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Student Absences

QuestionQuestion
Lynn S., Illinois

I’d love to get feedback on how you handle absences from students who are ill. I offer make-up lessons or even extended lessons to “make up” the time. Also, what about adults or youth who are so involved in other activities that they aren’t always able to commit to a lesson/week? Does anyone have a minimum monthly requirement? Just wondered…

Answer
Leeanne I., Australia

If students are ill they miss that week, I don’t do make up lessons. If they are part of a shared lesson, I email them what we did in the lesson so they are up to date for next lesson. Private students, I will let them change a lesson time/date if they have a special occasion that clashes with their lesson time or work schedule according to what I have available. If I have nothing available, they miss that week without a makeup lesson. If students have too much going on with other activities, how are they going to find time to practice?

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Megan F., Nebraska

I teach shared lessons and have the same policy as Leeanne. However, two of my shared lessons are siblings only, so I will reschedule them for another time if I can. I tell people at the information session that if they’re really busy, it might not be the best fit for them. I want them to know up front that it’s going to take a time commitment. Sometimes I don’t think they really consider that – they just want to play piano! I’d rather turn away a student than deal with the frustration later on.

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Cara M., Oregon

Just a quick flashback to public school. I was sick a lot and no teacher ever offered me a make-up lesson. I had to get the info and catch up on my own.

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Gabrielle K., Iowa

That’s what I say too

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Marsha L., Virginia

My policy is that I don’t refund tuition for missed lessons (tuition for the month is paid in advance). They pay full-tuition regardless of how many lessons they can attend. Private students are allowed to request a make-up only if they give me 24-hours notice. Even then, I say make-ups are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. I only recently started shared lessons and told them upfront there wouldn’t be a make-up if they had to miss. Now I just have to stick to it!

Original discussion started February 27, 2018