All posts by drwelts

Important Notes

The HEC  program my child is in is:     Hillcrest Center ASD Program

349 Old Stockbridge Road

Lenox, MA 01240

My child’s Treatment Team is Team __________________________.

The program’s phone number is (413)637-2834

My child’s Clinician’s name is ______________________________________________.

His/her telephone extension is Extension_________________________.

His/her supervisor’s name is ______________________________.

His/her supervisor’s telephone extension is Extension ___________.

The Program Director’s name is ________________________________________.

His/her telephone extension is Extension__________________________.

The telephone extension for the Nurse’s Office is Extension _______________.

Program Description

Program Description

The Center Autism Program provides programming specific to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Located in Lenox, MA, the ASD Program offers highly specialized residential treatment services for male and female children and adolescents ages 6 – 21 who may be non-verbal or diagnosed with more severe forms of Autism.

With the ASD Residential Program’s 1:1 staffing ratio during waking hours and 2:1 ratio during overnight hours, the program provides a safe, caring, and highly structured environment, and applies the field’s most effective techniques for instruction and intervention, including:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Visual Schedules

Life and Social Skills Training

Communication Training

Discrete Trail Training as necessary

Group Instruction

Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based practice that has proven to have a positive effect on the lives of people with Autism, developmental disabilities, and learning difficulties, our highly trained staff provides individualized instruction that is integrated throughout the school and residential program. This instruction will help students learn new skills in a variety of domains including, but not limited to, education, social, self-care, communication, and life skills. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst oversees all ABA programming.

Under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, students with autism benefit from an ABA based curriculum, learning academic, social, and life skills to help maximize their potential for continued growth and development in the program, in the community, and at home. When challenging behavior is at the root of the student’s difficulties the focus of our function based treatment is to teach skills that will allow the student to affect control over their environment without the need for inappropriate behavior.

Hillcrest also works closely with the parents and guardians of students to ensure the coordination, practice and generalization of the skills the students are acquiring.

With the school building on site, the ASD program includes specialized classrooms complete with individual workstations, enhanced behavioral techniques and specialized teaching procedures individualized and based on each student’s unique needs. The school provides student-centered individualized educational and therapeutic services that identify and build on the strengths of children. All Lead classroom teachers are licensed, Masters level Special Education instructors with a specialization in Moderate or Severe Disabilities. The ASD program is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care (DEEC), and is a private 766 program fully approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).   All direct care staff are required to participate in extensive ASD specific training, skill practice and observation, as well as 12 hours of addition training annually.   The residential component includes safety glass, delay bars and bedroom accommodations designed with ASD individuals in mind.

The programs healthcare department provides the finest nursing, psychiatric, nutritional and general health services available, and dental services are provided by Hillcrests own comprehensive dental clinic. These highly trained and skilled professionals are integrated within each of the treatment teams to provide total care.

Spirituality & Religious Practice

Hillcrest Educational Centers recognizes that our students and their families have a wide range of spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices. HEC understands that spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices may be an important source of comfort, support, strength, hope and guidance for our students and their families. HEC also recognizes the importance of trying to understand, respect and support our students’ and their family’s spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices.

In order to support our students’ and their family’s spiritual/religious beliefs and growth, we conduct a spirituality assessment when a student joins one of our programs. Both the student their parent(s)/guardian may participate in the assessment process. HEC will accommodate and support students’ spiritual or religious preference and practice as much as we can within the limitations of our programs.

If a student, or parent/guardian, has any specific questions or concerns about spiritual/religious practice in our programs, please contact the student’s clinician.

Bullying Prevention & Intervention

Hillcrest operates three residential treatment and one non-residential therapeutic special education programs in Berkshire County for severely emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disordered youth.

OUR MISSION

Our mission at Hillcrest Educational Centers is to facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of our students through the development of new skills that will enable them to succeed in their home community.

Hillcrest Educational Centers strives to prevent and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. Hillcrest is different from other public and/or private schools in that its students are typically admitted because they have exhibited severely aggressive behaviors, often including bullying. Hillcrest’s treatment/intervention approach is based on the premise challenging behaviors are the result of chronic abuse/neglect and/or developmental disabilities. At Hillcrest, we strive to help our students gain an understanding into their treatment issues and provide them with the skills they need to cope with their everyday stressors in a non-violent, constructive manner.

Anti-Bullying Statement

Hillcrest understands that there are a number of factors that make our students vulnerable to bullying.   We will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for all of our students, and provide them with the skills, knowledge, and strategies

We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement. Campus Administration is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Plan.

PLAN

The program expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences

Statement of Intent

Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.

 What is Bullying?

  • Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
  • Bullying can be: Emotional; being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding others belonging or making threatening gestures).
  • Physical; pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any other use of violence.
  • Racist; racial taunts or comments, graffiti, gestures.
  • Homophobic; because of, or focusing on the issue of someone’s sexuality.
  • Verbal; name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors or teasing.
  • Cyber; all areas of internet, such as email & internet chat room misuse, misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera & video facilities.

 Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

 Objectives of this Policy

  • All staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All staff should know what the school policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All students and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying and know what they should do if bullying arises.
  • As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Bullying in any form will not be tolerated.

Signs and Symptoms of Bullying

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from school.
  • Doesn’t want to go to school.
  • Begs to be driven to school.
  • Changes their usual routine.
  • Is unwilling to go to school (school phobic).
  • Begins to truant.
  • Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence.
  • Starts stammering.
  • Attempts or threatens suicide.
  • Threatens to or actually runs away from home.
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night.
  • Has persistent or repeated nightmares.
  • Complains of feeling ill in the mornings.
  • Begins to do poorly in school work.
  • Comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged.
  • Possessions “go missing?”
  • Asks for extra money or starts stealing money ( to pay bully).
  • Has dinner or other monies continually “lost?”
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises.
  • Comes home hungry (money or lunch has been stolen).
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
  • Begins to bully other children or siblings.
  • Stops eating or begins to over-eat.
  • Is frightened to say what is wrong.
  • Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.
  • Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone.
  • Is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received.

These signs and behavior could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered as a possibility and therefore investigated.

ANTI-HAZING POLICY

Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. hazing of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If hazing does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that hazing is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.

What is hazing?

“Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.  In years past, hazing practices were typically considered harmless pranks or comical antics associated with young men in college fraternities.

Hazing is done to a person or group of people in order to gain entrance or acceptance into a club, organization, team, workplace or formal group.

Restricted Items

Items that are restricted for HEC students to utilized, possesses or purchase or to bring back/possess on campus from home visits, shopping trips or campus visits.

  • Ipods that record or play video (you may have an ipod with a scrolling screen)
  • MP3 Players-(Only ones issued by HEC)
  • Flashdrive cards
  • Palm Pilots
  • Any AM/FM radio
  • Any object that have glass
  • Any CD burned (unless approved by Administration)
  • Nintendo DS player (that have texting ability)
  • PSP players
  • Any fragrance lotions/liquids (girls are allowed fragrances in non glass containers-items are secured in area away from bedrooms)
  • Any cutting devices
  • Computers (unless authorized by Team plan)
  • Laptops
  • Cameras
  • Inappropriate reading material (sexual/alcohol/drug related)
  • Inappropriate clothing (no drug/alcohol logos)
  • No sexually explicit logo clothing
  • No gang related clothing or material
  • Inappropriate Hip-hop or Rap “gang related” music
  • No fire devices – no material that portrays fire
  • No hair dryers or heating elements, curlers etc. in bedrooms (these items have to be secured in locked area when not in use under staff supervision)
  • No cell phones
  • No credit cards in dorms
  • No debit cards in dorms
  • No baseball bats
  • No golf clubs
  • No tennis rackets
  • No personal bicycle
  • No weapons – or toys that resemble weapons
  • No metal cans
  • No aerosol containers/cans/bottles etc.
  • No cigarettes or smoking implement
  • No Alcohol
  • No Medication-pills, even over the counter items
  • No illegal substances to include marihuana
  • No whiteout, model glue, permanent markers
  • No food in the dorms (unless authorized by Administration or due to the fact the student is restricted or unable to go to the dining room for meals)
  • No gift from other students or HEC staff including notes other written communications
  • No items /material that advertise the use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs

No tools (unless authorized by Administration)

If in doubt check with Administration regarding any items in question. Better to take it and return later then to have student in possession of any item/thing that might be harmful or restricted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEC Search Protocol

Overview

(Updated 9/2016)

Hillcrest Educational Centers will periodically search students for contraband such as weapons, lighters, drugs or pornography. There are three types of searches utilized. The procedures and the circumstances under which they would be implemented are described below.

Planning

Search plans are individualized according to clinical risk assessment and recommendations of the treatment team. They are continuously modified according to treatment progress and reassessed risk levels as determined by the treatment team. The following guidelines are to be utilized when developing and implementing a search plan:

  1. Search plans will be included as part of the youth’s treatment plan and will be referenced in the youth’s ICMP.

 

  1. Search plans must include the specific skill development and goal achievement that will result in the reduction/elimination of searches.
  1. Search plans will be reviewed at length with the youth so that he/she fully understands how and why they are conducted, and how they become reduced and/or eliminated.
  1. Expressions of any nature for the discomfort regarding searches must be forwarded to the student’s clinician and the shift supervisor for review and response.
  1. Safety plans must include clear descriptions related to frequency of the searches. If searches are identified to occur per shift, it is important to note that searches do not need to occur on the overnight shift and a youth should never be woken up early to complete a search.

 Full Search

The room where the search is conducted must first be examined by staff to ensure that there is no pre-existing contraband or damage. Wastebaskets must be removed.Once the room check is completed, the student receives a robe and enters the room and removes all of their clothes with the exception of undergarments (bras and underwear). The student then passes out their clothes, which are searched. The student comes out of the room in the robe and the room is searched. The student is then allowed back in the room to put on their clothes. When occurring after a visit or trip, searches must be done prior to returning student to team. When coming from an off-campus unsupervised trip students must be checked with the metal-detector wand. These searches need to be logged by a supervisor.

Full Searches are for:

  1. Students on High-Risk Behavior Search Lists. Students are placed on the list for unsafe behavior including firesetting, self-harm, etc. Students on list are searched at random times at a frequency determined by the treatment team.
  1. Students returning from an unsupervised home visit. To be conducted by person transporting student. If no transport, then to be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.
  1. Students returning from any off campus trip with parents/guardians, etc.   To be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.
  2. Students that have an on-campus unsupervised visit with family member. (Until deemed unnecessary by treatment team and approved by an administrator.)
  1. New Students. Students will be on full-search protocol until cleared by a campus administrator and noted in the ICMP.   New students will be searched minimally three times a week – once on each shift (day shift and the two residential shifts).

**  All students must have their personal belongings searched immediately upon return to campus. Items that can be heated will be placed in a Pack-Tite. Please record on appropriate log.

Quick Search

Students are required to pull off their shoes, pull out their pockets and/or have pockets patted by same-gender staff, pull up pant legs and reveal waistbands for inspection by staff.

Quick Searches are for:

1.  Students returning from a Hillcrest-staffed event or activity: To be conducted whenever possible by person transporting student.

  1. After an on campus supervised visit with family member. To be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.

** All students must have their personal belongings searched immediately upon return to campus. Please record on appropriate log.

 Room / Dorm searches

  1. Bedroom searches should occur at least once per week on each shift (excluding overnights). This can be increased if there is suspected contraband.

Bedrooms: Dressers, closets, footlockers, toy boxes, bed linens, and mattresses are to be emptied and/or removed, searched, and replaced. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating and cooling vents need to be checked.

  1. Searches of the following public areas will be conducted by night staff once per night. This can be increased if there is suspected contraband.

Common areas: Bookcases, toy boxes, hutches, and furniture cushions emptied / removed, searched, and replaced. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.

Bathrooms: Toilets under bowl and tank lids, in back of sinks, showers, paper towel dispensers etc. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.

Laundry areas: In and behind dryers and washers. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.

Please Note: Suspicion of dangerous behavior or possession of contraband can result in a student search at any time, as approved by a campus administrator.

 

 

 

 

 

Program Expectations

PROGRAM EXPECTATION

 

SAMPLE OF THE DAILY SCHEDULE

This schedule varies according to team’s educational levels and other program needs.

7:00AM to 8:00AM              Wake up and ADL’s

7:30AM to 8:45AM              Breakfast

8:45AM to 11:30AM            Academics or Topic Specific Group

11:30AM to 12:00PM           1st Lunch

12:00PM to 12:30PM            2nd Lunch

12:30PM to 1:00PM             3rd Lunch

3:30PM to 4:45PM               Activity or free time

4:30PM to 5:45PM               Dinner

5:15PM to 7:00PM               Dorm time

7:00PM to 8:00PM               Activity

8:00PM to 8:30PM               Quiet time and ADL’s

8:30PM to 9:30PM                Bedtime (TEAMS ACTUAL BEDTIMES ARE LISTED IN   DORMS and vary by treatment level)

SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS

  • Students attend school year round. Our school calendar has 180 days during the traditional school year and 36 days during the summer school session.
  • We do not close for inclement weather since our students reside on campus.
  • School hours are from 8:45am-3:00pm Monday through Friday.
  • The school does have 6 weeks of vacation in a calendar year.
  • All students are expected to follow all rules set forth by Hillcrest Educational Centers and the individual classroom setting.
  • Backpacks, any music devices, inappropriate attire, hats/hoods, sunglasses, and toys are just some of the items prohibited from the school building.
  • Students are permitted to listen to music in the classrooms when provided by the teachers or staff. This plan would be reflected in the student’s treatment plan.
  • We encourage families to make calls after school so as not to interrupt student academic instruction. We recognize that there may be occasions when a service provider or family may need to speak to them during the school day about an urgent matter, or to help the student cope with a pressing issue.
  • Teachers will issue homework at their discretion. When homework is given, all students are expected to complete the assignments neatly, thoroughly, and in a timely manner. Staff are available to support students with homework assignments.
  • Our school provides all students the opportunity to take state assessments as required by their home state, such as MCAS, NY State Regents, as well as SATs if applicable.

 

DORMITORY EXPECTATIONS

  1. No Swearing. We expect everyone to use their indoor voices and polite and respectful language.
  1. Respect your environment and living rooms! Personal belongings should be put away each day and not left in the lounge. Students and staff will sit in their assigned seats in the lounge. Students are not allowed to write on the board in the lounge with the chore schedule and daily schedule.
  1. You need to ask staff for permission before:
    1. Leaving your seat
    2. Going in or out of your room
    3. Going in or out of the bathroom
    4. Going in or out of the laundry room
  1. Students are not allowed to spend time in the doorway of other students bedrooms or in the hallways.
  1. All students are expected to do their chores and ADL’s properly. If you need help ask staff, that’s what we are here for!
  1. All students are expected to participate in circle up’s or community meetings.
  1. Students are not allowed in the laundry room without staff being present.
  1. Students may request TV shows to watch but staff will be in charge of managing the remote control.

CHORES

All students are assigned a chore that needs to be completed each day. There are assigned times when chores need to be done. If a student refuses to do his/her chore, or if he/she continually refuses or becomes disrespectful, they will be provide skill coaching assistance to complete this task.

Chores change on a regular basis as determined by the team staff (usually week), so everyone gets the opportunity to do all chores. This is both a learning experience so that the students know how to do all the chores and keeps students from doing the same one each week.

Chores also help to keep the dorm clean and helps the students take responsibility for their living environment. The student’s personal belongings should not be left in the common area when the student is not there.

ADL’s

 Activities of Daily Living: Students are expected to stay clean and maintain a neat, clean living area. They are expected to shower at least once a day (sometimes Treatment Team, will require 2 showers), brush their teeth, comb their hair, use deodorant, and wear clean clothes, etc. Some students have difficulty with their ADLs and need reminding and instructions. Make sure students have what they need when going into the bathroom (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.). In some cases, Treatment Team will require a soap and shampoo check. That is where once the student is in the shower with shampoo and soap applied, they ask staff to check. Staff (preferably male) cracks the bathroom door and the student sticks his head out the door to show the shampoo. The student then finishes his shower. Due to the number of students in each team students should try and limit themselves to 15 minutes. All showers should be completed in the evening unless two (2) showers a day are specified by Treatment Team.

They should also shave, if needed, on a regular basis and razors can be obtained from the supervisor. While the student has the razor in the bathroom, the door will remain open with staff in the doorway. If the student needs help shaving – staff should give them instructions since they may never have had anyone to show them. Once completed the used razor should be returned to the Supervisor’s Office. This is approved through treatment team.

As part of keeping their clothes clean each student is assigned a laundry day. They are expected to wash their own clothes and bedding on a regular basis. Staff should be reminding and then if needed instructing students to get their laundry done. Highpoint provides laundry soap and all other ADL supplies that the student may need – the students may purchase their own products if they choose.

DINING ROOM EXPECTATIONS

  1. Students should sit quietly until served.
  2. Once served, students can speak quietly with others at their table
  3. Students need permission to leave their seats.
  4. Students are not to talk between tables.
  5. After finishing dinner, students should complete their chores/clean their areas.
  6. Students should wait until the team is finished eating and the staff transitions the team before leaving the table.
  7. Students should not talk at the table if there is not a staff present to monitor the conversation.
  8. A student should eat something for dinner before eating desert or snack, even if they only eat a salad or fruit

 

CLOTHING RULES

DO:

Clothing should be clean, in good condition (no holes) and age- appropriate.

Baggy pants must be worn at the waist and with a belt. Undergarments must be worn at all times.

Hats and coats are for outside use only. Hats, hoods and coats are not allowed to be worn in the building.

DO NOT:

No clothes that depict violence, gangs, drugs or sex.

 

No revealing shirts, i.e., sheer, tank tops, half-shirts, muscle shirts, or plunging necklines.

No tight clothing.

No heels above 2 inches.

No bandanas, dew rags, and/or altered clothing. (Dew rags & bandanas allowed at bedtime only)

Staff may ask students not to wear similar colors as other students

PERSONAL:

No body piercing. No more than 1 earring per ear is allowed. No hoops, studs only.

No facial jewelry or tongue rings.

No new tattoos.

 

 

 

 

Statement of Human Rights

STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Every student of Hillcrest has the right to voice their concerns / complaints, without fear of reprisal. There are several people on the campus who can help you with this. If you have concerns that your rights have been violated, you were mistreated or you did not receive adequate treatment services, you may file a grievance. Your concerns must be written and submitted to your clinician. Your clinician will review the grievance and within 24 hours, will notify the appropriate individuals, who will then conduct the investigation of the allegation. These individuals may include, but are not limited to, Supervisors, Program Managers, Program Directors and the Human Rights Representative on your campus. Upon receipt of the grievance, the Human Rights The representative will only be involved if it appears that the grievance involves a violation of your rights. The primary role of the individual is not of an advocate, but as an advisor to the investigative committee. You are free, at any time, to notify your agency, lawyer or guardian of your concerns.

 

 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE & REPRESENTATIVE

 

Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.

Residential Treatment Centers

 

 

Your Human Rights and Ethics representative is:

 

______________________________________________________________________________

(Print Name)

 

As a member of the Hillcrest Educational Centers (HEC) Human Rights and Ethics Committee, your representative will serve as a source of information on Human Rights and Ethics for students and /or staff.

If you as a student or staff member of HEC have a question or concern relating to Human Rights and /or Ethics you may speak to your representative.

 

Student Grievance Procedure

Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. has the legal and ethical responsibility to provide students with a procedure to follow in instances where they have a complaint/grievance that relates to any part of the program, it’s operation or staff or if they feel they have been subject to discrimination based on legally protected categories (race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability).

In the event that a student feels that their rights have been violated or compromised by a specific staff member or group of staff members, or in any other way while in the program, the student should do the following:

Communicate their complaint/grievance to their clinician in writing, if possible. The clinician will review the complaint/grievance and within 24 hours will notify the appropriate Program Manager/Director who will then conduct the investigation of the complaint/grievance.
The student’s clinician will submit the written complaint/grievance to the Program Manager/Director. The document will state the name of the student, staff (if this is a staff issue), and date and time of the incident that led to the grievance. The student will also outline the specifics of what happened which gave them cause for the complaint/grievance.

The Program Manager/Director, or designee, will meet with the student within 5 working days of receiving the written complaint/grievance. The Program Manager/Director, or designee, will communicate a response to the complaint/grievance to the student within 5 working days of the meeting or conversation.

If the student feels that the complaint is not satisfied, the student may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the response from the Program Manager/Director, to the Vice President of Residential Programs, requesting that the matter be further investigated. The Vice President, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation, with the student within 10 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Vice President, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the student within 10 working days of the conference.

At any time in the process, the student has the right to communicate their complaint/grievance to his/her custodial or funding agency.

Parent/Guardian Grievance Procedure

Purpose:
To define a procedure for parents/guardians to follow in instances where they have a concern or complaint about the program or any service that they are receiving from Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.

Policy
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. has the legal and ethical responsibility to provide parents/guardians with a progressive procedure to follow in instances where they have a concern or complaint that relates to any part of the program, it’s operation or staff or if they feel they have been subject to discrimination based on legally protected categories (race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability).

Informal Procedure
Parents/guardians have rights as outlined in the Parent/Guardian Handbook. The handbook is distributed to Parents/Guardians when a student is admitted and any time upon request.

In the event that a Parent/Guardian feels that the student’s rights have been violated or compromised by a specific staff member or group of staff members, or in any other way while in the program, the Parent/Guardian should follow the steps outlined below:

  • Discuss complaint/concern with the student’s Clinician.
  • Should the Clinician not respond in a timely manner or should this present unusual discomfort or appear threatening to the Parent/Guardian, the Parent/Guardian should contact the Assistant Clinical Director assigned to the campus.

Formal Procedure
If the Parent/Guardian is not satisfied after the informal procedure listed above, they have the right to file a formal complaint/grievance. The following procedure is the mechanism provided to do so.

All parents/guardians are informed at the time of student admission that they have a right and formal method for formally filing a complaint or grievance. This information is presented verbally and is also written in the Parent/Guardian Handbook.

Step 1:
The Parent/Guardian will submit a written complaint/grievance to the Program Director. The document will state the name of the student, staff (if this is a staff issue), and date and time of the incident that led to the grievance. The Parent/Guardian will also outline the specifics of what happened which gave the Parent/Guardian cause for concern and will also list the informal steps taken before pursuing the formal procedure.

The Program Director, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation with the Parent/Guardian within 5 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Program Director, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the complaint within 5 working days of the meeting or conversation.

Step 2:

If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 1, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the response from the Program Director, to the Senior Vice President, requesting that the matter be further investigated. The Senior Vice President, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation, with the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Senior Vice President, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of the conference.

Step 3:
If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 2, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint and the response from both the Program Director and the Senior Vice President, to the Executive Director requesting that the matter be further investigated. The Executive Director, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation with the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of receiving the written request.
The Executive Director, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of the conference.

 Step 4:
If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 3, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the responses from the Program Director, Senior Vice President, and Executive Director, to the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC).

At any time in the process, the Parent/Guardian has the right to communicate their concern or complaint to his/her attorney or a representative of his/her custodial or funding agency.

 

 

Pet Policy

t is Hillcrest’s policy to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees and visitors. In accordance with this, pets are prohibited from all Hillcrest program sites with the exception of licensed/registered service and/or therapy animals.

Service Animals” refers to animals (primarily dogs) used to guide or provide assistance to persons with disabilities in the activities of independent living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. If an animal meets this broad definition, it is considered a service animal.

Applying The Policy
This policy provides for the health and safety of students, employees and visitors by restricting animals at our programs/campuses as follows: Unauthorized animals are not permitted at any program/campus site, including the parking lots and grounds.

  • Employees and visitors are reminded that bringing a pet and leaving them in a car is neither appropriate, nor safe and is prohibited.
  • In order to accommodate individuals with disabilities, service animals are permitted to assist the individual who is disabled.
  • All individuals including staff and students are reminded not to touch, feed or pet a service or therapy animal when the animal is working as it potentially distracts the animal from the task at hand.

It is the animal owner’s responsibility to ensure that animals are promptly cleaned up after.