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

Office Hours:

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

March 17 Update: Staff Expectations During School Closure

Last week, we issued a memo outlining expectations for staff through March 20. The expectation remains that staff will continue to work, though specific duties and worksites may vary over the coming weeks. Additionally, all staff may be called upon to support the emerging needs of our community and families, as this crisis is both dynamic and unprecedented. 

Beginning at noon, March 17, all sites will be closed to the public for the remainder of the week. Essential business operations will, to the extent possible, be completed remotely.

This memo outlines our expectations beginning March 23, 2020.  In our previous guidance, we distinguished between essential and non-essential personnel. Here you’ll find guidance and expectations by workgroup. Together, we can ensure the continuation of the services our families depend on, such as school meals, student access to learning, and childcare for our first responders and healthcare workers.  

In order to remain well informed regarding changing assignments and expectations, please adhere to the following district-wide expectations for all. We will provide weekly updates via email and on the Staff Hub; please read your email daily to remain up to date on this changing situation.If employees are unable to engage in the work expectations as outlined below, instructions regarding leaves are at the close of this memo.

All permanent staff are expected to:

  • Check and respond to email, at least twice daily
  • Be available for phone calls during typical working hours
  • Follow departmental guidance and expectations

Expectations of Staff by Workgroup

As permanent staff will be paid during school closure, there will be expectations for continued professional duties and responsibilities.

Administrators and Managers

Certificated, Classified and Non-Represented

In addition to the above expectations:

  • Check voicemails daily and respond within 24 hours
  • Be available for virtual meetings (e.g.,  Zoom) during typical working hours
  • Engage in building and central office directed work, when requested
  • Take appropriate action to ensure essential building/district operations
  • Be available to report to a district site within 24 hours of the request

District leadership/supervisors will provide additional instructions directly for work as needed.


Certificated Teachers and ESAs under Contract

In addition to the above expectations, while working remotely:

  • Participate in a weekly virtual staff meeting if necessary.  A minimum of 24 hours’ notice will be provided for scheduled staff meetings.
  • Be available for virtual collaboration, professional learning, and development of student materials during typical prearranged hours.  A minimum of 24 hours’ notice will be provided for any required scheduled online collaboration, training, or professional development.  Mutually agreed upon times may occur at the will of the group.
  • Engage in a combination of self-directed,  building-directed and central office-directed work.  The following kinds of work are not an exhaustive list.
    • collaborative team time for planning (e.g., program, department, grade,  unit and course level)
    • professional development opportunities via online learning modes and optional virtual book/study groups
    • development of practice materials for students
  • Educators will be provided with training, materials, and/or support on all required service platforms needed to complete work assignments.  This will include both self-accessed online support and remote access to a support technician.
  • Teaching, Learning and Leadership will be communicating updates directly to all certificated instructional staff, including detailed expectations for remote work.
  • In the unlikely event that you will be requested to report to a district site for something like picking up needed materials/resources, be available to do so within 72 hours of the request.

HEA and HPS will continue to engage in weekly collaboration and problem-solving related to professional responsibilities during the closure.

Teamsters 3

Instructional & Administrative Support Personnel

In addition to the above expectations:

  • Do not report to work until directed by your supervisor or district administration.  
  • Support providing childcare will be needed.
  • Timekeepers are to ensure absence reports and payroll functions are uninterrupted.
  • Office Managers are to set a mail distribution plan with post office worker, and set regular (weekly) schedule to check and sort priority mail

Classified instructional staff should continue to engage in online professional learning related to the Paraeducator Certificate Program and should refer to the ParaCert Newsletter for (bi-)weekly updates. Additionally, instructions will be sent directly for work as needed, including the provision of childcare for our first responders and healthcare workers.

The Department of Health Services will be sending additional instructions directly to all licensed practical nurses. 

Teamsters 2

Facilities & Maintenance, Transportation, Nutrition Services Personnel

Operational departments will be sending additional guidance and expectations directly to staff.

Maintenance and Custodial

Report to work until otherwise directed.

Bus Drivers and Monitors

Do not report to work until directed by your supervisor. Assistance related to food distribution will be needed.

Nutrition Services

Report to work until otherwise directed.

Teamsters 1

Security & Safety

The Department of Security and Safety will be sending expectations directly to staff, including reporting expectations and shift rotations.  Support will be needed at childcare sites.

Non-represented Professional Technical and Executive Assistants  

Job responsibilities in these categories vary widely and lend themselves to working remotely.  Work with your supervisor to make arrangements for remote work.  

Substitutes (both Certificated and Classified)

Substitute certificated and substitute classified employees are not permanent staff. All long term assignments are suspended until further notice. Daily assignments will not be available until further notice. Based on guidance from the Employment Security Department, substitutes may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the following criteria;

  • Has worked at least 680 hours during the period of:
    • October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 or 
    • January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 or 
    • combined 680 hours across state lines between the timeframes above

For more information or to apply, visit WA Employment Security Department's website.

Use of Leave

For employees unable to follow the expectations outlined above, the appropriate leave must be utilized.

  • Sick Leave available to all staff, based upon individual accrual balance
  • Vacation Leave available to classified and administrative staff, based upon individual accrual balance. Beginning March 23 thru the closure period.
  • UnPaid Leave/Docked Pay (all types) available to all staff after other leave has been exhausted. Beginning March 23 thru the closure period, unpaid leave requests will be approved.
  • Paid Family Medical Leave employees caring for ill family members may be eligible for paid family medical leave. For more information see 

To utilize sick leave, email your supervisor, office manager/timekeeper, and if applicable enter into the absence management system.

To apply to use vacation or unpaid leave, please email with your name, request type and applicable dates.


If you have questions, ask your supervisor or contact Human Resources:


More Info

This is an evolving situation. Stay up to date by consulting the following webpages:

Good Hygiene

Please remind your student of the importance of following good hygiene practices that prevent the spread of communicable diseases:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. See our guidelines for when to stay home.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.