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Policies

The information on this page is provided for clarification & transparency about how we do what we do. Please note that this page contains only certain policies selected for their importance and/or the frequency with which we receive questions about them. A complete list of our board's policies can be found in the Family Handbook below, which is currently being refreshed.
 

Lockdown & Shelter-in-Place procedure

2020 Licensing Inspection Report

310 - Inclusion Policy

The Specifics

Our Statement of
Anti-discrimination, Anti-bias and Cultural Sensitivity

 

We strive to foster an understanding of diversity among people, by expecting and modeling unconditional respect for self and others. We enjoy celebrating and exploring our community's rich cultural diversity.

 

All children and their families are accepted according to our policies without regard to race, color, religion or belief structure, creed, ancestry, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical challenges. We have no religious affiliation.

The Family Handbook contains all relevant information about how we do what we do. But while we work on updating the version we have here, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Family Handbook .DOCX

Family Handbook .PDF

210 - Blazing Trails' License to Operate

Blazing Trails is licensed through the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). The code governing this license is contained in WAC 388-151: Minimum Licensing Requirements (MLRs) for School-Age Child Care Centers. You can find a copy of this code on the DSHS website. Our license is non-expiring and we are inspected by our licenser at least once per year. Copies of these inspections are located in a binder on the Family Information table for your perusal, and digital versions will be uploaded here soon. 

Blazing Trails is under contract with the City of Seattle Human Services Department: Comprehensive Childcare Program to provide care to families who receive city childcare subsidies. This contract has specific criteria for quality and is renewed every 2 years through an extensive evaluation process. Feel free to ask us any questions you might have about this contract or evaluation. Any notes from these inspections are located in a binder on the Family Information table for your perusal.

Please see Subsidized Care (560) for more information. A copy of our current license is displayed on the wall in the Family Information area as you enter Blazing Trails along with our current city business license and other required or pertinent postings. There may also be a condensed version of these important postings on “reader boards” in additional “classroom”
locations (usually necessary only during the summer). You can find out more about city and state subsidy programs on the following sites:

 

 



 

Blazing Trails is licensed to provide care for up to 90 children at any one time based on licensed space availability. Regularly scheduled children have assigned spots and drop-in care is only available if there are spots left unused or children are absent. Blazing Trails meets or exceeds the state licensed minimum adult/child ratio of 1:15. Our goal is to maintain at least an “11 children to 1 teacher” ratio. See Staff to Child Ratios (810) for more information. Blazing Trails’ staff meets or exceeds all continuing education requirements by DSHS (MERIT/STARS requirements) and City training requirements (see Staff (220) for more information on continuing education.)

250 - Visiting & Volunteering

Parents/guardians are always welcome and encouraged to visit with their child and be a part of our activities at any time. For all other visitors, please see Parents’/Legal Guardians’ Right to Immediate Access (401) for more information. We believe children, especially young or new students, love the opportunity to share their experiences here with their families. Our staff also welcomes this kind of opportunity to connect. You may choose to call ahead to s et up a time or just drop by if you have some free time to spend here with your child.

Visiting on a fieldtrip - It’s great fun to share fieldtrip experiences with your child. However, fieldtrip logistics require organization and clear rules for safety. We have a form to be filled out by any visiting parent, guardian or other adult family member (i.e. aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.) outlining our fieldtrip rules and visitor’s responsibilities. Basically, a visitor is responsible for their child’s behavior at all times and for making sure they follow all BT rules. They may not circumvent our rules as they are still a part of a BT sponsored event. If a visitor decides they want to do something different, they certainly may choose to sign their child out and to no longer be a part of the BT fieldtrip group.

We welcome and encourage any contributions to our program and curriculum from our families. We especially want to learn those interests most important to our students so we can include them in our program. We have seen through experience at Pathfinder how important it is to have other adults willing to share their time and interests with children, both for your own children and others. We’ve seen that when adults are excited and interested in something, the excitement and interest transfers easily to children. One never knows what budding artist, scientist or craftsman you may inspire in an afternoon at Blazing Trails! If you have suggestions or ideas, please contact the Director or Head Teacher. Any opportunities for specific volunteering that we’ve come up with will be posted in the Family Information area. Please, let our office staff know if you are interested in volunteering.

Volunteers (age 16 or older only as mandated by state law) work under the supervision of the Blazing Trails’ staff at all times and may never be alone with any child other than their own. Volunteers are also responsible for completing all requirements on time and following all Blazing Trails’ policies and procedures.


 

251 - Registering Volunteers

We must follow the same rules as all state licensed childcares for registering volunteers whether or not they are parents, other family members or community members. If you registered already with your child’s school, we need separate paperwork as we are a separate organization. All volunteers must be at least 16 years old, finger-printed by the DEL approved provider (Fingerprinting done by SPS is not acceptable to our licensing agency, DEL.), and fill out a portable criminal background check (online is best) that is then approved by the state before working with Blazing Trails’ students. This background check must be renewed each year or as DEL requires. Volunteer registration only applies to working with children that are not your own. If you are only visiting your own child on site, there is no need to register as a volunteer. Please, see Policy 401 for more information about access and visiting your child.

Student volunteers who wish to earn up to 60 hours of their service learning requirement at Blazing Trails may apply to do so. All forms are available from and should be returned to the BT office. The Director will create the student volunteer schedules – never more than 4 hours per day – so please send all schedule requests to the Director. The following are required for consideration:

  • Completed application

  • Cover letter

  • Current resume

  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher

  • Personal references – adults other than parent/guardian

  • Valid tracking sheet for logging hour

401 - Parents'/Legal Guardians' Right to Immediate Access

Parents or legal guardians of a child in our care are entitled to immediate access, without prior notice, to their child whenever they are in care at Blazing Trails, as provided by law. This right does NOT extend to other relatives or friends who may have permission to sign-in or sign-out a particular child.

Parents/guardians or people on a child’s authorized pick-up list are expected to check in with the Center Director, Head Teacher or designated greeter before calling for or finding their child. BT staff must know who is currently on site at all times. Adult visitors other than those listed above MUST also check in immediately upon arrival, before entering the facility proper. These visitors are only allowed in the child care facility at the discretion of the Center Director or Head Teacher. A visitor will never be alone with any child while at Blazing Trails and will remain within visual range of a BT staff person at all times.

402 - Confidentiality

Within Blazing Trails, confidential and sensitive information entrusted to us will only be shared with employees of Blazing Trails on a “need to know” basis in order to most appropriately and safely care for your child. Confidential and sensitive information about staff, other families and/or children will not be shared by staff with others within our community as Blazing Trails strives to protect everyone’s right to privacy. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to: names, addresses, phone numbers, disability information, financial condition* and HIV/AIDS status or other health related information of anyone associated with Blazing Trails.

* Financial information and relevant personal information may be disclosed to a third party if accounts are delinquent more than 120 days with no functioning payment plan. Additionally, financial info may be shared or disclosed to a joint holder of responsibility for tuition if that information impacts their child’s continued enrollment in the program. Please, see Tuition & Fees: Shared Responsibility (551) for more information.

 

Outside of Blazing Trails, confidential and sensitive information about a child will only be shared when the parent/legal guardian of the child has given express written consent, except where otherwise provided for by law. Parents/guardians will be provided with a document detailing the information that is to be shared outside of Blazing Trails, persons with whom the information will be shared, and the reason(s) for sharing the information. For example, if a local newspaper wished to visit and write an article about us, children would only be included (their name, interview, picture etc.) if there was a signed release ahead of time.

You may observe children at our center who appear disabled or who exhibit behavior that may appear inappropriate to their age or your expectations. You may be curious or concerned about this child. It is appropriate that you bring such concerns to the attention of a staff person or the Director in a time and place away from others. Even so, our Confidentiality Policy protects every child’s privacy and as such, employees of Blazing Trails are strictly prohibited from discussing specifics about another child.

 

Behavior considered a violation of this policy includes but is not limited to: 

  • Open discussion of another person’s confidential information between parents/guardians and/or staff members at Blazing Trails.

  • Questioning of a BT student in order to obtain confidential information.

  • Questioning of a staff member in order to obtain confidential information.

  • Disclosing private information about another without their knowledge or consent except where appropriate between staff members as outlined above.

 

Any adult who violates the Confidentiality policy may face the consequence of having their child dismissed from the program. Please, see Code of Conduct (431) for more detailed information.

420 - Grievance

Parents/guardians have the right to meet with the Director and any other staff person to discuss a problem. As much as possible, we operate using consensus to solve problems. Blazing Trails staff is committed to finding solutions to problems that work for staff, students and their families.
 

In the event that a suitable solution cannot be reached, or a parent/guardian wishes to have arbitration concerning a particular issue, he/she may bring the matter to the Blazing Trails’ BoD for discussion. He/she may choose to air the matter personally at a board meeting or ask any Board Director of their choice to represent them.

 

Anyone has the right to add an issue to the BoD’s agenda. Agenda items can be postponed by action of the board due to item priorities and time constraints and moved to the next meeting. Since the BoD’s role is to set policy, any decision reached by the BoD is final. Please, see B.T. Organization: Blazing Trails’ BoD (201) for more details.

421 - Parent/Guardian and Teacher Conferences

Parents and legal guardians have the right to request a conference with the Director or Head Teacher to discuss their child whenever they wish at a mutually agreeable time and location. They may request to include other staff members at this conference. Parents/guardians may also request Blazing Trails’ help supporting individual educational plans (IEP), behavioral contracts and other expectations that a child’s school or classroom teacher might have. Understand that Blazing Trails is committed to helping and supporting children and families within the limits of our staffing, financial resources and governing policies.