Today I wanted to focus on Attendance, when a child wants to quit and if there is a need for dismissal. First attendance… Makeups is always a subject that comes up within music teachers discussions. To do or not to do, that is the question. The way I look at make ups is it’s working overtime for free. However if I have a situation (occasionally this happens) where I have a student who needs to miss and then another one cancels that same week I will let the first cancelled student know and offer them to come at that time. I’m not obligated to do this however. Sometimes I would prefer to see if I could bump my schedule up so I can finish teaching earlier. With that said, I do have some things in my policy that helps my “no makeup” policy. I do offer an exchange list that occasionally will get used and I do give group lesson (regardless if they miss or not) because I think group experiences are important in the studio. There is a favorite article that I have enjoyed over the years that you may or may not have come across. If you haven’t, I would highly recommend reading it: Make-up Lessons From An Economist’s Point of View
Under the discontinuing section of my policy you will notice the last line asking for a parent/teacher conference if appropriate. Now I don’t do this with every student who quits. Sometimes I agree with the decision. However there are times where I will see a very promising student quit and it’s just heartbreaking. In those cases I feel like before we call it quits I need to meet with them personally to see if this is just a set back that can be resolved or if it’s really the right decision.
In regards to dismissal and termination, I know I got this from another teacher (if it’s yours please claim it in the comments). I’ve never had to use it, but I felt that in the event I felt it was necessary it is covered.
Here is my policy on lessons…ATTENDANCE-
• A student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. Your tuition reserves you a weekly time slot and benefits within the studio. There will not be any make-up lessons when cancelled by the student; however keep in mind there are up to 3 bonus lessons scheduled throughout the year. You may refer to the student roster exchange list to swap lesson times with someone in case of illness, vacation etc… Please inform me of any changes. Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time. Please inform me if you do not wish to have your name included on the exchange list. If you cannot attend please call or I will worry. If I must miss a lesson I will call and reschedule with you or in rare occasions use the bonus lesson.
• Every student stops taking lessons at some point. Please make this decision thoughtfully with plenty of discussion between the teacher, parent, and student so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure. For this reason, the studio requires a one-month written and paid notice before the semester ends. The student must finish the remainder of the semester paid in full or forego any unused lessons, as there is no refund given. (ie: Fall Semester: one month notice by Dec. 1st; Spring Semester: one month notice by May 1st) If appropriate, a parent/student teacher conference may be scheduled before the last lesson to establish if this might be a temporary setback that can be resolved.DISMISSAL & TERMINATION- Should any of the following situations occur after parental notification has been made along with time provided to correct the situation, dismissal will result: - Failure to make payments promptly. – Failure to maintain practice standards. - Persistent unexcused absences or tardiness. – Failure to honor studio policies. - Repeated neglect on the student’s part to take responsibility for bringing materials, following assignment & practice directions. - Inappropriate or disrespectful behavior, theft, and/or misbehavior in my home. Disclaimer: Not all of the wordings in my policy are original. Over the years I have come across great ideas in teachers policies that were willing to share so I have adapted them into my policy as well. If you see something that is your original idea, thank you! And feel free to credit yourself the comments.