Student Handbook 2022-23
- Welcome from Principal Juan Lozano
- Student Handbook to Download
- Mission, Vision, Core Values
- Focus Areas of PSSC Strategic Plan
- Getting in touch with staff and teachers
- Minimum graduation requirements
- Assessment & Grading
- Plagiarism, Cheating & Academic Integrity
- Student Leadership
- Academic Acceptance Policy
- Academic Equivalency Credits
- Senior Culminating Project
- Student of the Quarter
- Annual Recognition Ceremony
- Non-Student Days/Online Learning
- Professional Development Portfolio
- Program of Study/Student Roadmap
- Technology Use
- Care of School Property
September 2, 2022
Greetings, PSSC Students!
On behalf of the administration and staff at Puget Sound Skills Center, welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! Choosing to attend PSSC may well be one of the most important decisions you could make to ensure that you are well prepared for further education and a high-demand career. More than 75% of all careers require technical training and skills, which employers require in the people they hire. Be assured that you are at the right place at the right time to prepare for your future!
As you acquire technical, leadership, interpersonal, and applied academic skills at PSSC you will earn high school Occupational Education credit that counts toward graduation requirements. You can also earn equivalency academic credits, which may include English, Fine Arts, Math, or Science. Your instructor and our PSSC counselor will provide specific information about the options that are available in your skills center program. We highly recommend that you take advantage of earning equivalency credits, which will enhance your high school transcript as well as your resume.
PSSC also offers several scholarships that seniors can apply for during the early spring. Awards can be used to offset college tuition and fees or to purchase tools, equipment, and supplies that may be required in an advanced technical training program. You may also be able to participate in an internship and earn industry certifications, putting you even further ahead in progressing toward a rewarding career.
Our school is well known for its partnerships with business and industry. Many programs are nationally recognized, and so are the instructors who lead them. You can be assured that you will meet influential industry leaders who can help shape your future, and you will learn from highly qualified instructors who have honed their knowledge and skills through extensive workplace experiences. Each year, many of our students earn industry certifications and college credits that accelerate their learning and entry into the workforce. We encourage you to pursue these extraordinary opportunities, knowing that doing so will put you one step closer to experiencing a lifestyle that you desire and deserve.
As a student at PSSC, we invite you to be an ambassador for the program in which you are enrolled and for the school. Please share the benefits you are receiving through technical education and career preparation with your friends, staff at your home school, and community members with whom you interact. We welcome pre-arranged visits to see first-hand all that our school has to offer.
Again, our sincere welcome to PSSC! Please know that your school administrators are committed to ensuring that you have a successful experience during your time on our campus. If your schedule permits, feel free to stop by our offices and say “hello”; otherwise, we will see you in the classroom!
Juan Lozano, Principal/Director
Norma Barrineau, Assistant Principal/Director
Students at Puget Sound Skill Center work hard to be strong thinkers and proficient doers. Your teachers and other staff members are here to help. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, you are encouraged to ask for help. Teachers are typically available half an hour before and after school.
You may reach staff by email or phone. The staff directory is found in Appendix A.
Students in the Class of 2022 and beyond are required to earn 24 credits. Successfully completing these requirements will open doors to your choice of post-secondary options.
You should familiarize yourself with the graduation requirements for your graduation year and use them to plan your course to assure that you are meeting the graduation requirement of your sending districts.
- Highline District Graduation Info: Highline District Graduation Requirements
- Federal Way Public Schools Info: Federal Way District Graduation Requirements
- Tahoma School District Info: Tahoma District Graduation Requirements
- Tukwila School District Info: Tukwila District Graduation Requirements
- Kent School District Info: Kent District Graduation Requirements
- Washington State Graduation Info: Washington State Graduation Requirements
Assessment: Your mastery of skills, grasp of concepts, and ability to apply new learning in each course and projects will be assessed in a variety of ways, from traditional tests to performance tasks and complex projects. The quality of your work and thinking will be judged against performance criteria defined in rubrics and scoring guides that are available to you at the time the task is assigned. You will sometimes have the opportunity to receive feedback on your work from community and industry subject-matter experts. You will also have opportunities to assess your own and others’ work against established performance criteria.
Grading: Your grade in each course will be determined by your performance on daily participation, progress toward skills mastery, assignments, and assessments. Each teacher will make their policy clear.
Students may earn an A, B, C, D or F grade in PSSC programs. A Pass (P) grade is intended for students whose learning needs may require a modification of learning goals. There are no + or – values added to grades.
Curriculum in career and technical education programs is competency based. You will be expected to demonstrate mastery of technical and applied academic skills according to industry standards. Your instructor will explain specific program grading policy and course requirements.
Cheating or any other form of academic dishonesty is not tolerated at PSSC. Plagiarism is a form of cheating in which another person’s work or ideas are presented as your own. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and can even result in expulsion at the college level. Other forms of cheating, such as sharing or using assignment or assessment materials are also forms of plagiarism. PSSC holds academic honesty to be an essential component of our school culture; therefore, students who cheat or commit plagiarism will face consequences including but not limited to: loss of credit for the assignment, loss of credit for the class, a failing grade on transcript and calculated in GPA, a formal disciplinary report in student file, suspension from school, or other consequences as deemed appropriate.
PSSC leadership activities exist to give all students an opportunity to develop a sense of belonging, greater school pride, leadership skills, a sense of accomplishment, and a commitment to their community. PSSC endorses, encourages, and supports leadership activities as part of their training. In accordance with Washington State standards for vocational education, a leadership component shall be integrated into each program curriculum. This may be accomplished through Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) such as Skills USA, HOSA, or through a locally developed leadership program, such as Explorers.
Prospective PSSC students complete the online application, indicating the reason they are interested in their chosen program, and agree to each of the statements. Applications are reviewed by the admissions team and communications are sent for follow up and admissions status. Students will be accepted to PSSC based on the following criteria:
- A current transcript with a GPA of 1.0 or higher; 2.0 GPA or above highly recommended
- 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.
Each skills center program 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 skills center 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 within the first semester. At the end of two semesters the student may receive credit for up to (3) three 0.5 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.
Equivalency forms by program can be found on the Equivalency Credits by Program page.
If a culminating project is required by the sending school, seniors can complete their project at PSSC. Our staff understands the importance of this graduation requirement and supports 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 it must be presented to a panel of industry subject matter experts.
Three times a year, students from each program and session are named "Student of the Quarter". 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 encouraged to attend.
Scholarships are available for PSSC students who wish to further their education beyond the Skills Center. Scholarships may include:
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 or supplies.
$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.
One Friday per month, PSSC will hold a teacher "In-Service" day in which students will not attend PSSC in person. In lieu of physically attending PSSC on those days, students will complete an online assignment. Some of the assigned work will be related to your career portfolio and high school and beyond plan. Other assignments will be program specific. Please check the PSSC school calendar for days marked “in-service.” You will complete work remotely on each “in-service” day.
Online assignments can be accessed on the Online Assignment page.
You will develop a Professional Development Portfolio throughout your training at PSSC. Included in the portfolio will be your competency profile, résumé, career plan essay, 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. Your portfolio may be your key to obtaining a job or internship, being awarded a scholarship, or attending your post-secondary institution of choice.
Life is a puzzle – solving it gets a little easier at PSSC through the career training you have chosen and the career pathway options available to you. PSSC will provide students with informative pathway options, which guide you toward education and career success.
- 4-year College
- 2-year College, Technical, or Trade School
- Direct school-to-work transition
It is the belief of the Puget Sound Skills Center staff that all students can learn and be successful. PSSC will help you map your future by exploring various options and development of a comprehensive pathway to success. Our PSSC programs are designed to prepare you to become world-class citizens, workers and family members.
The teaching staff and administration will oversee the use of all electronic equipment on the PSSC campus and in the classrooms, including the appropriate use of photocopiers, cameras, recording equipment, computer hardware and associated software, use of the Internet, etc.
Students and families must read, sign and submit the Student Handbook Signature Form (Appendix C), the Annual Classroom Use Agreement, and the Technology Removal Agreement to use Highline School District network and technology. Violation(s) of the technology policies may result in loss of technology privileges, suspension and/or expulsion from school. Technology is central to the delivery of education, and Highline Public Schools expects all students to use technology resources and tools as an essential part of their learning. It is the policy of the school district to maintain an environment that promotes ethical and responsible use of technology by staff and students.
Parents do have the option to opt-out or decline access to all technology resources by completing the Electronic Resources Use Permission Form 2022F. 2022P and 2022F are located at http://highlineschools.org in the School Board Policies or Technology Department sections.
Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, equipment and furniture supplied by the school. Students who lose, damage, or disfigure property or equipment will be required to either pay for the damages done or replace the item(s). Students misusing or abusing school property will be subject to disciplinary action.
Posters and flyers must be approved by school administration prior to display on campus, and they may only be displayed on public bulletin boards, not walls or windows, and may not cover or damage materials already on display. Posters and flyers must be for approved, school-related events and activities.
- Emergency Procedures
- Mental Health, Counseling, and Student Services
- Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
- Telephones, Cell Phones, and Other Electronic Devices
- Loss of Personal Property
It is imperative that you know and follow emergency procedures, e.g., fire evacuation, lockdown, earthquake, etc. There may also be adverse weather or other unknown situations that could require emergency protocols. Your instructors will review the procedures with you and drills will be conducted throughout the school year, as required by local school district policy and state law. We require student participation and cooperation in all drills and emergency procedures.
Your mental and emotional health and well-being are just as important as your physical safety, and PSSC offers a range of services and supports for students in need. School counseling services are free and confidential, and additional services are available according to individual needs. See our PSSC Counselor Jeff Ferry, or a trusted staff member if you have questions or concerns, or if you need help or services.
As part of our commitment to a safe and positive learning community, Puget Sound Skills Center adheres to all district, state and federal policies concerning harassment, intimidation, and bullying. These behaviors will not be tolerated at PSSC and will be addressed in accordance with appropriate disciplinary policies and procedures. Students should report incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying to a staff member as promptly as possible.
Telephones are in the school for business purposes and emergencies only. Please ask for permission to use a school phone. Cell phones and other electronic devices must not interrupt the learning process; use them only with express permission of your instructor. Cell phones may be used before school, during passing periods, during lunch, after school, or with permission of your instructor. Cell phones, hot spots, and other digital devices may not be used during restroom breaks.
Students must secure permission of an instructor prior to capturing video/photo images of school activities, any school-related event, or other PSSC students. Privacy laws governing the rights of some students prohibit the distribution or uploading of unapproved videos to third-party sites, i.e. YouTube. Students who do not comply with this policy will have their electronic devices confiscated. Repeated violations are subject to progressive discipline.
We strongly recommend that you leave valuable personal items at home. The school is not responsible for searching for lost or stolen items or replacing them. If you choose to bring such an item to school, you do so at your own risk. You are responsible for it; leave valuable equipment and devices at home or be very confident of your ability to keep them safe and secure!
All school visitors (including unaccompanied parents) must wear a visitor’s badge issued by office staff. If you see visitors on campus who are not wearing badges, please direct them to the main office. Guests of students are not permitted on campus during lunch or after school without prior administrative approval.
- Attendance Policy
- Student Parking
- Dress Standards & Expectations for Student Appearance
Attendance line: 206-631-7353
ALL absences/tardies MUST be reported directly to PSSC Attendance Specialist, Kelsey Gomez.
Absences may be excused by any of the following methods within 48 hours of the absence:
- Parent phone call
- Parent email
- Parent hand-written note
- Every 10 absences/semester may result in a lower student grade
- Every 15 absences/semester may result in a reduction of earned credits
- Make-up opportunities are at the discretion of the instructor
Parent contact is required even when a student turns 18. Please include the following information:
1. Student Name
2. Parent Name
3. Date of the absence
4. Reason for the absence
Late Arrival/Tardy Policy: Students with a note in hand MUST check in with PSSC Attendance Specialist Kelsey Gomez, in the main office. A parent or doctor note or a PARENT phone call or email is needed to excuse any late arrival. Not every absence is excusable; oversleeping, for example.
Early Release: A written note, phone call or e-mail from a PARENT or sending school staff member must be submitted, indicating the time the student may be released. Students MUST deliver the note to the attendance office at the start of school and then inform their instructor. Prior to leaving campus for the day, the student must sign out in the office.
Pre-Arranged Absence Forms: (available in the office) are signed by teachers, parents, and students, and submitted to the office for administrative signature. These forms are Required 2 weeks in advance for all non-emergency absences.
Family vacation days taken immediately before and after holidays are discouraged. If your family has a unique circumstance that requires you to be absent during this time, please coordinate with your PSSC instructor. A PSSC administrator will need to approve your absence. If this process is not followed, your absence will be unexcused. Teachers are not required to allow make-up work for unexcused absences.
Puget Sound Skills Center complies with all district procedures regarding attendance, Compulsory School Attendance laws, and the legal requirements of the “BECCA Bill” (including notification of parents/guardians of all unexcused absences). Absences of any kind will affect your learning; too many unexcused absences may even get you in trouble with the law.
For excused absences, typically you will have “the number of days absent plus one” to make up missed work. So, if you were absent for two days, you would usually have three school days to submit missed assignments.
Students from around the region attend Puget Sound Skills Center. Students who reside within Highline School District boundaries are entitled to transportation provided by the district.
Students who reside out of district may:
- get to a bus stop within district boundaries and catch a district bus to PSSC
- drive own vehicle or carpool with another student if possible
- take King County Metro or Sound Transit (link to Orca students ride free sign up)
- bike or find alternate methods to get to school
- Students who have issues with transportation should speak with the PSSC Office Manager, Counselor, or an administrator
Note: Non-Highline District students need to contact sending district to coordinate transportation.
Students who choose to drive and park cars at school are bound by the following rules:
- All motor vehicles parked on school grounds must be registered with the school. Students parking in the student lot must purchase and display a current parking permit. For the 2022-2023 school year,the parking fee is $10.00. If you fail to purchase a parking permit a $25.00 ticket will be issued. Exception: Second-year students do not need to purchase a new permit UNLESS the previous one has been lost or damaged. Parking passes must be visible in your vehicle.
- All students need to park in the parking lot in the back of the school. Do not park in areas designated for staff, visitors, handicapped parking, fire lanes, and bus lanes.
- The speed limit on campus is 5 miles per hour. Students shall not engage in any sort of reckless driving on school grounds.
- Students shall play music at a reasonable level.
- If approached/asked by a PSSC staff member to stop your vehicle, you are expected to comply.
- All student drivers must be licensed and covered by automobile insurance. The Highline School District and Puget Sound Skills Center are not responsible for damage to private vehicles or loss of personal contents. Students park at their own risk.
- Students are responsible for notifying the school if they change cars during the school year and for having the vehicle properly registered.
Suspensions of driving privileges, towing of vehicles (at owner’s expense), and/or suspension from school may occur when these regulations are violated one or more times.
This whole section needs final revision
The Highline Public Schools and school staff believes that learning best occurs in a positive atmosphere. To that end, we expect all our students to help create that environment. Dress and appearance play a significant role in creating a comfortable place for all students. o 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. (DO WE WANT TO EDIT THIS FOR INDUSTRY ATTIRE?
- Clothes should be clean and in good repair. Clothing with holes is not acceptable at school.
- Shoes should always be worn
- Hats should not be worn at school or school functions unless authorized for a specific event or purpose or as approved by your instructor to meet industry standards.
- 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. Your underwear should not be showing. 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.
PSSC Student Appearance Policy:
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.
As a staff, we are committed to positive involvement with our students and will do all that is possible to anticipate your needs and deal with situations in a fair, open, and honest manner. When or if disciplinary action is warranted, it will follow a progressive process.
The staff has the right to remove any student from class if that student’s behavior interferes with the educational process. Behavior judged to be a breach of student conduct will be handled in accordance with school district policy, state law and PSSC procedures. Please see the Highline Public School District’s “Responsibilities and Rights for Students, Parents, and School Personnel.”
- Appendix A - PSSC Staff Directory
- Appendix B - Safety Procedures
- Appendix C - Student Handbook Signature Page
- Appendix D - Sexual Harassment Policy
- Appendix E - Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy
- Immediately upon being alerted to evacuate, prepare to exit as directed by a teacher or other PSSC staff member along designated routes. The room will be secure in your absence; leave your belongings behind.
- Evacuate in an orderly and quiet fashion along designated route.
- The last person to leave the room shall turn off the lights and secure the door.
- Provide for the special evacuation needs of the disabled.
- At the assembly area,
- Line up in a single file line at the designated spot so that you and other students may be accounted for:
- If the order to evacuate occurs during lunch or a passing period, report to the teacher of the previous class period.
- If the order to evacuate occurs before school, report to first period.
- Secure medical treatment for any injured.
- Assist as needed
- Line up in a single file line at the designated spot so that you and other students may be accounted for:
- Stay together and keep calm.
- If not fulfilling some assignment, remain in the assembly area.
- When signaled to re-enter the school building, do so calmly and quickly.
- Activate fire alarm.
- Follow evacuation procedures.
- If safe, use fire extinguisher.
- Notify a PSSC staff member of location of fire as soon as possible.
- Reassemble at predetermined area.
- Await further instruction from PSSC staff.
- Upon signal, move to nearest secure location and ensure that the door is closed and locked.
- Crouch behind or beneath furniture as far from doors and windows as is practical.
- Remain silent and in place until the “All Clear” signal is given.
- At the point of recognition of an earthquake, all persons should drop, cover and hold.
- In a gymnasium or cafeteria, quickly move to a safer area if possible.
- If outdoors, move to a safe area as far as possible from buildings, poles, wires, or other objects.
- In an interior hallway, move to the inside wall.
- Move away from anything that may break or fall.
- Get under a table or desk or in a doorway.
- Crouch on floor facing away from breakables with knees up to head. Cover head with arms. Hold onto table/chair, etc.
- Remain in the crouched position, alert to moving with cover.
- Remain in place until the "All Clear" signal is given.
- Remain alert for aftershocks that may again create the need to "take cover” again.