2020-2021 Policies

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. 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.
The Conservatory has a separate summer session.

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. Enrollment and Make-Up Lessons

  • In-person or virtual lessons enrolled September 1st – January 31st are eligible for 2 make-up lessons for the school year. The two student missed lessons are automatically scheduled in the final two weeks of June at the student’s same day and time.

  • In-person or virtual lessons enrolled February 1st - April 30th are eligible for only 1 make-up lesson for the remaining school year. This make-up lesson is scheduled in first makeup week in June at the student’s same day and time.

  • In-person or virtual lessons enrolled after May 1st are not eligible for any make-up lessons.

  • Since the teacher has reserved a weekly teaching time for each student, teachers are not required to make-up missed lessons that go beyond the above polices for any reason, including school activities, 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. Student Missed Lessons and Make-up Policy for In-Person Lessons

(Weekly in-person lessons are on hold till further notice due to COVID-19)

 

  • Regular attendance at the in-person lesson time is expected. If a lesson must be canceled, parents/students should cancel the lesson through their Pike13 account. By doing this the staff and faculty both receive the notice of the cancelation. A notice can also be given to the front desk staff at 215-340-7979.

  • Any requests to have make-up lessons moved from June to earlier in the year is at the discretion of the teacher. Some teachers may not be able to move lesson times. 

  • In the event a scheduled make-up lesson must be canceled, the student will forfeit the lesson in which a refund/credit would not be issued. Make-up lessons are not rescheduled.

  • If a family is following the COVID-19 policies, at the teacher’s discretion and availability, a missed in-person lesson could be moved to a virtual lesson later in the week, but before the next regular scheduled lesson without using one of the students allotted make-up lessons. This is only allowed in cases of sickness. As much notice that can be provided is greatly appreciated. 

13. Student Missed Lessons and Make-up Policy for Virtual Lessons

Virtual lessons are a convenient and flexible way to have music lessons, however, they are subject to all The Conservatory’s policies and procedures. Virtual lessons are still considered private lessons, but through the virtual format. 

 

  • Your commitment to the agreed upon lesson time is required and provides consistency. We will not make weekly adjustments to a virtual lesson schedule once it has been entered into the Pike13 system. The Conservatory respects the teacher’s commitments and time outside of The Conservatory’s schedule.

  • Regular attendance at the virtual lesson time is expected. If a lesson must be canceled, parents/students should cancel the lesson through their Pike13 account. By doing this, the staff and faculty both receive the notice of the cancelation. A notice can also be given to the front desk staff at 215-340-7979.

  • Under the virtual lesson schedule, families do not receive any more than the number of lessons as stated in Section 11. 

  • Virtual make-up lessons will be scheduled during the make-up weeks in June. 

  • Any requests to have make-up lessons moved from June to earlier in the year is at the discretion of the teacher. Some teachers may not be able to move lesson times. 

  • In the event the scheduled make-up time that has been entered into the Pike13 system cannot be attended, the student will forfeit the lesson in which a refunds/credits would not be issued. Make-up lessons are not rescheduled.

  • If a family is following the COVID-19 policies, at the teacher’s discretion and availability, a missed virtual lesson could be moved to a time later in the week but before the next regular scheduled lesson without the student using one of their available missed lessons. This is only allowed in cases of sickness. As much notice that can be provided is greatly appreciated. If this rescheduled lesson is missed, the student forfeits the lesson and not refund/credit will be issued.

14. Student Missed Lessons and Make-up Policy for Hybrid Lessons

The hybrid schedule is designed to give access to in-person lessons while maintaining government issued COVID-19 safety guidelines and precautions.

 

  • Regular attendance at the in-person and virtual lesson time are expected. Your commitment to the lesson time is required and provides consistency. We will not make weekly adjustments to the virtual lesson portion of the hybrid schedule. The Conservatory respects the teacher’s commitments and time outside of The Conservatory’s schedule.

  •  If a lesson must be canceled, parents/students should cancel the lesson through their Pike13 account. By doing this, the staff and faculty both receive the notice of the cancelation. A notice can also be given to the front desk staff at 215-340-7979.

  • Under the hybrid schedule, families do not receive any more than the number of lessons as stated in Section 11.

  • Virtual and in-person lessons will be scheduled during the make-up weeks in June.

  • Any requests to have make-up lessons moved from June to earlier in the year is at the discretion of the teacher. Some teachers may not be able to move lesson times.

  • In the event the scheduled make-up time that has been entered into the Pike13 system cannot be attended, the student will forfeit the lesson in which a refunds/credits would not be issued. Make-up lessons are not rescheduled.

  • If a family is following the COVID-19 policies, at the teacher’s discretion and availability, a missed in-person lesson could be conducted at the student’s regular lesson time virtually, or it could be moved to a virtual lesson later in the week. A virtual lesson could also be scheduled later in the week. Later in the week refers to any time before the next scheduled lesson time. This is only allowed in cases of sickness. As much notice that can be provided is greatly appreciated. If this rescheduled lesson is missed, the student forfeits the lesson and not refund/credit will be issued.

15. No Notice of Lesson Cancelation

Parents/Students who do not give notice of an in-person or virtual lesson cancelation (no show) will forfeit the lesson. No make-up or refund will be given.

16. 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. 
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, either in person or virtually. 
Families are required and responsible for responding to teachers who are attempting to plan for teacher and weather-related absences. Families who do not respond to a teachers’ offered make-up lesson time after a reasonable number of offers will forfeit the lesson.
In addition, a credit/refund is not available for make-up lessons that have been entered into Pike13 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.

17. In-Person/Virtual 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.

18. Substitute Teachers

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

19. 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.

20. Refund and In-House-Credit Policy

In Person Lessons/Virtual 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.

21. Student Sickness

All COVID-19 polices apply.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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

  • All COVID-19 Policies Apply

26. Use of Studios

Unoccupied studios are not open for parents/guardians or students to use without explicit permission from the front desk staff. All COVID-19 Polices Apply.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. Supervision of Children

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.

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

Updated August 2020

215.340.7979

Doylestown, PA

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