Student Handbook

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office by phone at 206-631-3500.


The habit of regular and punctual attendance is strongly related to student success. We ask that you help your student acquire this good work habit.

If your student is not going to be in school for any reason, you must call the school office at 206-631-3506 each day your student is absent.  Please submit a note to the school office indicating the reason for the absence when your student returns to school.  Communicating with the school office is the only way your student’s absences will be excused.

Family Vacations
Extended absences for family vacations are encouraged during the scheduled school breaks (Mid-Winter, Winter, and Spring Break). Vacations or extended absences not due to illness will be considered unexcused absences.

Tardiness/Arriving Late
Students arriving after 8:40 a.m. are considered tardy.  Punctual attendance is important in helping students develop a sense of responsibility and to ensure that students don’t miss important instruction.  All students must report to the office before going to their classrooms if arriving late.

Early Dismissal/Early Pick-up
Requests for students to leave school early are discouraged. If early dismissal is necessary, please send a note to the office stating the time you will be picking up your student. Upon arrival on campus, please go to the office. The office staff will call your student to the office for sign-out. Please do not go to your student’s classroom first. These procedures are for the safety and security of our students.


The Becca Bill

According to the Becca Bill, Washington's truancy law, all school districts are required to track the number of student absences and notify families when their student is absent.

  • After one (1) unexcused absence, the parent or guardian must be notified by phone or in writing.
    • An unexcused absence is one that the parent has not excused by providing a note or informing the school by phone within 48 hours.
  • After two (2) unexcused absences, the school will schedule a conference with the student, parent/guardian, and administrator to find ways to reduce student’s absences.
  • After five (5) or more unexcused absences, the district must:
    • Schedule a conference with the student and family, and
    • Make an agreement with the student and family that establishes attendance requirements.
  • After seven (7) unexcused absences in a month or ten (10) in a school year, the district must file a petition to compel school attendance with the King County Juvenile Count.  The court will contact the family regarding violation of the Becca Bill.


Withdrawing from School

Please notify the office when you are aware that you will be withdrawing your student from school. This allows the school to give you information needed to successfully transition and enroll your student in the next school.

Please remember:

  • All Library and school/district text books must be returned
  • All fines owed must be paid

Emergency Information

Emergency Information Card

An Emergency Information Card is sent home on the first day of school each year.  This card is the first place we look when students are injured or become ill at the school.  It is critical to the welfare of your student that this card is filled out and returned promptly, and is updated when necessary.  As changes occur to phone number, address, etc., please notify the school with updates, including daycare and pick-up information.

Emergency Early Dismissal and Closure

It may be necessary to close school before normal dismissal time.  Please instruct your student where he/she should go in the event that school is unexpectedly closed. A special bulletin for school closures or delayed opening due to inclement weather will be sent home in November.

During bad weather, pay attention to local TV or radio news for school closures. Information can also be found online at: or If Highline School district is not listed, then school will run on normal schedule. The address for the subscription sign-up:

Emergency Procedures

Earthquake, lock down, fire and safety procedures will be taught and practiced with everyone at Bow Lake throughout the year in case of such an event.

In cases of such emergencies, there are some critical things you must know:
Please do not call the school. We realize you will want to determine the status of your student. The phones will be needed by school personnel. You will be contacted if your student is hurt. We have first-aid trained staff to attend to injured students until help arrives. Keeping Emergency Contact information current with the school is critical for the safety of your student in such events.

After an emergency, families must not take their students from the school grounds unless they have checked out from the checkpoint or office. Detailed attendance records will be kept to ensure the safety of all students.  Students should not leave without proper documentation.

School Meals

Breakfast and lunch are available for purchase each school day. Breakfast is served from 8:15 a.m. - 8:35 a.m.  

Meal  Cost
Breakfast w/ milk $1.50
Lunch w/ milk $2.50
Salad bar only $1.25
Milk $0.50

Each student has an account that money can be deposited into. Cash or checks made out to Bow Lake can be accepted. It is a good idea to put enough money in the account for students to buy lunch for at least 5-7 days.  Students will be notified when their accounts are low. Meal accounts are transferable with the Highline School District and will roll over each year. 

Families that qualify for Free or Reduced priced meals must fill out an application to be approved. Applications are available from the Bow Lake office or online at:

School to Home Communication

Bow Lake Website

The school has an active website with information about school activities, calendar of events, available programs, staff contact information, and student resources.

Monthly School Newsletter

The school, in association with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)/Wildcat PAC, will send out a monthly newsletter with information about major events happening at the school and information families need to keep current.

Classroom Newsletters

Classroom teachers send out newsletters to keep families informed of assignments, activities, curriculum, and events happening in the classroom.


All staff members have Highline Public Schools email accounts. It is an extremely effective way to stay in contact with the school. Email addresses are in the form of: first name.last

Student Led Conferences

Conferences are the Monday through Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving break in November. School will not be in session, but students are expected to attend and lead their conference.

Information will be sent home in October for families to schedule a time for their conference. As a means of sharing information, conferences give families an opportunity to discuss and see their student’s special strengths and needs, and interpret his or her progress. Interpreters will be provided if needed.

Conference Appointments are not Limited to Once a Year

You are encouraged to make an appointment to see your student’s teacher whenever you feel there is a need.

Parents & Community Organization

The Wildcat PAC (Parents and Community) welcomes any family members of students at Bow Lake Elementary.

Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month right after school; all are encouraged to attend. Meetings are used to get to know the Bow Lake staff and community members better and share ideas about how to make a difference in the lives of the students at Bow Lake. 

The goal of the Wildcat PAC is to support teachers, families, and build relationships with members of the Bow Lake Community. The Wildcat PAC wants to make sure students have the best years possible at Bow Lake Elementary.

PAC Leader Contact:
Linda Elmore

Health Concerns & Medical Services

All students must have a current health history on file at school. All health concerns should be included on the back of the emergency card.

Due to the law in Washington state, students with potential life-threatening conditions, such as but not limited to severe allergies, diabetes, asthma, and seizure disorders, will need to speak with the school nurse at least two weeks prior to starting school each year.

Your student cannot start school if there is potential she or he could have a serious health concern during the school day that might be life threatening unless the needed medical orders, equipment, and nursing care plan are in place.  We want your student to be safe at school.

Please call the school nurse at 206-631-3508, the office at 631-3500 or Health Services at 206-433-2413 if you have questions.

The school nurse has a regular schedule, but is not on campus daily.

Immunization Requirements

Washington State Department of Public Health sets the requirements for immunizations needed for school age students.  New requirements are made yearly and must be enforced for schools to be in compliance with the law.  Families are notified in the spring of any upcoming shots their students will need for entering the next grade level in September.


Washington State Law states that medications may not be dispensed by school personnel without a physician’s order. This includes dispensing of cough drops, aspirin, or other over-the counter medications. Occasionally, a student under medical care may continue to attend school. In these special cases, school personnel may administer medication when families provide the following:

  • A physician’s order which includes name(s) of the medicine and the time(s) and amount(s) to be dispensed.
  • A second form signed by a family member which gives school personnel permission to administer medication.

All medications must be in pharmacy containers and will be stored in the school office and dispensed by the school nurse, secretary, or principal. Please do not send medication in a plain envelope or with a handwritten note. We will not be able to comply with the request.

Communicable Diseases

If your student has chicken pox, head lice, measles/rubella, mumps, scarlet fever, hepatitis, scabies, rashes, or other contagious diseases diagnosed by a doctor, contact the school immediately. Unknown rashes must have a doctor’s note for the student to attend school.

Illness, Fever, or Injuries

A student who has a fever should not come to school. It is an indication of an illness and needs to be kept home. Students should be symptom and/or fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. 

Families must pick up students immediately if they become sick at school.

If injuries occur at school students will be sent to the clinic.

  • Minor injuries are given first aid.
  • Families will be notified if further medical care is needed.

Health Screenings

Routine health screenings done by school medical staff include a yearly vision and hearing screening for all students and a scoliosis screening for 5th graders. Notification will go home before screening and with results.

Dismissal & After School Pick-Up Procedures

In an effort to keep your student safe and in order to provide an efficient dismissal time, it is important that we follow Bow Lake’s dismissal and parking lot procedures.

Car Pick Up

If you pick up your student in the "fire zone," please follow these steps:

  1. Enter the designated entrance off of 42nd Ave S. Pull forward and stay in your lane.
  2. Remain in your car and continue to pull forward until you reach the front of the line just behind the car pick-up area.
  3. When prompted by staff, pull into one of the designated pick up spots. Staff will help your student board your car on the curb side only. Students will not be permitted to board outside the designated car pick-up area. If your student is not ready to board at the correct time, you will be asked to exit the parking lot, turn left, and rejoin the end of the line.
  4. Once you have your student, merge carefully towards the exit and get in the left or right turn lane to exit.

On-Foot Pick Up

If you pick up your student on foot, please meet them at the north door, next to the SeaTac Program. Middle and high school students also need to pick up younger siblings at this entrance. While waiting, they are expected to remain in the circle area on the northeast corner of the campus and follow Bow Lake expectations. Adults and older siblings are asked to wait outside the building to avoid hallway congestion.

Bus Pick-Up Change

If your student rides the bus home and you decide to pick them up, you must make the request in the office. If your student is already in the bus line, a Bus Release Form needs to be filled out. Your student will be held out of the bus line until you come and present a staff member with a completed Bus Release Form.

Parking & Entering Building

If you have an appointment with a staff member or need to visit the office, please park in the main parking lot in a marked “VISITORS” spot or in the back parking lot off of South 182nd Street. For student safety reasons, the back parking lot is unavailable for student pick up. The bus zone, the front parking lot, and the side parking lots will be closed to cars during dismissal.

Please communicate with your student about where you will be meeting her or him. Please inform our office staff about changes to student pick-up routines prior to 2:40 p.m. (1:10 p.m. on Friday). Also, because students and teachers will be in the middle of dismissal routines, the office will be unable to handle early dismissal requests after 2:55 p.m. (1:25 p.m. on Friday).

Bow Lake staff will be strictly enforcing our dismissal system. Thank you for your cooperation in making dismissal safe and quick.

Bus Zone Parking

Please be aware that the Bus Zone is closed for all parking between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Cars parked in this area during these times may be towed.

Positive Behaviors & Discipline

Bow Lake follows: Be Respectful. Make good decisions. Solve Problems. Students are awarded NOBLEs for positive behaviors throughout the building. NOBLE stands for Noteworthy Outstanding Bow Lake Effort.

If students choose not to follow school rules, consequences will occur. 

  • Mild behaviors, such as teasing, not completing work, or shouting out in class, are usually handled immediately by the teacher.
  • If these behaviors continue or moderate behaviors, such as inappropriate language, minor theft, or physical aggression begin, students may receive a referral, be spoken to by the dean of students or success coach, and families may be contacted. This is done in the Wildcat Den (problem solver room).
  • When severe behaviors, such as illegal behavior, fighting, vandalism or blatant defiance occur, students will be given a referral, the dean of students will be contacted to follow up, and security may be involved if needed. Consequences will be determined by the dean of students and may include in-school or out-of-school suspension, depending the on the severity and repetition of behavior. Families will be contacted if their student is involved. 


Bow Lake and the Highline Public Schools are 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.

The school and district have preventative measures and interventions in place to reduce and/or eliminate harassment and bullying.


Bicycles & Skateboards

Students in grades 4 - 6 may ride bicycles or skateboards to school.

Please emphasize the importance of walking bicycles across busy intersections and patrol crossings.

It is required that each student, wear a protective helmet when riding either a bike or skateboard. 

It is recommended to use a lock to secure the bicycle to racks on campus. The school is not responsible for damaged or stolen bikes or skateboards. 

Electronics & Cellphones

Students with cellphones or electronic devices must keep them turned off and in their backpack during school hours

Any student found using a cellphone or electronic device during school hours may be asked to turn it off and give it to a staff member until the end of the day. If the problem persists, the devise will be held in the office and a family member will need to come to the school to pick up the device.

If families need to leave a message for students, please call the school at 206-631-3500. Student use of the office phone is limited to emergency and special cases only.  Permission to call home about visiting a friend after school cannot be granted.

Students will not be called from the classroom for telephone messages except in cases of emergency. Families are asked to make after school arrangements before the students leave home in the morning.

Weapons Policy

Bow Lake and Highline Public Schools will not tolerate the possession of dangerous weapons by students on school district property or at school district-sponsored events. Possession includes having a weapon in a desk, backpack, or on student’s person

If a student carries, displays or draws any dangerous weapon, look-alike weapon, any toy that looks like a weapon or anything that could cause bodily harm, he or she will face consequences up to and including expulsion. The law requires that all school facilities must be posted with Gun Free Zone signs.

Highline School District treats objects that look like weapons, such as toy guns and toy knives, in the same manner as real weapons. That means that a student who brings such an object to school, on a school bus, or to a school activity can expect to be disciplined for such behavior.

Visitor & Volunteer Procedures

Visitor Procedures

All visitors must check-in in the Main Office upon arriving on campus. A visitor badge must be worn by all visitors when in the building. We ask that all visitors are on campus for a specific purpose. Please contact your student’s teacher in advance if you would like to visit or volunteer in the classroom for an extended period of time.  When school business is completed, please check-out immediately in the main office.

Volunteer Procedures

Bow Lake welcomes all volunteers. Prior to volunteering in the school, a Volunteer Information Form must be completed. Fingerprinting may be required for classroom and/or field trip volunteers, and will take place at Human Resources/ERAC, to be paid by the district. Volunteer Information Forms are available in the office. 

This clearance is good for each current school year and will need to be renewed each year. We will also need to see your driver’s license and make a copy. Please bring your ID to the office when returning the form.

Program for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (DHH)

At Bow Lake we have a comprehensive program for students of all grade levels who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Students from Highline Public Schools and surrounding schools  attend self-contained classes at Bow Lake taught by Teachers of the Deaf or attend general education classes with the support of American Sign Language Interpreters.