Welcome to Pathfinder!
You have questions, lots of questions . . .
Here are some of the answers.
Pathfinder PTSA and K-1 Teacher, Genya Scharks, who is a staff representative to the PTSA, collaborated to prepare this FAQ in the hopes of answering some of your many questions.
• When does school start/end?
The first bell rings at 8:40 and the tardy bell rings at 8:45. Kindergarten rooms are open at 8:25 to children. Please be sure to arrive by 8:45. It is very difficult for children to come in late.
Dismissal is at 3:15. Parents may pick up at the classroom. Teachers will then walk children to Blazing Trails and their school bus. Kindergarten students are never left alone. They are always handed off to another adult.
• Where do we park?
You may park in the parking lot across from the school or along the right side of the road coming into the school. The parking lot next to the field is used for buses. You may park in the center spots, but the buses travel around the outside circle. If at all possible, have your child ride the bus.
• How do I figure out which bus my child takes? Or, my child would have to walk 5 blocks to the bus stop – how do I make changes with transportation? Do I need to tell them whether my child is taking the bus or not?
The number to Seattle Public Schools Transportation is 252-0900. Please call them with any questions. You should receive bus information in the mail. If you haven’t received information and your child will be taking the bus, give them a call.
• How do I set up a school lunch account for my child? How do I apply for free & reduced lunch?
All children receive a lunch account and number. You can ask your child’s teacher or the lunchroom for this number. Teachers will be teaching their account number to any child buying lunch.
You can put money in the account by giving a check to the lunch room. They serve breakfast before school, so this is a great time to do it. You can also give a check to your child’s teacher and they can get it to the lunch room.
You can visit the Nutrition Services for the Seattle School District to put money on your child’s account online.
Free and reduced lunch applications can also be done on the site listed above. The lunchroom and office staff have applications too.
• What time is lunch? How long do kindergarteners have for lunch?
Kindergarteners eat lunch with the first graders at 11:15. They go out to lunch recess at 11:35. They can stay in and eat for a while if they are not finished.
• How do we find out what dietary restrictions there are for lunches, such as, anaphylactic allergies – and classroom treats?
We do not serve snacks with nuts, but there are no restrictions at lunch. There is a peanut free table for children with allergies. Children are not allowed to share any food to prevent allergic reactions. If there are any other specific restrictions, your child’s teacher will let you know (this is rare). When bringing birthday treats, the teachers will work with the parents of children with allergies to ensure there is an appropriate treat available. You do not need to worry about this.
• How does Pathfinder balance classes? Are changes made?
Pathfinder balances classes based on all of the available information including: gender, birthdates, ethnicity, and siblings already at Pathfinder. Changes may be made during the week of Jumpstart. You will find out your child’s permanent placement Thursday or Friday of this week.
• What is the attendance line phone number?
Please call the office if your child will not be at school. The number is 252-9712.
• How do I make a change in how my child will go home?
If you want to change your child’s pick-up plan, contact your child’s teacher before 8:00 am or tell them at drop off/send a note. Teachers do not always have time to check e-mail during the day. If your plans change after this, please call the office BEFORE 2:15 and a note will be delivered to the teacher.
• How about what to do process-wise if someone else will pick my child up from school? Or the bus? Or how to take a friend’s bus to a play date?
Telling the teacher is the most helpful. You can call the office if school has already begun for the day. To take a friend’s bus for a play date, call (206) 252-9710 or stop by the office. They will write a “green card” for your child so they can get on the bus. This will be delivered to the teacher.
• How can we contact other families in our classroom? How can we keep our information confidential?
Teachers will provide a classroom contact list after the first few weeks of school. If you do not want your information to be given to other families, we will not include it. The contact list is only for classroom families. It is great for planning birthday parties and playdates.
Also, Pathfinder PTSA prepares a Family Directory that is distributed free of charge to every family. Look for the Family Directory form in your First Day Packet.
• I’m on the waitlist; when will I find out if my child is in at Pathfinder for sure?
The waitlist no longer exists for this school year.
• How can I help in the classroom?
Teachers love to have volunteers! We will start having volunteers in the room in early October. You will receive more information about volunteering at the end of September. If you are unable to volunteer in the classroom, but would like to help in a different way, please contact Karen Hogan Li, our Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 954.294.6314 voicemail or text. Look for the Volunteer Form in your First Day Packets. Karen would appreciate if you would complete the short form online.
• Will the kindergarteners be coming across 8th graders?
Yes, but they are always wonderful with the younger kids. We do not eat lunch or have recess with the older kids, so we do not have a lot of interaction with them but they will run into each other in the halls.
• Where is lost and found kept?
There is a large wooden bin for lost and found in the lunch room. Please write your child’s first and last name on everything: sweaters, lunch box, and coats. Missing items will find their way back much easier with a name.
• What happens during a lockdown? Shelter in place? Will I be notified? Can I come into the school? Why is the school locked?
When a lockdown happens, all doors are locked and children are moved to a nonvisible spot in the room. They remain there quietly until it is safe to go back to normal activity. During a shelter in place all external doors are locked and children remain in the building but go about their day as usual. No one, including parents, are allowed into the school during these times. The school is locked because there is a possible threat in the neighborhood and we want to keep the children safe.
• How do we find out about general school information?
The office e-mails out the Hot Sheet and the Compass to share information. If you don’t have e-mail, your teacher will get it to you in paper form. Your teacher will also be sending home newsletters. The school website is pathfinderk8.seattleschools.org/ and the PTSA website is pathfinderk8ptsa.org/. You can also follow the Pathfinder PTSA on Facebook, at this public page: facebook.com/pathfinderk8ptsa. These are great places for information.
• How do I get added to the Pathfinder Community Communication and Earth Project Facebook groups?
These are both moderated closed Facebook groups for Pathfinder community members. You must request admission to the groups. Go to Facebook, and search for Pathfinder School Community Communication Tool. If you are interested in the Earth Project, search for Pathfinder Earth Project. Request admission to the group. Within a few days, you will be added to these closed groups.
Pathfinder PTSA has a Facebook page, visible to the public and offering school and PTSA related information: facebook.com/pathfinderk8ptsa/
• I have other questions! Where do I go?
Your child’s teacher is a great place to start. The office can often answer questions too – Danielle Otey and Lani Huston are our fabulous office staff. Your classroom clan coordinator (room parent) is also a great resource. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are all here to help you!
For more answers to your questions:
o Pathfinder Parent Handbook included in your First Day Packet, and on the school website.
o Pathfinder Family Directory distributed by the PTSA usually in December
o Pathfinder K8 School Website: pathfinderk8.seattleschools.org/
o Pathfinder PTSA Website: pathfinderk8ptsa.org/
o Seattle Public Schools Website: seattleschools.org/
For more details on how to stay informed at Pathfinder K8, check out this page of information!