Our Guidelines and Rules

Designed to Keep Us Safe, Respectful & Responsible.

Here are some guidelines and rules we have established to help keeps our students, staff, teachers safe and progressing towards optimal academic and behavioral outcomes. Click on the links below to read more about each policy. We appreciate you encouraging your children to follow these standards to ensure safety and academic acceleration.

 NWSOIL Student Manual

Our student manual is extremely insightful and useful.
Please refer to it when you have questions.


Questions? Here’s some guidelines to help!

Absence, Illness & Truancy

Absence: Unless otherwise indicated on the yearly school calendar, students are required to be on site at NW School during school hours: Mon., Tues., Thur. & Fri. 9:00—2:30, and Wed. 9:00-12:30. NWSOIL is a year-round school and all students are expected to attend in the summer. Any extended absences not approved in advance will be considered unexcused. Consistent attendance in school is required by the State of Washington and is conducive to high academic achievement.

Illness: Students who have the following symptoms should not attend school, and should stay at home to rest and recuperate:

  • High Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive Coughing
  • Excessive Diarrhea
  • Skin Rashes
  • Head Lice
  • Sore Throat

Students may return to school when above symptoms have been gone for 24 hours. Extended absences of two or more days in a week due to illness require a doctor’s note to be considered excused. Students who are out on an extended illness should make arrangements with their teacher to stay current on missing assignments. Students who develop symptoms of illness at school will be assessed by NWSOIL administration and parent/guardians will be notified.  In some cases, parent/guardians may need to pick up their child from school.

Truancy/Becca Bill: In 1995, the Washington State legislature passed a truancy law known as the Becca Bill. The law requires school districts to file truancy petitions in the juvenile court when students accumulate a specific number of unexcused absences. A child absent without an approved excuse may be taken into custody without a warrant and delivered to the parent/guardian or school program. When students are absent from school, the parents will be notified of their student’s absence. If students regularly accumulate unexcused absences, their attendance record will be forwarded to the school district for possible Becca Bill violation and enforcement. For more information on the compulsory attendance laws in WA state, see RCW 28A.225.015, 28A.225.020, and 28A.225.025

Behavior Interventions

NWSOIL staff attempts to keep all students participating in activities within their classroom throughout the school day. However, staff intervene when students are unable to follow their classroom rules and expectations. There is a broad range of interventions: prompts to stop inappropriate behavior, directions to take a 2 minute time-out in the hallway, directions to go to the Strategies Room, placement in the Quiet Room.* Staff will use the least restrictive intervention while maintaining an appropriate learning environment. More information about behavioral interventions can be located on your students individual behavior intervention plan (BIP) or the emergency response protocol (ERP) in your students IEP.  Students  who go to the Strategies Room will process the incident with the Behavior Intervention Specialist before they may return to the classroom. The student will also develop a plan for handling similar incidents in the future.

*All staff receive training in Handle With Care, a Behavior Management System.


Parents/guardians may supply refreshments for the class on their child’s birthday. Any treats brought to school, must be store-bought, and unopened. Gift exchanges are not permitted.

Bullying, Harassment & Intimidation

NWSOIL is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all staff and students free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. Harassment, intimidation or bullying means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability [RCW 9A.36.080(3)] or other distinguishing characteristic when the intentional written, verbal, or physical act:

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

“Other distinguishing characteristics” may include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and marital status.  Harassment, intimidation or bullying may take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral or physical actions.

NWSOIL will take prompt, equitable and remedial action within it’s authority on reports, complaints, and grievances alleging harassment, intimidation or bullying that come to the attention of school administration, either formally or informally.

Check-in & Searches

Student transportation is scheduled to arrive at NWSOIL between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Students will enter the building one at a time as directed by staff. All students will proceed into the school lobby for check-in. Due to the nature of the population of students served by NWSOIL, it is school policy to conduct a contraband search of person and property upon arrival to school each day. The following steps outline the daily search routine.

  • The student’s jacket or coat will be searched, pockets emptied.
  • A metal detector wand will be used to search the student’s body for weapons or sharps.
  • The student will be required to empty their pant pockets and staff will make a visual inventory of the contents.
  • The student’s bag, backpack, purse, or satchel of any kind will be searched in the presence of the student. All zippers, smaller bags, books, etc. will be opened. Again, a visual inventory will be taken by the staff.
  • Sack lunches will be searched. All liquids should remain in their factory sealed container.  No Glass.
  • The student may be asked to remove shoes for a visual inspection of the footwear and/or foot.
  • Students will be provided storage for their back pack, jacket, and/or personal effects.

The following rules apply to storage, use and staff response to personal items that students bring to school:

Items which will be collected at check-in and not returned:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Mood altering substances of any kind
  • Lighters

*Should weapons, drugs, or other forms of contraband material be found during the search they will be confiscated and administration will be notified immediately.

Items which will be collected at check-in and only returned directly to the parent/legal guardian:

  • Sports equipment, including skateboards, baseballs, bats, footballs, etc.
  • Toy Weapons, such as toy guns or toy knives, etc.
  • Bandanas of any color.
  • Laser pointers.

Items which will be collected at check-in and thrown away:

  • Unsealed liquid containers.

Items which will be collected at check-in and returned at the end of the day:

  • Electronic equipment including: radios, tablets, laptops and tablet computers, MP3 players, headphones, cell phones, etc.
  • Keys.
  • Glass objects or containers of any kind.
  • Hats and other headwear.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Toys and electronic handheld games, including video games and gaming systems will be collected at check-in and may only be provided to students at break times if approved by the classroom teacher.
  • Sharpies and/or any permanent markers.

This list is not exhaustive. Additional items not listed above may be prohibited at staff discretion.

Due to the nature of the population of student that we serve it is the policy that NWSOIL to conduct contraband search of each student and his/her property upon arrival to school each day. The following steps outline the procedure for searching each student regardless of class, gender, ethnicity, economic standing, religion, or disability.

Upon arrival the student will be taken aside by a trained school employee:

  1. The students coat will be searched (pockets, flaps, etc.)
  2. A metal detector wand will be used to search each student’s body for weapons or sharps.
  3. The student will be required to empty their pockets and staff will make a visual inventory of the contents.
  4. The student’s bag, backpack, purse, or satchel of any ind will be searched in the presence of the student. All zippers, smaller bags, books, notebooks, etc. will be opened. Again, a visual inventory will be taken by the staff.
  5. Students will be asked to remove their shoes so that we may inspect them for contraband as well. This may be done on random basis, if so all children will be checked that day.
  6. Appropriate personal items will be returned to the student.

Should weapons or other forms of contraband material be found during the search it will be confiscated and the program manager will be notified immediately. For additional information on consequences refer to the student handbook.

The use, possession or distribution of controlled substances including alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and all illegal drugs in or around the premises is strictly prohibited. This also applies to consumption prior to arrival and the possession of paraphernalia (pipes, bottles, papers, lighters, etc.) associated with controlled substances. Students who violate these rules may be referred to a chemical dependency counselor for assessment, may be suspended, or may be referred to the police. The parent/guardian and the student’s home school district will be notified.  Additionally, over-the-counter drugs are not allowed. Examples are Visine, Sudafed, mouthwash, etc. If a student must take over-the-counter drugs they will be dispensed by the school staff (See Over-the-Counter Medications).

Disaster Plan

In the event of a major disaster, students will remain at the school under the supervision of their teacher and staff. Emergency supplies and  equipment are stored at the school. Your child will only be released to adults authorized on their current Personal Data Sheet. In the event of a building evacuation, school personnel will set up temporary occupancy in the parking lot directly across from NWSOIL.

Dress Code

Students at NWSOIL are expected to dress in a manner that reflects pride and respect for themselves and their school and is appropriate for academic success.  It is generally accepted that student dress shall be clean and appropriate for the activity in which the student is engaged.

The following are prohibited:

  • Clothing presenting a substantial disruption of the educational process, damage to school property, or a health or safety hazard
  • Clothing displaying obscene or sexual words, pictures, negative messages, or innuendos
  • Clothing displaying drug or alcohol-related words, pictures, messages, or innuendos
  • Halter tops or any shirt that is short enough to expose the stomach or low cut enough to reveal undergarments.
  • Hats or hoods are not to be worn in the building.
  • Pajamas or slippers
  • Pants that are unusually low riding and are worn low on the hips revealing undergarments, or shorts or skirts shorter than finger tip length.
  • Clothing that is “see through”
  • Tank tops and/or sleeveless shirts
  • Clothes that symbolize gang membership or which displays gang related words, symbols, messages, or pictures.
  • Footwear that backless, or open-toed (i.e. sandals, flip-flops, etc)
  • Chains attached to wallets, belts, pants, etc.

Students whose manner of dress violates the school dress code shall be asked to make appropriate corrections.


POLICY: In the event of a student elopement. It is the policy of NWSOIL to act in accordance with the welfare of the student and the public while respecting the students’ rights.

PURPOSE: To define school practice in the event of a student elopement. When any student elopes or is believed to be missing, the school staff shall respond quickly and thoroughly in an effort to ensure the student returns safely and in a timely manner.

DEFINITION: Elopement: A situation in which a student succeeds in leaving the facility premises without authorization.

PROCEDURE: When it becomes reasonably certain that a student is missing without authorization, the person making the observation must initiate the following:

  1. Report a missing student immediately to the school supervisor or designee who will act as the code leader. In turn, a page on the radio will announce “elopement” to all staff in the building.
  2. In the event that a student leaves school property, parent/guardian and police will be notified immediately.
  3. The school administrator or designee will assign staff to keep a visual on the student as far as the school property, noting the direction the student is heading and description of the student and clothing.
    1. Staff members are not allowed to follow, chase or look for students beyond the limits of the school grounds unless:
      1. The student is under the age of 18 years
      2. The student is under protective custody
      3. The student is considered dangerous to himself or others
    2. If a student is seen off grounds, staff will:
      1. Maintain a safe but visual distance
      2. Report the student sighting to the police
      3. Only escort the student back to school if the staff believes the student will respond voluntary; and
      4. Only transport the student back by company vehicle to the school of staff believes the student will respond voluntarily AND there is two staff in the vehicle.
      5. All student who elope and remain on school grounds will be returned to the school.

Field Trips

All students must meet set rules in order to attend a field trip, outing or activity. Students who “act out” or engage in inappropriate behavior(s) while on the outing may be returned to the school by staff and possibly banned from future outings.

Food, Snacks & Meals

NWSOIL provides lunch and a light snack to all students. Students may bring their own food and drinks to consume at snack and lunch times. If NWSOIL staff determine a snack item to be inappropriate for the school setting (i.e. excess candy, sugary soda, caffeinated/energy drinks), they will be confiscated and parent-contact will be made. All drinks must be unopened and in their original containers. Glass containers are not allowed. Please DO NOT send any meals that require preparation or reheating, such as instant noodles or soups.  Students do not have access to any appliances. Parents/guardians may choose to provide treats for a classroom due to a party, celebration, or other event. Parents/guardians must discuss this with the classroom teacher prior to bringing in food items. NWSOIL is a nut-free and shellfish-free facility. Please do not send your student with any products that may contain nuts or shellfish.


School Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 AM—2:30 PM. On Wednesday hours are 9 AM – 12:30 PM. Staff is available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00p.m. Monday-Friday


Students must provide proof of immunization according to Washington State standards or must have an official waiver of immunization on file. Forms are in the registration packet and need to be completed, signed, and returned before the first day of attendance. Forms are also available from the Public Health Department or the student’s doctor.


Over the Counter Medications: There are days when students come to school with a headache or other minor pain related issues and need to take a pain reliever. School staff cannot prescribe any medication to students. If you would like your child to be able to take a pain reliever when they are having a headache, etc., please bring in an unopened bottle of a medication (over the counter) of your choice with your student’s name on it and this signed form. Student may not bring in the medication. When your child requests to have a pain reliever, you will be notified via phone or written communication home. Thank you for your cooperation.

Medication Dispensing Policy

As normal and regular practice, medication should be administered at home whenever possible. However, we understand that in many cases, dosages may fall into the hours when your child is at school. In these situations, the following rules must be followed:

  1. The medication Authorization form must be completed by both the parent/guardian and the attending physician. This form included in the registration packet. Additional forms are available from NWSOIL personnel. These forms can also be faxed to the physician’s office at any time through the school year if there are any medications changes.
  2. Parent/guardians are responsible for bringing a one month supply of medication in a pharmacy bottle, labeled with your child’s name, name of medication, the medication dosage, and the time the medication is to be administered. Students are not allowed to bring in their own medications.
  3. Over the counter medication (non-prescription) will not be given without a physician’s order as well as parental permission.
  4. The parent/guardian is responsible for notifying the school medication monitor and having the physician complete a new form when changes are made.
  5. Failure to provide daily medication or current prescriptions may result in your child not being able to attend school until medication or prescriptions can be provided.
  6. Unused medication shall either be picked up by the parent/guardian or destroyed.

Property Damage

Charges for repairs/replacement of any school property defaced or damaged by NWSOIL students will be billed to their homes. We do not necessarily believe parents/guardians should be held responsible for their student’s actions; however, we do feel that arrangements for payment or damages should be a family decision. This may include additional chores in the home, community or at NWSOIL. In addition, NWSOIL personnel may press charges against the student for property destruction.

Self-Harming Behavior

It is the policy of NWSOIL to encourage students to make better choices at school, at home, and in the community. To the extent that it is possible, students will be protected from self-harming behaviors while at school. Furthermore, students who have done self-harming behavior will be restricted from displaying bruises, cuts, abrasions, burns and other self-inflicted harm to other students and staff while at NWSOIL. They will be expected to use band-aids and other first aid supplies to cover the damage, and should do their best to ensure that their clothing also covers the damage.

Sharing Items

Students may not give, sell, borrow, loan, or exchange property for any length of time. This includes all property regardless of the value or perceived value.

Student Drivers & Transportation

Students attending NWSOIL are not allowed to drive their vehicles to school unless they have a pre-arranged driving contract. This contract needs to be developed by a team including the student, parents/guardians, school therapist, and teacher. It must be signed by the school administration.

Additional guidelines:

  • If a student is found driving to school without a contract, he/she will be referred to school administration.
  • If a student is seen driving recklessly on or around school property, staff will report the incident to school administration and/or the police. This could result in suspension of driving privileges to/from school.
  • Students will not be allowed to transport other students to/from school for any reason.

When a student’s transportation arrives at school, the student is expected to remain in the vehicle until NWSOIL staff meets them curbside. Students who exhibit unsafe or disruptive behaviors on the bus may be required to start the day in Strategies to process and problem solve.  The school district may become involved in additional interventions if the situation warrants.


Suspensions are used for very serious rule infractions. All suspensions will be determined by school administration, and communicated to the parent in      writing. Any student, parent, or guardian who is aggrieved by the imposition of the suspension has the right to an informal conference with the school           administration and staff members involved for the purpose of resolving the grievance.

Weapons, Gang Activity & Police Intervention

It is a violation of Washington State Law (RCW 28A.600.420) for any student to carry any dangerous weapons onto school premises, school provided transportation, school facilities or non-school facilities being used by the school. A violation constitutes disciplinary action from NWSOIL, in accordance with the due process provisions of Washington State Law. School staff shall promptly notify law enforcement and the student’s parent/guardian regarding any allegation or indication of such violation.

NWSOIL staff will enforce the following procedure for a weapons offense:

  • Confiscate the weapon.
  • Contact the local police department.
  • Contact the parent/guardian and home school district. An emergency suspension may be assigned. If this occurs, a meeting about the incident will be completed and a recommendation for corrective action developed.
  • Conduct a follow-up conference with the parent/guardian and other necessary parties to present the findings of the investigation and to assign corrective action.

Students shall not display, reflect, or participate in dress, apparel, activities, acts, behaviors, or manner of grooming which: (a) 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, activity or educational objectives; (b) present a physical safety hazard to self, students, or others; (c) create an atmosphere in which a student, staff, or other person’s well-being is adversely affected by undue pressure, behavior, intimidation, overt gesture, or threat of violence; or (d) imply gang membership or affiliation by written communication, marks, drawings, or emblems upon any school or person.

In the event that laws are broken while students are at school, the police may be notified.  When this happens, school administration will call the police and file a report with the local police department. School staff will also contact the student’s parent/guardian and the school district.

Weather & School Closures

NWSOIL follows the same weather related school closure guidelines as nearby public school districts.  In the event of inclement weather, the Tacoma campus will operate under the same parameters of all Tacoma Public Schools, the Redmond campus will follow the same parameters as Lake Washington School District and the Tumwater campus will follow the same parameters as Tumwater School District*.  The school’s normal start time is 9:00 a.m.

*Many districts will cancel “out-of-district” transportation, during times of inclement weather.  When this happens, it may affect your child’s transportation to our school.  Students who can not attend school due to inclement weather will have their absence excused. Check with your local transportation provider for more information.