I want to schedule make-up lessons for all my families whose lessons were canceled because of snow. What is your policy on bad weather? I charge by the month, not by the lesson, but the understanding is they get weekly lessons except for pre-planned holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day.
I don’t typically try to reschedule. My policy for inclement weather is that I credit them for 1/2 the cost of the lesson. My tuition is also a flat monthly rate, but I calculate the per-lesson fee and credit 1/2 of that. It’s not my fault and not theirs that the weather is bad, so we share the cost of it.
The compromise I settled on has a few components. I built a couple of extra days off per year into my tuition to account for any given day of the week having on average a couple of days off each year for weather/emergency. When the local school district/municipalities declare a weather/emergency closing, all in-person lessons are canceled for that day.
But since a fair amount of the time, the roads are okay by the time actual lesson times roll around on such closing days, and since I’m sitting around having planned to teach anyway, my policy states that a lesson can be put back on for those days if they contact me and explicitly ask me to do so.
For a few years now, this policy has seemed to me to be a good compromise. Many times, students have stayed home to stay safe. Many other times, students have come in for their lessons on those days. For me, this is all an acceptable balance.
In my policy, I say lessons will typically go on even if school is cancelled. Since lessons start in mid to late afternoon, that usually gives plenty of time for temps to rise and/or the street department to get the roads cleared. On the less-common occasions where the weather or the roads are still bad later in the day, I offer FaceTime or Skype lessons during their regular time slot. I don’t do make-ups or credits for weather.
On weeks where unexpected events like that have messed up some lessons, I hold a bunch of “office hours”. I publicize them and ask people to let me know if/when they are coming. So people don’t necessarily get a lesson with their class (unless they arrange with their lesson partners), but they get some private time or get to mix it up with others in the studio.
Anyone is welcome to attend office hours, but I word the email as “students who missed lessons because of my sick day last week or because of MLK day are especially encouraged to come”.
I charge quarterly tuition and have holidays and sick days (I average one sick day a year) written into the policies, so that is why the wording. It’s not “make-up” exactly.
Inclement weather can be a big problems as I live in Canada. I have contacted other programs in my area, i.e. dance, sports, other music schools, etc, and they don’t give make-ups, so I decided not to do so either.