy (Policy 3210), the investigator will promptly notify the districts civil rights compliance officer. Upon receipt of this information, the civil rights compliance officer must notify the complainant that their complaint will proceed under the discrimination complaint procedure in Policy and Procedure 3210 as well as the HIB complaint procedure. The notice must be provided in a language that the complainant can understand. The investigation and response timeline for the discrimination complaint procedure will follow that set forth in WAC 392-190-065 and begins when the district knew or should have known that a written report of harassment, intimidation, or bullying involves allegations of a violation of the district's nondiscrimination policy.

c. Within two (2) school days after receiving the Incident Report Form, the school designee will notify the families of the students involved that a complaint was received and direct the families to the district's policy and procedure on harassment, intimidation, and bullying (Policy 3207).

d. In rare cases, where after consultation with the student and appropriate staff (such as a psychologist, counselor, or social worker) the district has evidence that it would threaten the health and safety of the targeted student or the alleged aggressor to involve his or her parent/guardian, the district may initially refrain from contacting the parent/guardian in its investigation of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. If professional school personnel have reasonable cause to believe that a student is subject to child abuse or neglect, they must follow district policy (Policy 3421) for reporting such cases to Child Protective Services or the police.

e. The investigation shall include, at a minimum:

  • An interview with the complainant;
  • An interview with the alleged aggressor;
  • A review of any previous complaints involving either the complainant or the alleged aggressor; and
  • Interviews with other students or staff members who may have knowledge of the alleged incident.

f. The principal or designee may determine that other steps must be taken before the investigation is complete.

The investigation will be completed as soon as practical but generally no later than five (5) school days from the initial report.  If more time is needed to complete an investigation, the district will provide the parent/guardian and/or the student with weekly updates.

g. No later than two (2) school days after the investigation has been completed and submitted to the compliance officer, the principal or designee shall respond in writing or verbally to the parent/guardian of the complainant and the alleged aggressor stating:

  • The results of the investigation;
  • Whether the allegations were found to be factual
  • Whether there was a violation of policy; and
  • The process for the targeted student to file an appeal if the complainant disagrees with results.

Because of the laws regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee may not be able to report specific information to the complainant's parent/guardian about any disciplinary action taken unless it involves a directive that the complainant must be aware of in order to report violations.

If a district chooses to contact the parent/guardian by letter, the letter will be mailed to the parent/guardian of the complainant and alleged aggressor by United States Postal Service with return receipt requested unless it is determined, after consultation with the student and appropriate staff (psychologist, counselor, social worker) that it could endanger the complainant or the alleged aggressor to involve his or her family.

If professional school personnel have reasonable cause to believe that a student is subject to child abuse or neglect, as mandatory reporters they must follow district policy (Policy 3421) for reporting such cases to Child Protective Services or the police.

If the incident cannot be resolved at the school level, the principal or designee shall request assistance from the district compliance officer.

Step 4:  Corrective Measures for the Aggressor

a. After completion of the investigation, the school or district designee will institute appropriate corrective measures.

b. Corrective measures will be instituted as soon as possible, but in no event more than five (5) school days after contact has been made with the families or guardians regarding the outcome of the investigation.

c. Corrective measures that involve student discipline will be implemented according to district Policy 3240 - Student Conduct. If the accused aggressor is appealing the imposition of discipline, the district may be prevented by law and policy from imposing the discipline until the appeal process is concluded.

d. If a principal or principal's designee finds that a student knowingly made a false allegation of harassment, intimidation and bullying, that individual may be subject to corrective measures, including discipline.

Step 5: Targeted Student's Right to Appeal

a. If the complainant or his or her parent/guardian is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, they may appeal to the superintendent or his or her designee by filing a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) school days of receiving the decision.  The superintendent or his or her designee will review the investigative report and issue a written decision on the merits of the appeal within five (5) school days of receiving the notice of appeal.

b. If the complainant remains dissatisfied after the initial appeal to the superintendent, the student or his or her parent/guardian may appeal to the school board by filing a written notice of appeal with the secretary of the school board within five (5) school days of receiving the superintendent's written decision.

c. An appeal to the school board must be heard within ten (10) school days of receipt of the written notice of appeal to the school board. The school board will review the record and render a written decision on the merits of the appeal within five (5) school days following the termination of the hearing, and shall provide a copy of the decision to all parties involved. The board's decision will be the final district decision.

Step 6:  Discipline/Corrective Action

The district will take prompt and equitable corrective measures within its authority on findings of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective measures may include counseling, education, discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement.

Corrective measures for the student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying will be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, or the student's history of problem behaviors and performance. Corrective measures that involve student discipline will be implemented according to district Policy 3240 - Student Conduct.

If the harassment, intimidation, and bullying was of a public nature or involved groups of students or bystanders, the school may consider school-wide training or other activities to address the incident.

If a staff member has been found to be in violation of this policy and procedure, the district may impose disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. If a certificated employee is found to have committed a violation of WAC 181-87, commonly called the Code of Conduct for Professional Educators, OSPl's Office of Professional Practices may impose disciplinary action on a certificate, up to and including revocation. Contractor violations of this policy may result in the loss of contracts.

Step 7: Support for the Targeted Student

Students found to have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, or bullying will be provided information regarding resources available to them, and the adverse impact of the harassment on the student shall be addressed.  In addition, the safety plan, if any, will be reviewed and modified as appropriate.

Immunity/Retaliation

A staff member, student, or other member of the school community who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying to an appropriate school official, and who makes this report in compliance with the district's policy and procedure relating to harassment, intimidation, or bullying is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.

No staff member, student, or other member of the school community may engage in reprisal or retaliation against a student, witness, or other person who brings forward information about an alleged act of harassment, intimidation and bullying.  Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline.

Other District Policies and Procedures

Nothing in this procedure is intended to prohibit discipline or remedial action for inappropriate behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, and bullying as defined herein, but which are prohibited by other district or school rules.

Relationship to Other Laws

This procedure applies only to RCW 28A.300.285 - Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying prevention. There are other laws and procedures to address related issues such as sexual harassment or discrimination.

At least four Washington laws may apply to harassment or discrimination:

  • RCW 28A.300.285 - Harassment, Intimidation and bullying
  • RCW 28A.640.020 - Sexual Harassment
  • RCW 28A.642 - Prohibition of Discrimination in Public Schools
  • RCW 49.60.010 - The Law Against Discrimination

The district will ensure its compliance with all state laws regarding harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school or district from taking action to remediate harassment or discrimination based on a person's gender or membership in a legally protected class under local, state, or federal law.

Other Resources

Students and families should use the district's complaint and appeal procedures as a first response to allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school, or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a student's membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law.  A harassment, intimidation, and bullying complaint based on a student's legally protected status may also be reported to the following state or federal agencies:

OSPI Equity and Civil Rights Office 360.725.6162
Email: equity@k12.wa.us
www.k12.wa.us/Equity/default.aspx

Washington  State Human Rights Commission 800.233.3247
www.hum.wa.gov/index.html

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region IX 206.607.1600|
Email: OCR.Seattle@ed.gov
www.ed.gov/about/off ices/list/ocr/index.html

Department of Justice Community Relations Service 877.292.3804
www.justice.gov/crtl

Office of the Education Ombudsman 866.297.2597
Email:  OEOinfo@gov.wa.gov
www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/default.asp

OSPI Safety Center 360.725.6044
www.k12.wa.us/SafetyCenter/BullyingHarassment/default.aspx

Adopted by the Superintendent: May 28, 2003 Revised by the Superintendent: 1.10, 11.11, 10.15

Gang Activity/Association Discipline Policy

  1. The type of dress, apparel, activities, acts, behavior or manner of grooming displayed, reflected or participated in by the student shall not:
    1. Lead school officials to reasonably believe that such behavior, apparel, activities, acts, or other attributes are gang related and would disrupt or interfere with the school environment or activity and/or educational objectives;
    2. Present a physical safety hazard to self, students, staff, and other employees;
    3. Create an atmosphere in which a student, staff, or other person's well-being is hindered by undue pressure, behavior, intimidation, overt gesture or threat of violence; or
    4. Imply gang membership or affiliation by written communication, tattoos, drawing, painting, design, and emblem upon any school or personal property or on one's person.
  2. Portable communication equipment such as Cellular phone and pagers, whether operational or not, will not be allowed on school district premises by students unless acceptable written documentation is provided to the school by the parent or guardian that the presence of such is essential to the health and well-being of the student.
  3. Students identified as being gang involved, influenced or affiliated shall be provided assistance and/or programs which discourage gang involvement or affiliation, enhance self-esteem, encourage interest and participation in school or other positive activities and promote membership in authorized school organizations.
  4. Except in an extenuating or exceptional circumstance, the following discipline shall apply:
    1. First Offense:
      1. The principal/designee will confront the student and identify the specific violation that has occurred.
      2. The principal/designee will review with the student Board Policy 3245 and related procedures and have the student sign a statement acknowledging that he/she has been so informed.
      3. The principal/designee will notify, if appropriate, parents/guardians of the violation and ask for their assistance.
      4. The principal/designee shall apply short-term suspension, if appropriate.
      5. The principal/designee shall notify district security, if appropriate.
    2. Second Offense:
      1. The principal/designee shall recommend long-term suspension or expulsion, if warranted.
      2. The principal/designee shall notify the district security office.
    3. Third Offense:
      1. The principal/designee will follow the same procedures as set forth for the second offense except that for a third offense the student shall be recommended for expulsion.
      2. Any offense which occurs within 36 months after the second offense shall be considered cause for immediate expulsion.
  5. Training to provide increased awareness of the threat to the safety of students, staff and school property which gang-related activity poses, shall be provided by security on an as-needed basis. Additional presentations shall be made available to individual schools, staff or students at the request of the principal. Presentations shall provide training in current identification symbols used by those involved in gang-related activity and shall include things such as the identification of hand signals, apparel, jewelry, and/or any other pertinent gang-related information. For more information regarding Highline Public School’s student discipline policies and procedures please refer to the district website. Discipline policies and procedures can be found at the Right & Responsibilities tab of the district website.

Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy

Highline Public Schools is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers, and patrons that is free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any intentionally written message or image - including those that are electronically transmitted - verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
  • Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment;
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

“Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, and weight.

“Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).

Behaviors/Expressions

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to, slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral, physical, or electronically transmitted messages or images.

This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment.  Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom, or program rules.

Training

This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful, and inclusive learning community and shall be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers.

Prevention

The district will provide students with strategies aimed at preventing harassment, intimidation and bullying.  In its efforts to train students, the district will seek partnerships with families, law enforcement and other community agencies.

Interventions

Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the perpetrator, and to restore a positive school climate.

The district will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies.  Interventions will range from counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, to law enforcement referrals.

Retaliation/False Allegations

Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline.  It is a violation of this policy to threaten or harm someone for reporting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

It is also a violation of district policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith.  However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Compliance Officer

The superintendent or designee will appoint a compliance officer as the primary district contact to receive copies of all formal and informal complaints and ensure policy implementation.  The name and contact information for the compliance officer will be communicated throughout the district.

The superintendent or designee is authorized to direct the implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy.

STUDENTS

Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Procedures

Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

Harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) means any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental, sensory, or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when the intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
  • Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, embarrassing or threatening educational environment; or
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  “Other distinguishing characteristics” may include, but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socio-economic status and weight.  “Intentional” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).

Behaviors/Expressions

Harassment, intimidation, and bullying can take many forms, including but not limited to, slurs, name calling, jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, hazing, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, or physical acts or electronically transmitted messages or images.

A.    Definitions

Perpetrator is a student, staff member, or other member of the school community who engages in the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student.  Conduct that is “substantially interfering with a student’s education’ will be determined by considering a targeted student’s grades, attendance, demeanor, interaction with peers, participation in activities, and other indicators.

Retaliation is when a student, staff member, or other member of the school community takes adverse action or reprisal against a student because the student has reported incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying, or because the student has participated in an investigation of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

School community includes students, staff members, school board members, contractors, volunteers, parents and guardian, patrons and other visitors.

Staff member includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, classified staff, substitute and temporary teachers, volunteers, or paraprofessionals (both employees and contractors).

Targeted student is a student against whom harassment, intimidation and bullying has allegedly been perpetrated.

B. Prevention

  1. Dissemination - In each school and on the district’s website the district will prominently post information on reporting harassment, intimidation and bullying; the name and contact information for making a report to a school administrator; and the name and contact information for the district compliance officer.
    Annually, the superintendent or designee will ensure that a statement summarizing the policy and procedure is provided in student, staff, volunteer, and parent handbooks, is available in school and district offices and/or hallways, or is posted on the district’s website.
  2. Education - Annually students will receive age-appropriate information on the recognition and prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying at student orientation sessions and on other appropriate occasions.  The information will include a copy of the Incident Report Form or a link to a web-based form.
  3. Training - Staff will receive annual training on the school district’s policy and procedure, including staff roles and responsibilities, how to monitor common areas, and the use of the district’s Incident Report Form.
  4. Prevention Strategies - The district will implement a range of strategies including individual, classroom, school, and district-level approaches to prevent harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Whenever possible, the district will implement evidence-based prevention programs that are designed to increase social competency, improve school climate, and eliminate harassment, intimidation and bullying in schools.

C. Staff Intervention

Any school staff member who observes, overhears, or otherwise witnesses harassment, intimidation, and bullying or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence.  Minor incidents that staff members can resolve immediately, or incidents that do not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, may require no further action under this procedure.

D. Compliance Officer

The district compliance officer will:

  1. Serve as the district’s primary contact for harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
  2. Provide support and assistance to the principal or designee in resolving complaints.
  3. Receive copies of all HIB Incident Report Forms, discipline referral forms relating to HIB, and letters to parents providing the outcomes of investigations.
  4. Be familiar with the use of the student information system. The compliance officer may use this information to identify patterns of behavior and areas of concern.
  5. Ensure the implementation of the policy and procedure by overseeing the investigative processes, including ensuring that investigations are prompt, impartial, and thorough.
  6. Assess the training needs of staff and students to ensure successful implementation throughout the district, and ensure staff receives annual fall training.
  7. Provide the OSPI School Safety Center with notification of policy or procedure updates or changes on an annual basis.
    In cases where, despite school efforts, a targeted student experiences harassment, intimidation, and bullying that threatens the student’s health and safety, the compliance officer will facilitate a meeting between district staff and the child’s parents/guardians to develop a safety plan to protect the student.

E. Incident Reporting

Step 1: Filing an Incident Report Form

An individual need not reveal his or her identity on an Incident Report Form.  The form may be filed anonymously, confidentially, or the individual may choose to disclose his or her identity (non-confidential).  Staff members should report incidents of HIB on an Incident Report Form.

Status of Reporter

a. Non-Confidential

Individuals may file a report non-confidentially.  Complainants agreeing to make their complaint non-confidential will be informed that due process requirements may require that the district release all of the information that it has regarding the complaint to any individuals involved in the incident, but that even then, information will be restricted to those with a need to know, both during and after the investigation.  The district will, however, fully implement the anti-retaliation provision of this policy and procedure to protect complainants and witnesses.

b. Confidential

Individuals may file a report asking that their identities be kept secret from the accused and other students.  Like anonymous reports, no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged perpetrator based solely on a confidential report.  (Example: A student tells a playground supervisor about a classmate being bullied but asks that nobody know who reported the incident.  The supervisor says, “I won’t be able to punish the bullies unless you or someone else who saw it is willing to let me use their names, but I can start hanging out near the basketball court, if that would help.”)

c. Anonymous

Individuals may file a report without revealing their identity.  No disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged perpetrator based solely on an anonymous report.  Schools may use complaint boxes or develop other methods for receiving anonymous, unsigned reports.  Possible responses to an anonymous report include enhanced monitoring of specific locations at certain times of day or increased monitoring of specific students or staff.  (Example: An unsigned Incident Report Form dropped on a teacher’s desk led to the increased monitoring of the boys’ locker room in 5th period.)

Step 2: Receiving an Incident Report Form

All staff members are responsible for receiving oral and written reports.  Whenever possible, staff members who initially receive an oral or written report of harassment, intimidation, and bullying shall attempt to resolve the incident immediately.  If the incident is resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved, or if the incident does not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, no further action may be necessary under this procedure.  All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be recorded on a district Incident Report Form and submitted to the principal or designee, unless the principal or designee is the subject of the complaint.

Step 3: Investigations of Unresolved, Severe, or Persistent Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be investigated with reasonable promptness.  Any student may have a trusted adult with them throughout the reporting and investigative process.

a. Upon receipt of the Incident Report Form that alleges unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, and bullying, the school or district designee will begin an investigation.  If there is potential for clear and immediate physical harm to the targeted student, the district will immediately contact law enforcement and inform the parent/guardian.

b. During the course of the investigation, the district will take reasonable measures to ensure that no further incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying occur between the targeted student and the alleged perpetrator.  If necessary, the district will implement a safety plan for the student(s) involved.  The plan may include changing seating arrangements for the targeted student and/or the alleged perpetrator in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a safe person for the targeted student; altering the alleged perpetrator’s schedule and access to the targeted student, and other measures.

c. Within two (2) school days after receiving the Incident Report Form, the school designee will notify the families of the students involved that a complaint was received and direct the families to the district’s policy and procedure on harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

d. In rare cases, where after consultation with the student and appropriate staff (such as a psychologist, counselor, or social worker) the district has evidence that it would threaten the health and safety of the targeted student or the alleged perpetrator to involve his or her parent/guardian, the district may initially refrain from contacting the parent/guardian in its investigation of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  If professional school personnel have reasonable cause to believe that a student is subject to child abuse or neglect, they must follow district policy for reporting such cases to Child Protective Services or the police.

e. The investigation shall include, at a minimum:

  • An interview with the targeted student;
  • An interview with the alleged perpetrator;
  • A review of any previous complaints involving either the targeted student or the alleged perpetrator; and
  • Interviews with other students or staff members who may have knowledge of the alleged incident.

f. The principal or designee may determine that other steps must be taken before the investigation is complete.

g. The investigation will be completed as soon as practical but generally no later than five (5) school days from the initial report.  If more time is needed to complete an investigation, the district will provide the parent/guardian and/or the student with weekly updates.

h. No later than two (2) school days after the investigation has been completed and submitted to the compliance officer, the principal or designee shall respond in writing or verbally to the parent/guardian of the targeted student and the alleged perpetrator stating:

  • The results of the investigation;
  • Whether the allegations were found to be factual
  • Whether there was a violation of policy; and
  • The process for the targeted student to file an appeal if the targeted student disagrees with results.

Because of the laws regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee may not be able to report specific information to the targeted student’s parent/guardian about any disciplinary action taken unless it involves a directive that the targeted student must be aware of in order to report violations.

If a district chooses to contact the parent/guardian by letter, the letter will be mailed to the parent/guardian of the targeted student and alleged perpetrator by United States Postal Service with return receipt requested unless it is determined, after consultation with the student and appropriate staff (psychologist, counselor, social worker) that it could endanger the targeted student or the alleged perpetrator to involve his or her family.  If professional school personnel have reasonable cause to believe that a student is subject to child abuse or neglect, as mandatory reporters they must follow district policy for reporting such cases to Child Protective Services or the police.  If the incident cannot be resolved at the school level, the principal or designee shall request assistance from the district compliance officer.

Step 4: Corrective Measures for the Perpetrator

a. After completion of the investigation, the school or district designee will institute appropriate corrective measures.

b. Corrective measures will be instituted as soon as possible, but in no event more than five (5) school days after contact has been made with the families or guardians regarding the outcome of the investigation.

c. Corrective measures that involve student discipline will be implemented according to district Policy 3240 – Student Conduct.  If the accused perpetrator is appealing the imposition of discipline, the district may be prevented by law and policy from imposing the discipline until the appeal process is concluded.

d. If a principal or principal’s designee finds that a student knowingly made a false allegation of harassment, intimidation and bullying, that individual may be subject to corrective measures, including discipline.

Step 5: Targeted Student’s Right to Appeal

a. If the targeted student or his or her parent/guardian is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, they may appeal to the superintendent or his or her designee by filing a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) school days of receiving the decision. The superintendent or his or her designee will review the investigative report and issue a written decision on the merits of the appeal within five (5) school days of receiving the notice of appeal.

b. If the targeted student remains dissatisfied after the initial appeal to the superintendent, the student or his or her parent/guardian may appeal to the school board by filing a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) school days of receiving the superintendent’s written decision.

c. An appeal to the school board must be heard within ten (10) school days of receipt of the written notice of appeal to the school board.  The school board will review the record and render a written decision on the merits of the appeal within five (5) school days following the termination of the hearing, and shall provide a copy of the decision to all parties involved. The board’s decision will be the final district decision.

Step 6: Discipline/Corrective Action

The district will take prompt and equitable corrective measures within its authority on findings of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective measures may include counseling, education, discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement.

Corrective measures for the student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, or the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance.  Corrective measures that involve student discipline will be implemented according to district Policy 3240 – Student Conduct.  If the harassment, intimidation, and bullying was of a public nature or involved groups of students or bystanders, the school may consider school-wide training or other activities to address the incident.  If a staff member has been found to be in violation of this policy and procedure, the district may impose disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  If a certificated employee is found to have committed a violation of WAC 181-87, commonly called the Code of Conduct for Professional Educators, OSPI’s Office of Professional Practices may impose disciplinary action on a certificate, up to and including revocation.  Contractor violations of this policy may result in the loss of contracts.

Step 7: Support for the Targeted Student

Students found to have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, and bullying will be provided information regarding resources available to them, and the adverse impact of the harassment on the student shall be addressed.  In addition, the safety plan, if any, will be reviewed and modified as appropriate.

F. Immunity/Retaliation

A staff member, student, or other member of the school community who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, and bullying to an appropriate school official, and who makes this report in compliance with the district’s policy and procedure relating to harassment, intimidation, and bullying is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.

No staff member, student, or other member of the school community may engage in reprisal or retaliation against a student, witness, or other person who brings forward information about an alleged act of harassment, intimidation and bullying.  Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline.

G. Other Resources

Students and families should use the district’s complaint and appeal procedures as a first response to allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school, or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a student’s membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law.  A harassment, intimidation, and bullying complaint based on a student’s legally protected status may also be reported to the following state or federal agencies:

OSPI Equity and Civil Rights Office
360.725.6162

Email: equity@k12.wa.us
www.k12.wa.us/Equity/default.aspx

Washington State Human Rights Commission
800.233.3247

www.hum.wa.gov/index.html

Office for Civil Rights, U.S.  Department of Education, Region IX
206.607.1600

Email: OCR.Seattle@ed.gov
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

Department of Justice Community Relations Service
877.292.3804

www.justice.gov/crt/

Office of the Education Ombudsman
866.297.2597

Email: OEOinfo@gov.wa.gov
www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/default.asp

OSPI Safety Center
360.725.6044

www.k12.wa.us/SafetyCenter/BullyingHarassment/default.aspx

H. Other District Policies and Procedures

Nothing in this procedure is intended to prohibit discipline or remedial action for inappropriate behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, and bullying as defined herein, but which are prohibited by other district or school rules.

I. Relationship to Other Laws

This procedure applies only to RCW 28A.300.285 – Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying prevention.  There are other laws and procedures to address related issues such as sexual harassment or discrimination.

At least four Washington laws may apply to harassment or discrimination:

RCW 28A.300.285 – Harassment, Intimidation and bullying
RCW 28A.640.020 – Sexual Harassment
RCW 28A.642 – Prohibition of Discrimination in Public Schools
RCW 49.60.010 – The Law Against Discrimination

The district will ensure its compliance with all state laws regarding harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school or district from taking action to remediate harassment or discrimination based on a person’s gender or membership in a legally protected class under local, state, or federal law.

School Property Policy

Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, equipment and furniture supplied by the school. Students who disfigure property or equipment will be required to either pay for the damages done or replace the item. Students misusing or abusing school property will be subject to disciplinary action.

Attendance Policy

Puget Sound Skills Center follows an attendance policy similar to business and industry, students are expected to be present at all times so that maximum learning and production are achieved.

Time on the job is directly related to competency. Attendance patterns are noted on the competency profiles as a part of the course evaluation. Career/training center standards reflecting those found in industry will be used. Industry expects employees to:

  • be dependable (at work every day)
  • be on time (ready to work every day)
  • do a full day's work (be accurate, don't leave or stop work early, and clean up!)

Student Expectations:

  • Students who are going to be absent are expected to:
    • Call in every absence to the instructor(s). It is the responsibility of the student to call in. If instructor is not available, leave a message at the instructor(s) number.
    • To excuse an absence a parent or guardian can call the attendance office at 206.631.7353 or email Kelsey.Gomez@highlineschools.org or write a note to excuse the absence. Note must be legible, have the full student name, program the student is attending, date student was absent, reason for absence, and signed by the parent/guardian. The note must be turned in within 48 hours of the first day back. It will stay unexcused until the teacher or attendance office receives the written excuse.
    • If attending home school activities:
      • Prior to the activity, discuss the request with your instructor.
      • If approved, submit to your instructor a Program Related Absence form prior to the requested absence.
      • Properly approved and submitted Program Related Absence forms will not be applied to the attendance policy but absence will be recorded.
    • It is the responsibility of the student/parent/guardian to notify PSSC of any address and phone number changes.
    • Excused and unexcused absences and tardiness will affect your grade.
    • Tardiness counts as 1/3rd of an absence. Being tardy three times equals one absence. Tardiness is defined as arriving to class less than 30 minutes after class start. Arriving more than 30 minutes after class start equals one absence.

PSSC Obligations:

  • Parent/guardian will be contacted at home by a recording that is activated by the Highline Public Schools data system on every absence. This is an automated system and phone call will be generated by absence being put in the system.
  • Every ten (10) absences per semester, a student’s grade will be lowered by one letter grade.
  • Every fifteen (15) absences per semester, a student’s credit will be reduced .5 credit.
  • Make-up opportunities are at the discretion of the instructor.
  • PSSC administrative appeal process
    • Appeal will only be heard in the following cases:
      • Personal extended illness or hospitalization
      • Legal issues
      • Death in immediate family
      • Special circumstances beyond the student’s control

For those students whose home high school is PSHS, the High School staff will fulfill the legal requirements of the "Becca Bill" in accordance with the procedures established by the Highline Public Schools.

Puget Sound Skills Center is responsible for you during the hours you are assigned to our campus. We must have parent/guardian permission for you to leave campus earlier than the scheduled time.  A written note or phone call with a parent/guardian is required before you will be granted permission to leave. All students must sign out in the main office when leaving campus before the regular release time. Instructors will determine how the time will be made up.

Students will be released to law enforcement authorities in accordance with Highline Public Schools Policy.

Firearms Policy

  1. Any elementary or secondary school student who is determined to have carried a firearm onto, or to have possessed a firearm on public elementary or secondary school premises, public school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public schools, shall be expelled from school for not less than one year under RCW 28A.600.010.  The superintendent of the school district, educational service district, and state school for the deaf or state school for the blind may modify the expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis.
  2. For the purposes of this section, "firearm" means a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C.  Section 921, and a "firearm" as defined in RCW 9.41.010.
  3. This section shall be construed in a manner consistent with the individuals with disabilities education act, 20 U. S. C. Section 1401 et seq.
  4. Nothing in this section prevents a public school district, educational service district, the state school for the deaf, or the state school for the blind if it has expelled a student from such student's regular school setting from providing educational services to the student in an alternative setting.
  5. This section does not apply to:
    • Any student while engaged in military education authorized by school authorities in which rifles are used but not other firearms
    • Any student while involved in a convention, showing, demonstration, lecture, or firearms safety course authorized by school authorities in which the rifles of collectors or instructors are handled or displayed but not to other firearms; or
    • Any student while participating in a rifle competition authorized by school authorities.

Tobacco Products Policy

There is a total ban on the use of all tobacco products including marijuana on the Puget Sound Skills Center campus and its vicinity (State Law Ch. 28A, RCW 120.310, Highline School Board policies 2170 and 3240 effective September 1, 1991).  Violating this state law will result in disciplinary action. Students may not smoke or use chewing tobacco on the PSSC campus. All smoking is also prohibited outside the front gate or adjacent to school property.

Electronics Media Policy

The teaching staff and administration will oversee the use of all electronic equipment on the Puget Sound Skills Center campus and in the classrooms. This includes the appropriate use of photocopiers, video equipment, and computer hardware and its associated software. Copyright laws and educational value are of major importance and must be strictly adhered to. District policy and state law dictate that lewd or pornographic material is illegal. The first time a student tries to acquire the Internet on a PSSC computer they are required to read the policy and agree to the terms.

Internet Policy

Internet access is available to students and teachers at Puget Sound Skills Center.  The Internet enables worldwide connection to electronic mail, discussion groups, databases, shareware, software and other informational resources such as libraries and museums.  Puget Sound Skills Center provides Internet access to promote educational excellence and engaged learning in the Skills Center’s programs by facilitating resource sharing, problem solving, innovation and communication. The first time a student tries to acquire the Internet on a PSSC computer they will need to read the policy and agree to the terms.

Philosophy

  • Risk - It is impossible to control all materials on the Internet.  Sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or controversial.  With global access to computers and people, there is a risk that students may access material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting.  Highline Public Schools has taken the following precautions to attempt to restrict access to inappropriate materials:
    • CenturyLink supported hardware and software will be used to screen out inappropriate materials at Marine Science facility.
    • District supported hardware and software will allow further screening of materials.
    • Staff and student training in acceptable use of electronic information systems will be provided.
  • Users Responsible - Internet users, like traditional library users, are responsible for their actions in accessing available resources.  Attempts to log into any account other than your own is strictly prohibited.  Students may not access any chat groups via the school's media and must use the Internet only for classroom-related activities.  Students at PSSC are expected to model workplace expectations and will be held accountable for their actions while using Internet resources.  Just as in the workplace, students will be expected to access only those resources that are directly related to classroom assignments or directly related to instructor-approved activities.
  • Mandatory Workshop - Instruction regarding Internet usage, responsibility, and conduct is required before Internet access is granted to any student.  Instruction will be provided by the instructor and/or the network administrator.

Internet – Terms and Conditions

  • Acceptable Use - Puget Sound Skills Center's Internet access may be used to improve learning and teaching consistent with the educational mission of the district. Puget Sound Skills Center expects legal, ethical and efficient use of the Internet.
  • Privilege - Use of the Puget Sound Skills Center Internet access is a privilege, not a right.

Voluntary

Use of the Puget Sound Skills Center Internet access is voluntary on the part of the student or teacher.  Teachers are professionally responsible for their students' use of the Internet.

  • Subject to System Administration - All Puget Sound Skills Center Internet access is subject to system administrator perusal for virus scanning or inappropriate use investigation.

Inappropriate Use

Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to, intentional uses that violate the law, that are specifically named as violations in this document, that violate the rules enumerated in the Puget Sound Skills Center Student Handbook or any other use that hampers the integrity or security of the District's computer network or any computer networks connected to the Internet.

  • Violation of Law - Transmission of any material in violation of any international, United States or state law is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material and threatening, harassing or obscene material.  Any violations of the law through the use of the Puget Sound Skills Center Internet access may result in disciplinary action or litigation against the offender by the proper authorities.
  • Commercial Use - Use for commercial, income-generating, "for-profit" activities or product advertisement is prohibited.  Sending unsolicited junk e-mail or chain e-mail letters is prohibited.
  • Vandalism/Mischief - Vandalism and mischief while using the Puget Sound Skills Center Internet access is prohibited. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, the Internet or any networks that are connected to the Internet.  This includes, but is not limited to, the creation or propagation of a computer virus.  Any interference with the work of other users, with or without malicious intent, is construed as mischief and is strictly prohibited.
  • User Sharing - Once access has been granted to the Puget Sound Skills Center Internet, the user is responsible for all actions taken while on the Internet. Sharing of Internet access is not permitted.
  • Electronic Mail - Access to student’s personal e-mail accounts is strictly prohibited.
  • File/Data Violations - Deletion, examination, copying or modification of files and/or data belonging to other users is prohibited.
  • Downloading - Downloading of any files onto PSSC computers is prohibited without expressed consent of the program instructor(s).

Consequences of Policy Violation(s)

A violation of the provisions of this policy may result in revocation of the user's Internet access privileges and/or e-mail account, regardless of the success or failure of the attempt.  In addition, school disciplinary action; including suspension or expulsion, and/or appropriate legal action may be taken.

  • Initial Determination - The school administrators, with the assistance of the teacher, will make the initial determination of any policy violation.
  • Minimum Fee for Violation - Students found to access inappropriate materials or to download files will be charged a per hour fee (minimum of one hour at $35.00) to remove the materials from the network or the local computers.
  • Due Process - Due process rights in the determination of possible violations and consequences.
  • Denial, Revocation or Suspension of Internet Access - The school administrator, in accordance with the Puget Sound Skills Center disciplinary procedures, may deny, revoke or suspend any Internet access as deemed necessary.

Disclaimer

Puget Sound Skills Center makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing.  Puget Sound Skills Center will not be responsible for any damages suffered by users.  This includes loss of data resulting in delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, or service interruptions caused by a users own negligence, errors, or omissions.  Puget Sound Skills Center is not responsible for phone/credit card bills or any other charges incurred by users.  Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk.  Puget Sound Skills Center specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services.

Good Neighbor Policy

Students and guests at the Puget Sound Skills Center campus make a commitment to be respectful of the community.  This is shown by:

  1. Not loitering in community/local businesses or in vacant lots.
  2. Not smoking outside the campus gate or area adjacent to the school property.
  3. Not being at the "deli" during class hours.
  4. Parking on PSSC campus only.
  5. Not obstructing traffic access to local businesses.
  6. Not littering in the community, or the Skills Center campus or entry.

Violations of the Good Neighbor policy that are brought to the attention of the Skills Center Administrators will be subject to disciplinary action.

Telephone Policy

Telephones are placed in the school for business purposes and emergencies only.  Under no circumstance is a student to use school program telephones without the instructor's permission during class time.

Grading Policy

Curriculum in career and technical education programs is competency based.  You will be expected to demonstrate mastery according to industry standards.  Your instructor will explain specific program grading policy and course requirements.

Food and Beverages

Food and bottled water/juices are only to be consumed during the first 15 minutes of class, with the instructor's permission, in areas without computers, equipment or carpeting.  The Student Commons is closed during class time.  Instructor must accompany any students to the Student Commons if breaks are granted.

Campus Vending Machines:

Highline Public Schools has developed Nutrition Standards and PSSC adheres to the policy.  These guidelines apply to all foods sold or provided by Highline Public Schools staff in schools during the regular day.

  • Regular, diet, and caffeine-free soft drinks will not be sold or provide on campus.
  • Snacks, sweets, cereal bars, breakfast bars, and snack bars must meet certain requirements in portion size, sugar and fat content.

Specific information on the new nutrition standards can be found on Highline Public Schools website. Go to Nutrition Services for the documents. Copies can also be obtained from the main office.

Puget Sound Skills Center is working with the vending machine companies to provide healthier snacks and beverages.

The office can’t refund any money lost in the vending machines per district guidelines.  Use them at your own risk. The office and restaurant can’t dispense change.

Safety

On-the-job safety is a vital part of all occupations and is a part of each program at Puget Sound Skills Center. All students are expected to know, understand, and follow shop safety rules, as well as to maintain an orderly and clean work area. Individual shop safety rules are posted and must be followed according to industry standards.

Safety violations are subject to district discipline, including possible dismissal from a program. The following safety regulation, adopted from industry standards found on the job is observed:

Eye Safety - if you are involved in a program of hazardous nature (per WISHA code), you must wear appropriate industry-quality eye protective devices as designated. The school will issue the first pair.  You are responsible for the purchase of any additional pairs of safety glasses.

Transportation

  1. Bus transportation is provided by each school district to and from Puget Sound Skills Center. Each district has established its own busing policy. Students missing the bus will be responsible for arranging their own transportation.
  2. Students who wish to drive to PSSC must register their vehicle with the Skills Center office and must observe the following regulations:
    • The speed limit on the Skills Center campus is 5 mph.  Speeding or careless driving on the campus grounds and the streets bordering PSSC may result in loss of driving privileges.
    • Parking permits must be purchased ($10.00) and displayed in all vehicles within two weeks of the student’s start date. A warning will be issued and then ticket(s) will be forthcoming. Each ticket will cost $25.00.  Student parking is marked (see map) and tickets will be issued if students park in staff or visitor spaces.
    • Excessive tardiness may result in loss of driving privileges.
    • Music must be at a level that will not be disruptive to the educational process.  It should not be audible from inside the building.
    • The parking lot is considered an off-limit area during session hours.  The office must grant permission in order to go to a car during class.
    • Drivers shall, at all times, yield the right of way to school buses.

FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE ABOVE STATED RULES MAY RESULT IN TERMINATION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES TO AND FROM PSSC.

Student Government and Leadership

Puget Sound Skills Center student leadership activities are for the purpose of giving students an opportunity to develop a sense of belonging, greater school pride, leadership skills, a sense of accomplishment and a commitment to one's community. Puget Sound Skills Center endorses encourages and supports leadership activities for students. In accordance with State guidelines for vocational education, a leadership component shall be integrated into each program curriculum. This may be accomplished through organizations such as Skills/USA, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), HOSA (Health Occupational Students of America), or through a locally developed leadership program. PSSC’s student governing organization is the Student Advisory Council (SAC). Officers are elected in the fall.

Students of the Quarter

Three times a year students from each program and session are named "Student of the Quarter". The students are recognized at a ceremony and presented a certificate by Skills Center instructional staff. Family members will receive a letter with details concerning the ceremony and are encourage to attend the ceremony.

Annual Recognition Ceremony

The year-end awards ceremony will be in June 2020. Program instructors and industry representatives recognize students from the various programs for outstanding achievement. Parents, friends, and family members are invited.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available for PSSC students who wish to further their education beyond the Skills Center: Some of them are as follows:

YORMARK, PSSC FOUNDATION, REBA GILMAN, MCMICKEN HEIGHTS

Funds will be available to assist PSSC students with tuition or needed tools or equipment for further training.

REBA GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP

Funds will be available to assist a PSSC student(s) with post-secondary tuition.

LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS

$1,000 available to assist a PSSC student(s) from the Burien/White Center and Sea Tac communities with tuition for further training. Highline Exchange Club offers a “Turn Around” scholarship.

All applications are processed in the spring. Detailed information regarding all scholarships is available from your instructor.

Options for Graduation

A learning program specifically for Puget Sound Skills Center seniors who are credit deficient. The students must be senior status and unable to complete graduation requirements and remain enrolled in a Skills Center vocational program. The program is not designed for students who desire to have early dismissals or late arrivals. Qualified students will develop contracts on an individual basis with the Options Coordinator for graded credit in areas such as English, Health, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. A $60.00 fee must be paid prior to participation in this program. See Katie Asare, VITAL instructor, for further information.

Non-Student Days/Online Learning

During the 2019-20 school year there will be eight (8) days you will not attend your PSSC program.* These days are designated as staff in-service days for Puget Sound Skills Center and are granted to staff for the purpose of learning new skills and knowledge that helps them become more effective teachers.  While you will not be in class at PSSC on these days, you, too, will be expected to acquire new knowledge and apply your skills by participating in our online learning program. You will be responsible for completing an assignment out of class that requires you to use computer technology skills along with creative thinking and problem solving. Your instructor will provide further details about the online learning program and grading criteria. Be prepared to fully participate in every online learning project/assignment. Each will be graded, and as such, will represent a significant portion of your quarter and semester grades.

*Please check the PSSC school calendar or website for non-school days.

Professional Development Portfolio

You will develop a Professional Development Portfolio throughout your training at PSSC.  Included in the portfolio will be your competency profile, résumé, letters of recommendation, internship and work experience evaluations, samples and assessments of work, certificates of achievement and other information that provides evidence of what you know, can do, and are like as a person.

Programs of Student/Student Roadmap

Life is a puzzle - solving it gets a little easier at PSSC through the career training you have chosen and the student roadmap options available to you.  PSSC will provide students with informative roadmap options--this can be very helpful for career and education planning for student success.

Roadmap Options

  • 4 year College
  • 2 year College or Trade School
  • Apprenticeships / Internships
  • Military
  • Career

It is the belief of the Puget Sound Skills Center staff that all students can learn and be successful. By mapping your future and exploring the many different options and providing PSSC students a comprehensive pathway for success. We believe your education and your lives will be greatly enhanced and the programs here will prepare you to become world-class citizens, workers and family members.

Your instructor will fully explain the details of the Programs of Study/Student Roadmap along with your responsibilities for participation and process to earn and collect college credits.

Visitors

Prospective students and their parents are welcome to visit PSSC at any time.  It is suggested that the visit be pre-arranged with the sending school counselor.  PSSC hosts tour groups from area middle schools and high schools every year.  As is the case in any public school, visitors must first check in at the office and wear a visitor’s badge while they are on campus.

PSSC students may not bring guests to class for social reasons.  However, individual prospective students can be granted permission to spend a class session at PSSC, if coordinated and pre-arranged with the PSSC instructor and the sending school and an administrator’s permission.

Health Records

The Washington State Department of Health requires a "booster" dose of tetanus vaccine before a student reaches his/her seventeenth birthday.  This notification is in compliance with WAC 246-100-166

A copy of each student’s health records form and any medical issue documentation is required for every PSSC student.

Fees and Fines

Each program will have program related fees, such as field trips, leadership activities, dues, or uniforms etc. Unpaid fees will result in a fine. Any textbooks or other checked out items that are not returned will also result in a fine. Student grades will not be issued until paid.