Public Records Request

The Open Public Records Act requires that records maintained by state, county, and city governments be made available to the public.

Highline College is a state agency subject to the Washington State Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56). The Public Disclosure Act provides a framework of model rules in Chapter 44-14 WAC to assist agencies in responding to disclosure requests. Guidelines applicable to public disclosure requests received by Highline College are outlined below.

Highline College and its employees are required to maintain all documents and records pertaining to its conduct and performance. Public disclosure requests may include:

  • Employee or former-employee records
  • Student records
  • Bids or RFP submissions
  • Public safety reports
  • Financial records
  • College statistics

Washington State law specifically exempts some records from public disclosure. Exemptions are designed to protect the privacy of individuals, protect law enforcement or other investigative agencies processes or the legitimate business interests of citizens.

Exemptions include, but are not limited to:

  • Information regarding staff and faculty, such as social security numbers, home phone numbers, home addresses, resumes and employment applications
  • Student personal information including school and medical records
  • Investigative records relating to current enforcement
  • Examination test scores
  • Data that if disclosed could result in private gain and/or public loss
  • Correspondence between agency staff and the Attorney General’s Office
  • Information from certain records which would constitute an invasion of privacy as defined in (RCW 42.56.210)

In some cases, we may redact portions of a public record exempt from disclosure. It is our obligation to tell you why a record is exempt.

If you want to review or get copies of the non-public information listed above, it will be necessary for the college to request an Attorney General’s opinion about this information. The Attorney General’s office has up to 12 weeks to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.

Highline is generally required to respond to a public disclosure request for identifiable public records prepared, owned or used by the college within five business days. Responses to a public disclosure request may include:

  • Acknowledging receipt of the request and/or providing an estimate of time required to comply with the request;
  • Providing the requested record(s) directly to the requestor;
  • Requesting clarification regarding a request;
  • Providing records in installments;
  • Providing the requestor with a link to a website to view specific documents;
  • Withholding records exempt from disclosure.

Additional information may be needed for clarification to fulfill your request. To assure public disclosure requests are processed in a timely manner, complete and detailed information is required.

Requests for public records at Highline may be made in writing or email correspondence to Highline’s Public Records Office. To make a public disclosure request, please include the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Full mailing address
  3. Contact phone number
  4. Email address
  5. Detailed description of the requested record(s)
  6. Indicate how you would like to receive the record:
    • Review the records in person at the college
    • Have copies mailed
    • Receive documents on a DVD
    • Sent electronically by email (free of charge)

By Email
Email requests should be sent to:

By Mail
Send a written request to:
Public Records
Highline College
PO Box 98000 MS 99-248
2400 S. 240 St.
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800

Review of requested records at the College No fee
Copies of standard pages (including scanning into electronic formats) $0.25 per page
Copies required to be made by an outside source Actual cost
Mailing envelopes and packaging Actual cost
Electronic Media (e.g., CDs, DVDs and flash drives) Actual cost
Postage Actual cost

Highline’s regulations governing Public Records Requests can be found at Chapter 132I-276 WAC.


Yes. A request to see information in your employee file may be submitted to Human Resources. Human Resources may be contacted at extension 3812.

Yes. Registration and Records retains all student records. For academic records, contact Registration and Records at extension 3242.

No. Requests for public records are subject to public disclosure.

If your request for public records is denied, you may follow this review process:

  1. Any person who objects to the denial of a request for a public record may petition, in writing, for prompt review of such decision.
  2. The written request by a person requesting review of a decision denying a public record shall be submitted to the president or his designee.
  3. Within two business days after receiving the written request for review of a decision denying a public record, the president or his or her designee, shall complete such review.
  4. During the course of the review the president or his or her designee shall consider the obligations of the district to fully comply with the intent of chapter 42.56 RCW insofar which requires providing full public access to official records, but shall also consider both the exemptions provided in chapter 42.56 RCW and the provisions of the statute which require the college to protect public records from damage or disorganization, prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency, and prevent any unreasonable invasion of personal privacy by deleting identifying details.