Vacation and Sick Day Policies
Angela P., Utah
I am new to Simply Music, and I’m just getting my policies and fees in order for my studio. What suggestions do you have in regards to scheduling any vacation or sick days? One week in December and one week in June or what happens if I get sick or want to go on vacation? I am planning to run a year round studio.
Darla H., Kansas
Welcome to the SM team! I run a year-round studio and started out with only 4 weeks of vacation a year, and have worked up to 6 weeks. I know some teachers do 8 weeks. At this point I do 2 weeks at Christmas, 1 at Thanksgiving, 1 for Spring Break, and 2 during the summer (usually in July). I do not build in sick days, and give my students a credit for that lesson if I do have to take an unscheduled day off. (Some of my families go ahead and pay me for the sick day and have told me that it’s not my fault I’m sick. Others are grateful for the break in price that month.) I think some teachers build in a certain number of personal days that can be taken any time to help cover sick days. I encourage you to start out with plenty of time off built in, as it’s harder to change in the future than to begin with what you want.
Cheri S., Utah
Like Darla, I started out with fewer vacation weeks and have added more each year. Along with vacations, I build in two personal weeks. I also didn’t originally frame it the way Neil suggests in the training–as an annual tuition divided into monthly payments. Now I do. At first that seemed confusing to me, so I just said that tuition stays the same every month. But now I see that it helps them understand WHY tuition would stay the same even in December, when we only hold two lessons. They get 45 lessons per year for a set monthly fee.
My policies also state that students who withdraw partway through a year do not receive any refund of tuition paid to that point. And I now require last month’s tuition when they begin lessons, so that I can enforce the 30-day notice policy.
Shanta H., Minnesota
Hi Angela –
I also do 47 lessons per year for a set monthly fee. The days off are a combination of vacation and holidays. I also only schedule 45 lessons/weekday/year, and I hold monthly make up lessons during the schoolyear. This means that in order to get their money’s worth, my students have to attend 2 make up lessons per year- some attend more, and some don’t get their money’s worth and are OK with it. Those make up lessons are also my slush fund for sick days, snow days, and rehearsal cancelled lessons since I am also a semiprofessional singer.
The make up lessons are for the whole studio, so I don’t present any new material, but we do compositions, improvisation, playlist games, etc. They’re very fun– if a student comes to one, they usually come back.
Patti P., Hawaii
I plan in Christmas vacation (2 weeks), Symposium, spring break, summer vacation (each about 1- 1-1/2 weeks) plus a couple of weeks for sick days for me (I always seem to need that). Plus major holidays. I tell them I guarantee I’ll be available to teach at least 40 lessons per year but that it usually works out to be more than that. My teaching year runs from August through the next July. I have yet to need to do any make ups based on this schedule.