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#65571 - 02/01/15 12:26 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: shannonspiano]
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
I give 3 choices when students can't make lessons regardless of the reason.
1) Exchange with another family
2) FaceTime or Skype lesson
3) I record a video lesson and email them the link (most popular choice this year!)

#2 and #3 are done during their regular lesson time so I'm not 'teaching' outside my regular hours.

And then I also give bonus group lessons 3 times a year that can cover for those missed lessons OR they can think of it as a bonus if they don't miss.

These options have been WIN-WIN solutions in my studio!
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www.FPSResources.wordpress.com
Fun Yearly Incentive Programs and Workshops

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#65572 - 02/01/15 04:07 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: Jennifer]
Joyful Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 757
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
Hi Jennifer - could you elaborate a bit more on the video lesson (#3) - how does this work, what do you do, thanks!!

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#65574 - 02/03/15 01:03 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: Joyful]
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Real simple, I basically give a lesson as if the student was there but I'm talking to them through my iPad camera. I give practice instructions and examples, I'll play through the piece (don't always do this when they are here, but it's very helpful for them when they don't have my immediate feedback on video).

I then load it as a unlisted link on YouTube and then email the link. Typically the video length is about 10-15 min. long.

Hope that helps!
_________________________
www.FPSResources.wordpress.com
Fun Yearly Incentive Programs and Workshops

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#65583 - 02/12/15 11:29 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: Jennifer]
J.Baker Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 21
Loc: New York City, NY
Interesting comments, one and all. This is a difficult subject to tackle, is it not? We must draw a line in our business practice while trying not to appear stern about it. But the truth is, I have never lost a student by being strict about studio policy. Doctor's offices are tough as nails, as are so many other businesses, and no one questions that - so perhaps we should not be as anxious as we are.

The ONLY solution I have come up with that works for me is to bill students at the first of the month for the entire month. They can all afford that since it is not like billing for an entire semester. What school does not require payment in advance - every last one does, so we should be no different.

So if a student emails me at the last minute that they are not feeling well, no problem, I have already been paid. They know the 24-hour cancellation policy.

Having said that, I was sick-as-a-dog three times the previous winter, and that in turn cost me at least $2,000 in lost lessons because I was too sick to teach. I really cannot teach when I am walking around with a box of Kleenex and coughing, etc.

So I am actually happy when genuinely sick student cancels so that I do not in turn catch their illness. I wish them well, but I wish myself well also, and I mean physically well !
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com

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#65600 - 02/24/15 04:15 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: J.Baker]
Bridget Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/17/14
Posts: 63
Loc: Ohio
J.Baker I do currently charge that way. Do you simply state that the 24 hour policy is strict when you get the request for makeups?
And does anyone have a policy explanation concerning the swap lists? I'm intrigued by this, because I seem to be doing lots of swapping already, but it would be great to have them do the legwork for me! I promise I won't steal your policies sheet, just would love to see how you approach it!

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#65609 - 02/28/15 07:29 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: Bridget]
J.Baker Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 21
Loc: New York City, NY
Hello Bridget:

Charging in advance at the first of the month takes some pressure off of me regarding cancellations. If a student just landed in the emergency room then I am not going to be severe, but the routine "I'm not feeling well" does not cut it really. I know at least 48 hours in advance if my health is going downhill with a flu. I admit that children are more problematic regarding health - children can just get sick within an hour, just like that. And Wintertime is full of illnesses…but what I do most definitely do not go soft on are the last minute excuses to cancel on whim - no refunds for that.

Regarding your question about swapping dates - I assume you mean a student who wants to exchange their lesson time for another time due to a conflict in scheduling - I will do that IF I can - it is that simple. But if I can't then that is the end of that.

We teach people how to treat us. If I 'teach' students that they can cancel on a whim and there is no loss to them, then I can expect no better.
_________________________
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com

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#65610 - 03/01/15 04:15 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: J.Baker]
Joyful Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 757
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
Bridget - here is my info. Feel to free copy/paste/reword it for your own use. I scoured websites before making this a few years ago (and updating it as needed).

MISSED/CANCELLED LESSONS: a lesson will only be made up due to the Teacher’s illness or absence. A few days are set aside and indicated on the calendar at the end of each semester, so that students may receive lessons that I have missed.

Please do not bring contagious students to my home for lessons. In the case of multiple students in one family, a sibling may use another sibling&#700;s allotted time and have an extra-long lesson. If you cannot attend a lesson, please call.

New this year!! I am offering Skype lessons to any students who are unable to come to a lesson due to illness. PLEASE – in consideration of myself and other students who use the piano, do not bring a child to lessons who is ill, has missed school for illness, or who has a bad cough or sniffles. If the child still wants to have their lesson, please make use of the Skype lesson. This would be offered at the same day/time as their regular lesson.

SWAP LIST: This list is for the purpose of changing lesson day/time for one lesson with another student, when a conflict arises with your regular lesson day/time. Please use this list in place of calling/emailing me to ask for a different day/time for the lesson. It is up to the parent/adult student to call the other parent/adult student and arrange to ‘swap’ lesson day/time. Please call/email me with the swap so I am prepared for the correct student. If you choose not to sign up for the list or a swap is not possible, the lesson will not be made up or refunded.

SNOW DAYS: The studio will be open and lessons will still go on even if schools are closed for weather related reasons. If there is still a storm or the roads are still bad at lesson time and you don’t wish to drive here, please let me know. The student will have the opportunity to attend a Group class in place of the lesson they miss.

*** Re - snow days - I had to cancel lessons recently as my road wasn't ploughed!! So I offered - call me before your lessons and I'll let you know if the road is now ploughed - OR a Skype lesson - OR come for a future group class. Everyone chose Group Class and that is fine with me. It was one of those unavoidable cancellations. ***

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#65612 - 03/03/15 05:37 PM Re: Sick Days [Re: Joyful]
Bridget Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/17/14
Posts: 63
Loc: Ohio
Thank you so much! I think I will spend sometime reworking my policies and procedures form now. Plenty easy to give to new students as they come my way, and I think I will introduce the new policies after spring break. Thank you all so much for your input!

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