POLICIES

2020 -2021 STUDENT SCHOOL YEAR POLICES:  

Download Student Policies Here


1. Introduction:

This handbook has been prepared to give families and students helpful information about The Conservatory’s operations.  The rules, regulations and procedures established are to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students.  While this document addresses many topics, no single document can answer every question therefore we depend upon open two-way communication between all members of our school.  It is our hope that by working together we can maintain a school community that provides the highest quality education experience for our students.

 

2. Mission and Values:

The Conservatory is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the greater community with access to the arts.

Our mission is to inspire growth and confidence in individuals regardless of age, ability, or economic circumstances so that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential and experience enriched, fulfilled lives. 

Our guiding principles are:

Service: We nurture the needs and goals of the student first.

Excellence: We aspire to excel in programmatic and operational success by welcoming opportunities to discover, create and change.

Collaboration: We embrace the partnership between teachers and administrators to establish a committed team based on respect, trust, and transparent communication.  We work together to make The Conservatory better.

Quality: We take pride in providing high quality music education.  Our business policies and practices are designed to ensure customer satisfaction and growth. 

 

3. Non-Discrimination Policy

The Conservatory admits students of any race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance programs, and other school-administered programs.

 

4. Open Enrollment

The Conservatory has open enrollment during the school year, September – June and for its summer session.  (See page 10 for summer session information.) The school year includes time for makeup lessons.  The Conservatory will not remove future dates from a student’s schedule due to travel plans, sports, volunteer activities, school activities or other such conflicts.  Every effort is made to ensure that students receive all lessons.

 

5. Annual Registration Fee

Each student will be assessed an annual registration fee of $25.00 for the 1st and 2nd student enrollments per family. The 3rd or more student enrollments have no fee.   Registration fees are nonrefundable.

 

6. Payment Policy and Schedule

Payment is due in full at the time of registration unless a monthly payment plan has been arranged. The monthly payment plan is based on the total amount of tuition and fees for the year and divided into equal payments.   Monthly payments are automatically processed on the 1st of each month. 

Preferable payment method is by credit card – Mastercard, Visa, Discover and AMEX.  Families opting to pay by check are required to pay on time.  The Conservatory reserves the right to revoke any check payment arrangements and require the family to move to automatic credit card payments.

Late monthly payments are subject to a $25.00 late fee for reach registration. Families who do not make their monthly payments or who have not paid in full by the due date may not start their lessons and may forfeit their teacher and time slot.  Returned checks are subject to a $25.00 processing fee for each registration.

 

7. Advance Registration

Advance Registration is encouraged and open to all current students in the month of June. A link to the google form will be e-mailed and posted on the website.  Forms must be completed by the due date to reserve the student lesson time for the following school year. Students who choose not to participate in Advanced Registration will forfeit their current teacher, day and time and the space will be open to new students.

Advance Registration also allows current students to request a change in teacher, time, day, and instrument. The Conservatory makes every effort to honor change requests but there is no guarantee. The office will contact families between mid-June and late July to discuss availability. The student’s current lesson, day, time, and teacher will be held until the new change is agreed to.

 

8. Private Lesson Tuition Discounts

Only one (1) qualifying discount per student:

  • 5% for 2nd, 3rd + family member living in the same household
  • 5% for 2nd, 3rd + instruments per student in the same year
  • 10% for military family
  • 10% for seniors 60+

There are no discounts for group classes, camps or workshops.

 

9. Financial Assistance

Tuition assistance is available to families who qualify. Only one (1) Tuition Assistance per student per term. Applicants must complete our form in full and submit the required documentation each year. Recipients must have excellent attendance, keep all payments current and perform in at least the June recitals if applicable.

 

10. Communication

By enrolling in lessons at The Conservatory, you accept responsibility to check and reply to all communications regarding your lessons, including by phone, voicemail, mail, email, text messages and messages from our online scheduling system, Pike13.

The Pike13 system provides real time information for schedules, payments, changes, cancelations, and information from teachers.  The Pike13 system is the primary platform for communication.

All families are required to set up an account with a valid email address and phone number.  Pike13 will automatically send email or text messages to the parent, student and teacher regarding schedule changes and cancelations.  Reminders will be sent to families regarding payments and upcoming lessons.  The Conservatory is not responsible for families who do not set up accounts and therefore do not receive important information.

For the safety of our students, students under 18 and Conservatory teachers may not use regular email, text messages, or any social media platform to communicate with minors.  All communications must be sent through Pike13 where they will be permanently documented and can reviewed by parents and Conservatory administration if needed.

 

11. Student Missed Lessons and Make-up Policy

Regular attendance at lessons is expected.  Whenever possible, the student must notify The Conservatory at 215-340-7979 in advance of any absences or a parent/guardian can cancel the lesson through their Pike13 account.

Make-up lessons for student absences will automatically be scheduled during the last two weeks of June during the student’s regular day and time

Make-ups are granted based on enrollment:

  • Private lesson students enrolled September 1st – January 31st are eligible for 2 make-up lessons for the year.  The two student missed lessons are automatically scheduled in the final two weeks of June at the student’s same day and time. Any requests to have these lessons moved to an early time in the school year is at the discretion of the teacher.  Some teachers may not be able to move lesson times.  In the event the scheduled makeup time cannot be attended, the student will forfeit the lesson in which a refunds/credits would not be issued.          
  • Private lesson students who enroll February 1st - April 30th are eligible for only 1 make-up lesson for the remaining school year.  This makeup lesson is scheduled in first makeup week in June at the student’s same day and time.   Any requests to have this lesson moved to an early time in the school year is at the discretion of the teacher.  Some teachers may not be able to move lesson times.  In the event the scheduled makeup time cannot be attended, the student will forfeit the lesson in which a refunds/credits would not be issued.     
  • Private lesson students who enroll after May 1st are not eligible for any makeup lessons.

Since the teacher has already reserved a weekly teaching time for each student, teachers are not required to make-up missed lessons that go beyond the stated policy above for any reason, including illness, school concerts, birthday parties, vacation, schedule conflict, etc. Students are not entitled to more than the above stated make-up policy. Please do not ask your teacher or the office to make exceptions to this policy. A student absence does not exempt the student from any monthly payment.

 

12. Teacher Missed Lessons or Weather-Related Cancelations

Teachers are required to arrange make-up lessons for the lessons that they cancel or for Conservatory weather related school closings.

 

 

13. Scheduling Teacher Missed Lessons or Weather-Related Missed Lessons

The Conservatory school year calendar includes a variety of opportunities for make-up days. Scheduling make-up lessons for teacher absences and weather-related closings will be arranged by the teacher. 

Lessons may be scheduled on an alternative day and time.   Families are required and responsible for responding to teachers who are attempting to make arrangements for teacher and weather-related absences.  Families who do not respond to a teachers’ offered make-up lesson time after a reasonable amount of offers will forfeit the lesson. In addition, a credit/refund is not available for make-up lessons that are agreed-upon and then missed by the student.  Make-up lessons that are canceled by the families will not be rescheduled.

Exceptions to these polices will be made only in rare cases and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director.

Make-up lessons that are scheduled in an open lesson time are subject to cancelation and will need to be rescheduled by the faculty member should a new student enroll. 

The use of partial make-up lessons is at the discretion of the faculty member.  It is highly recommended that partial lessons are used only in extreme circumstances when a mutual make-up time cannot be agreed upon.  Both parents and faculty equally acknowledge that partial lessons are scheduled “at your own risk”.  This means that there is a risk that some scheduled partial lessons might not be completed for various reasons in which the parent would not receive a credit/refund for the missed partial lesson, would not receive a credit/refund for the entire missed lesson that the partial lessons were covering and that the partial lesson would not be rescheduled.  Each party acknowledges that not every possible circumstance can be predicted and planned for.  The Executive Director makes all final decisions regarding how partial make-up disputes will be handled.

 

14. Private Lesson Early Withdrawal

If a student discontinues prior to the end of the school year, an early withdrawal fee of $150.00 will be assessed.  Discontinuation is effective on the date that a parent/adult student gives a verbal notification to the front office. Non-attendance or verbal withdrawal to a faculty member is not an official withdrawal notice. Monthly Tuition payments will not be refunded or credited.

If a withdraw occurs before the teacher has a chance to give a make-up lesson for student missed lessons, then the lesson is forfeited, and no credit or refund will be given.   

 

15. Substitute Teachers

The Conservatory reserves the right to place a substitute teacher in any program/lesson to ensure that all lessons/classes are fulfilled.

 

16. Discontinuance Policy

The Conservatory reserves the right to discontinue any student whose behavior is unsatisfactory; this includes frequent absences, tardiness, behavioral problems, or failure to abide by Conservatory policies. Students may also be discontinued if payment is past due. In such cases, families will be responsible for all lessons scheduled prior to the date the lessons are discontinued by The Conservatory.

 

17. Refund and In-House-Credit Policy

Private Lessons

Refunds and credits are issued at the discretion of the Executive Director.  If a refund is issued, the refund must be issued to the same credit card to which the purchase was made.  If the card is not the same, then an in-house-credit will be issued.  In-house-credits are nonrefundable and must be used within a year from the date that they were issued. 

 

Group Classes & Workshops 

There are no make-ups for group classes or workshops when it is a student absence. The Conservatory reserves the right to cancel classes/workshops with insufficient enrollment. If the Conservatory cancels the class/workshop, a full refund will be issued.

The Conservatory’s Executive Director will determine your eligibility for a refund or school credit as follows:

  • At least 2 weeks’ notice prior to the start of class/workshop: full tuition refund minus the registration fee.
  • 1 week notice prior to the start of class/workshop: 50% refund minus the registration fee
  • Once a program has begun there are no refunds

Exceptions to these polices will be made only in rare cases and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director.

 

18. Student Sickness

Students should not attend lessons if they are ill or contagious. Teachers have the right to send students home if they determine that the student is ill. The student may use an excused make up if any are available (see Student Missed Lessons and Make-up Policy).  Otherwise, the student will be issued an account credit for the lesson.  The instructor will not be paid for the lesson.

 

19. Student Lateness

Teachers are not obligated to wait more than 15 minutes after the start of a lesson for tardy students. Lost time due to tardiness will not be made up. Teachers are required to end the lesson at its designated time. Students arriving after 15 minutes, forfeit that lesson or use one of their available excused lessons.

 

20. Change Requests

For private lesson students who request to change instructors after the school year begins there is a 1-lesson notice.   The Conservatory is happy to honor change requests anytime during the year for a teacher, day, time, and instrument based on availability. If The Conservatory cannot accommodate the requested change, the student may choose to continue the original course of study or withdraw according to the guidelines in the withdraw policy.

 

21. Approved Facilities

All instructors working at the Conservatory will conduct lessons, classes, and workshops at the Conservatory and at Conservatory approved facilities only, NO EXCEPTIONS. We ask that students and parents do not ask faculty to make special arrangements for lessons off-site in either the student's or faculty member's home.  Occasionally throughout the year, faculty will be given permission to conduct virtual lessons in order to complete lessons missed by weather related closers, teacher missed lessons and other reasons.

 

22. Waiting Room Areas

The waiting areas are provided for your enjoyment, but quiet needs to be maintained in these areas so as not to disturb ongoing lessons. We also kindly ask that:

  • Devices with sound be kept turned off or used with headphones
  • Phone calls should be taken outside
  • We kindly request that no food be consumed in the 2nd floor waiting area or in the book corner
  • Our school is also a Peanut Free facility.

 

23. Use of Studios

Unoccupied studios are not open for parents/guardians or students to use without explicit permission from the front desk staff. 

 

 

24. Anti-Bullying Policy

The Conservatory is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for students.  The Conservatory recognizes that bullying, which includes cyberbullying, creates an atmosphere of intimidation, fear and detracts from a safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to violence. Therefore, The Conservatory prohibits bullying by Conservatory students. Bullying means an intentional, electronic or written, verbal or physical act or series of acts that are persistent, repeated over time, directed at another student or students, which occurs at The Conservatory or during any other school-related activity.  Each student is required to respect the rights of others and to ensure an atmosphere free from bullying. 

 

25. Harassment Policy

The Conservatory is committed to providing all students with a safe and nurturing environment for students, and a pleasant and professional environment for employees. Members of The Conservatory community are expected to treat each other with respect. Harassment of a student by any member of our community (student, parent/guardian, teacher, staff) is a violation of school policy. This includes (but is not limited to) harassment based on race, national origin, family status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, political belief, religion, disability, or appearance.  This also includes sexual harassment where unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct, including verbal conduct, creates a hostile environment and endangers a student’s physical or psychological well-being.   

 

 

26.  Reporting Bullying, Harassment or Child Abuse

Parents/guardians on behalf of their child/ren should report harassment and/or bullying to the Executive Director.  The Executive Director and Board of Directors will investigate regarding any complaint of bullying and harassment that includes a discussion with all parties regarding the alleged incident.  Corrective action will be taken when allegations are verified.  The Conservatory will endeavor to protect the confidentiality of students. 

The Conservatory encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. The Conservatory prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

All Conservatory teachers and staff are mandated reporters, as required by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please contact the Executive Director immediately. All reports of suspicious or inappropriate behavior will be taken seriously. PA Childline reporting procedures will be carefully followed to ensure that the rights of all those involved are protected.

 

27. Smoking, Illegal Drugs & Controlled Substances

The Conservatory is a drug-free zone. No smoking or vaping of tobacco or any other substance is allowed inside or outside on School property. Students, parents, guardians, teachers, staff, and visitors are prohibited from entering School property while under the influence of any intoxicating beverage or behavior-altering drug. All parties are prohibited from possessing, using, selling, or transferring alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances on School property. The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted under proper supervision only if it does not impair a student’s ability to perform the essential functions in a safe manner that does not endanger others. 

 

28. Supervision of Children

All students must sign in at the front desk kiosk upon arrival.

To ensure your child’s safety, please pick up students promptly after class/lesson time. The Conservatory faculty and staff do not supervise children waiting in The Conservatory’s hallways or lobby before and /or after classes/lessons. Children are under supervision during their instruction time only. Neither instructors nor administrators are responsible for supervising children outside of teaching time. All waiting students are required to wait inside the building.

 

29. Photo and Recording Policy

The Conservatory reserves the right and may give permission to appropriate staff or outside media, to photograph and record (video or audio) classes, programs, and participants at all our facilities, events and properties. Please be aware that these photos or recordings are for promotional purposes and may be used in future print or electronic publications and media communications. By participating in The Conservatory’s programs, you consent to the video or audio recording or taking of photographs for these purposes.

 

30. Social Media Policy

To the extent that students and/or parents/guardians represent The Conservatory to each other and to the wider community through the use of social media, participation should be done responsibly, bearing in mind that the content of the post reflects the person individually as well as The Conservatory and that sensitive information and privacy should be respected.

Be aware that all existing Conservatory policies pertaining to bullying, harassment and discrimination, extend to any type of social media.  

 

31. Weather Concerns

Parents and students can see if the Conservatory is closed by checking our website and Facebook pages. An email will also be sent, and our main phone greeting will also be updated. Please be aware that if The Conservatory loses power the phone system will not be operational.

 

32.  Reservation of Rights

The Conservatory reserves the right to change these polices at any time. All parents/guardians and students are responsible for regularly reviewing the school website for changes 

 

33.  Summer Policies

All polices as stated above apply to the summer session.  The follow polices are in place in consideration of the shorter school term. 

 

A. Open Enrollment

The Conservatory has open enrollment for the summer.  Students starting lessons later than the start of summer will be pro-rated.

Scheduling lessons are based on first-come-first-severed basis.  Lesson times from the school year are not carried over into the summer.     

 

B. Summer Session

The summer session is 6 weeks in the months of July & August.     

 

C. Annual Registration Fee

New students who begin in the summer will have a $10.00 registration fee.  Registration fees are nonrefundable.

 

D. Payment Policy and Schedule

There is no payment plan for the summer term. Summer payments are paid in full at the time of registration.

 

 

E. Make-up Policy

Private lesson students who enroll for the summer term are eligible for 1 make-up lesson if the student is enrolled for 5 - 6 weeks.  All make-ups will be automatically scheduled at the student’s same day and time during the make-up week.  No make-up is offered for students who are enrolled less than 5 weeks.

 

F. Private Lesson Withdrawal

There are no refunds for private lessons once the summer session begins. 

The Conservatory’s Executive Director will determine your eligibility for a refund or school credit as follows:

  • At least 2 weeks’ notice prior to the start of lessons: full tuition refund minus the registration fee.
  • 1 week notice prior to the start of lessons:  50% refund minus the registration fee

Exceptions to these polices will be made only in rare cases and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director.  Credits issued must be used within 12 months from the issue date.

 

H. Class/Camp/Workshop Make-up and Refund Policy

There are no make-ups for group classes/camps/workshops when it is a student absence. The Conservatory reserves the right to cancel classes/camps/workshops with insufficient enrollment. If the Conservatory cancels the class/camp/workshops, a full refund will be issued.

The Conservatory’s Executive Director will determine your eligibility for a refund or school credit as follows:

  • At least 2 weeks’ notice prior to the start of class/camp/workshops: full tuition refund minus the registration fee.
  • 1 week notice prior to the start of class/camp/workshops: 50% refund minus the registration fee
  • Once a program has begun there are no refunds

 

Exceptions to these polices will be made only in rare cases and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director. Credits issued must be used within 12 months from the issue date.

 

 

As of May 2020