This being said, and operating under the assumption that we all want the best music education for your children, we have become concerned at the numbers of students who continually miss our rehearsals and events for reasons that should have been resolved in advance. At our "Sectional Saturday", we had 37 students missing. As much as 1/3 of a single band did not participate. We average around 50% of missing members who communicate in advance as requested... the rest either do not communicate at all, or they send the request the night before the event...leaving no time to look for potential solutions.
Since the school district supports the concept of grading rehearsals similarly to lab experiences in other classes, we will now be assessing a portion of the students grades based on the after school rehearsal schedule.
Our new policy will be posted in it's entirety on the band website, but in a nutshell, here is the way it works:
If you miss a rehearsal, you will make up the equivalent amount of time. No matter if the absence is excused or unexcused, the time missed is critical to the group's performance. If the absence is excused, students can make up the entire grade. If it is an unexcused absence, the student can make up 50% of the grade. Depending on how much time is missed, the student will have one week or two weeks to complete the makeup (far more than allowed to make up missed core academic assignments).
The students must make up the time by being here in the band room during X-Block, AO, or pre-arranged after school times. They will document their plans for the rehearsal and video themselves at the start and end of the session to demonstrate improvement on the music. A link for submitting work will be on the band website.
This creates additional work for the teachers, but it is necessary in order to keep the integrity of the performing groups and to ensure comparable progress by the students.