2022 - 2023 Verellen Music Academy Policies
Effective Sept 1st 2022 - Subject to Change!
Please read and sign at the bottom of this page
Welcome to Verellen Music Academy. We work tirelessly to ensure your experience here exceeds your expectations and ask you to contact your teacher or administration at any time should you wish. You teacher can be contacted via email using their first name, @verellenmusicacademy.com. Our administration can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good news – Music lessons are HST exempt! The following applies to both private and group lessons. When you enrol you will be given an email which will outline your scheduling and specific payment details as well as a link to an online form which we require you to fill out. On this form you will select which of the following options you prefer. The VAST majority of parents choose the Monthly billing option but the choice is yours.
Monthly Billing Option:
If choosing this option your total for each month, will be automatically based on the amount of lessons you have in a given month. (3-5, depending on the length of the month.)
This option MUST be paid by VISA or MASTERCARD
Please allow up to ten (10) business days for your first payment to be processed. All following payments will be processed (on our end) on the 1st of the month. A 2.9% monthly fee applies, when processing credit cards on "My Music Staff," our parent system.
Year Upfront Option:
If paying for the year upfront (you can still stop lessons as per our “Cancelling Lessons” policy below), your payment options are:
Interac E-transfer payable to email@example.com
VISA or MASTERCARD – a 2.9% service fee applies.
**Unfortunately we cannot accept cheques during Covid-19.
IMPORTANT – We do not accept short-term enrolment. Enrolment (and payment plan) is calculated until the end of June or August. A student may cancel lessons before June as needed as per our Cancellation Policy.
TYPES OF LESSONS
In Person Only: This means that in the unlikely event that we are once again forced to provide all lessons online, your lessons and billing will go on hold at once. It also means we cannot provide you with optional online lessons at any time.
Hybrid – This means we are both flexible. Lessons are generally assumed to be in person. If you need an online lesson, or fall ill and still want to take your lesson via Zoom at any time, just give your teacher at least 30m notice by email and they will provide an online lesson for you. On rare occasions, your teacher may request the same of you.
Online Only – This means that all lessons will be online. Please note that if you wish to return to in-person lessons in future, a teacher or scheduling change may be required.
CONTACTING YOUR TEACHER
While typically the best communication happens in person, we are happy to provide families with direct contact with their teacher(s). All teachers have their own email address which is usually (their first name)@verellenmusicacademy.com. You will be given this email for your teacher(s). As well, you will receive feedback from your teacher on the "My Music Staff" student portal. This will come to your email and you will be able to login to "My Music Staff," to access the notes for each lesson. Teachers always try to respond promptly but sometimes there may be a slight delay. Please note that questions requiring longer answers may be answered in person rather than by email.
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND A LESSON
Group Lessons – Except under extreme circumstances, group lessons cannot be credited, refunded, or rescheduled unless the class is cancelled due to teacher absence.
Private lessons – In an effort to be flexible for parents while respecting the schedules of our staff, our policies allow each student to have TWO lessons rescheduled PER SEMESTER by giving us 24 HOURS NOTICE. Semester 1 is September to January and Semester 2 is February until June.
You must reschedule or cancel your lesson using your student portal at least 24 hours in advance. We DO NOT accept phone calls, emails, voicemails etc.. as acceptable notice. This is to keep it fair for all students & families. If you reschedule
You will automatically be given a make-up credit if it is 24 hours before your lesson time. If you have rescheduled or cancelled more than twice in a given semester, you may still cancel, however the system will not give you a makeup credit funded to your account.
Make up lesson credits must be rescheduled on your student portal, we DO NOT reschedule over the phone, or by email. Your teacher will have time slots in their calendar, you can choose the slot that works best for you, and use your makeup credit on that lesson. If reasonable and multiple efforts have been made to reschedule missed classes and they are not made up by the student by end of June, the lesson(s) are forfeited. Another option to prevent missed lessons is to allow, a sibling, friend, or family member to attend a class that would otherwise be missed. Please note that regardless of notice we cannot promise that missed classes beyond two per semester will be rescheduled. Also note that due to timing, we cannot guarantee make-ups for lessons missed during the month of June.
COVID-19 ATTENDANCE POLICY
In-Person Lessons – If you have opted for in-person lessons and wish to take an online lesson for any reason, on any week, simply contact your teacher in writing at least 30m prior to the start of your lesson. Also if you wish to switch permanently to online lessons simple let us know. Please note that both the admin and the teachers reserve the right to send a student home who shows up for lessons showing any symptoms and this would FORFEIT THE LESSON. For this reason we encourage families to pre-screen before coming in for each lesson. If a student is still able to perform a lesson via Zoom, while sick/exposed to COVID, we can accommodate with 30 minutes notice, and temporarily do virtual lessons, while the student is isolating.
Online Lessons – Please note that the attendance policy for online lessons is the same as in-person lessons. We must respect the continuity of our teacher's schedules as we would for in-person lessons. If you opted for online lessons and wish to switch to in-person lessons kindly contact admin and we will do our best to help you. Please note that scheduling may not allow that you can keep the same time or teacher depending on many variables but we will do our utmost to help you.
If a student is running at least 5 minutes late the teacher or administrator, will usually attempt to contact the student by phone. Once the student is 15 minutes late, the teacher is no longer obliged to wait and may leave for a break, turn off the computer for online lessons, or head home early (and the lesson is forfeited). However, if notice is given that lateness is to be expected, a teacher will wait as long as needed. Note that the teacher cannot extend the lesson past the agreed upon weekly timeframe.
SNOW DAYS / INCLEMENT WEATHER
On occasions where it is deemed unsafe to hold lessons (as determined by Verellen Music Academy), students will be contacted by email and all missed classes will be rescheduled. As this is highly inconvenient for all, such action is only taken under the most severe weather conditions, (some snow or heavy rain will rarely cause class cancellations). As snow days are an act of nature beyond our control, credits cannot be provided, (just make-up options.)
Holidays (ONLY the ones listed below) are factored into tuition payments. Therefore if your lesson falls on a holiday in a given week, you do not pay for that week and it does not need to be rescheduled. Please refer to our listed dates below, to check on whether or not VMA has a scheduled holiday, (no lessons.) You will also usually be reminded by email.
We are closed for a 2 week seasonal holiday at the end of December and beginning of January.
We are also closed for regular private and group lessons over March Break, with the option to take a fun, music camp throughout the break!
We are also closed the following Monday holidays:
Labour Day, (beginning 2022.)
Our regular year of classes end at the end of June, with the option to participate in summer lessons and day-camp's, that can help students to socialize and to keep their skills up during the summer season.
Verellen Music Academy reserves the right to provide a supply teacher while a regular teacher is ill or away. Teachers at VMA work hard to minimize such absences. When one cannot be avoided, a supply teacher may be provided as approved by the Director. Experience has shown that occasional exposure to a different teacher is often beneficial to a child. When a supply teacher cannot be found in time students will be contacted by email and will have their lessons cancelled and rescheduled (and this will NOT count towards the max one allowable reschedule per session.)
CARE OF CHILD
Verellen Music Academy does not assume any responsibility for the care of students or any children while they are on school premises. All students under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by a parent or caregiver while attending private lessons, group classes, and events hosted by Verellen Music Academy OR must have the expressed written consent of the Verellen Music Academy administrator present for transfer of care.
DO PARENTS SIT IN ON LESSONS?
For both in-person and online lessons, this is an excellent question and the short answer is: sometimes. At VMA we believe in the Parent, Teacher, Child learning triangle which states that all three participants (including Parent) must be actively involved in lessons to help ensure a child thrives. We also wish to develop lateral benefits of music lessons such as the opportunity for a teacher to become a positive role model for a child and this often requires them to have alone time. With online lessons sometimes parent involvement is critical, especially with young children. On a child by child basis, the teacher and parent will mutually decide what is the best fit. Sometimes having a parent present for most or all lessons allows more engagement, behaviour management, and support from the parent but, in other cases, it can be a distraction or nervous situation for certain children. Please communicate with your teacher about what is best for your child and expect a two-way positive discussion. At bare minimum every teacher will ensure a quality conversation is had at the end of the lesson with the parent to get them up to speed.
PHOTO / VIDEO CONSENT
By enrolling with Verellen Music Academy you hereby give consent for us to take photos and videos of your children to print and post at the school, use on our website, social media, or other academy related materials. We will never sell or directly profit from any said images nor will they ever be shared with a third party for any reason. We do not use the full name of any student with any photograph or video. You may opt out of this consent by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org but please note that means we also cannot include photos or videos of your child for contests, Rockstar of the month, etc.
For in-person lessons, once a student has registered (after a possible trial class and once payment has been submitted), each family is entitled to FREE PARKING in our parking lot beside the building on Walker Road. You can find this parking lot to the right of the building, in front of "Cake Emporium."
Music lessons are a wonderful and important part of the development of your child. Patience and parental involvement are both critical components of ensured success. If you are thinking of cancelling lessons please first inform your teacher. Often, given this information, a teacher can make temporary (or even permanent) adjustments to the teaching plan to attempt to bring renewed enthusiasm to the lessons. If that is unsuccessful please contact admin. We would first try and find you another teacher as sometimes this new dynamic helps, then a new day and time if scheduling is the issue, then finally we’d suggest another instrument.
If after all of these important efforts, you wish to stop taking lessons you must inform us in writing by the 15th of the month to stop payment for the following month. (For any month except September.) If notice is given after the 15th of the month, payment for the following month will be processed and students may continue with lessons. The exception to this is if we are forced to close in-person lessons and a student wishes to pause lessons until we re-open, then no notification is required and payment will pause immediately. Credits for the rest of that month would carry forward if applicable.
TERMINATION OF ENROLMENT
Verellen Music Academy reserves the right to immediately cancel the enrolment of any student / family for reasons of disruptive behaviour, aggressive communication, inappropriate conduct by student and/or parent, frequent absences, repeated late payments, or other reasons at the sole discretion of Verellen Music Academy. In such rare cases, remaining tuition (if applicable) would be refunded.
DECLINED CREDIT CARD FEE (New)
A $20 fee will be added to any declined Credit Card payment. For this reason we advise that you keep us updated with new cards, expired cards, and more.
Verellen Music Academy does not assume any responsibility for personal property (including, but not limited to clothing, cameras, cell phones, purses, wallets, vehicle etc) lost, damaged, or left unattended on Academy premises, in common areas, or the parking lot behind the building.
ABIDING BY POLICIES
Registration at Verellen Music Academy assumed that you have read and will abide with all polices above. It is subject to change at any time. You will be notified by email if any changes are made. This document will remain online and you may make a request for a written copy at any time. We thank you for your attention to all details and for your anticipated cooperation.
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