ST. ED'S BAND ATTENDANCE POLICY
This attendance policy is for all SEHS band classes that occur outside the regular scheduled school day, including Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band.
When a student is absent from band, they are missing valuable instruction and rehearsal time. Because of the performance-based and group instruction given in band, it is unlike other classes in that the work is impossible to simulate outside of rehearsal. In addition, when a student misses a rehearsal, the other students in the ensemble suffer as a result of their absence. Going forward, the attendance policy is as follows.
PLANNED EXCUSED ABSENCES
Planned excused absences from rehearsals must be approved no less than 2 weeks in advance from the date of the rehearsal.
Planned excused absences from performances must be approved at least one month before the date of the performance.
Planned excused absences include the following:
- Family events such as weddings, family reunions, birthdays
- Scholastic events such as sport matches, tournaments, educational travel or academic testing, etc.
- Outside performance opportunities such as honor groups, local theaters, etc.
***Please note that these do not include absences from rehearsals or practices for other groups***
If you feel you have something that would qualify as an excused absence, please discuss with the director ahead of time. All planned excused absences must be handled through e-mail. An absence is considered unexcused until the director has approved it as excused.
Students should keep planned absences from rehearsals to a maximum of 2 per month if possible. Above this number, excused absences may count against the student's grade.
Students should understand that planned absences (unexcused or excused) from performances may result in not receiving credit or awards for the activity if he/she misses more than 25% of the performances that season or ANY adjudicated performances for the season, at the discretion of the director.
Work is NEVER an excused absence. Share your band schedule with your employer as soon as you can to avoid conflicts.
Participation in DCI, WGI, or other honor musical groups can be excused for excessive absences, providing that students have a conversation with the director about expectations and intentions prior to beginning the activity.
Finally, Marching Band rehearsals that occur in the summer before Band Camp will be excused for family vacations and summer activities, like Boy Scouts or Baseball. Beginning with our home camp at the end of July, the above policy will be strictly adhered to:
UNPLANNED EXCUSED ABSENCES
Unplanned excused absences include unforeseen circumstances such as health issues related to the student or an immediate family member, or other catastrophic events. Regardless as to whether or not a student is absent from school that day due to illness, in order for an unplanned excused absence to count as excused, the director must receive an e-mail or a voicemail via the office phone BEFORE the scheduled rehearsal time or performance call time.
Unplanned excused absences include the following:
- Illness or doctor's appointments related to illness that is severe enough to cause students to be unable to perform or is highly contagious. (A good rule of thumb is: "If this was a competition or game, would I be able to make it?")
- Immediate family members in doctor's care
- Other catastrophic events that cause duress and an inability to attend rehearsal
While it is understood that communicating with the director is not something that would be in the forefront of your mind in an emergency or illness, please remember that it is expected of each and every student to attend rehearsal. At least as a courtesy, tell the director you won't be there and why. Parents will be notified of any unexcused absences from rehearsals or performances within 48 hours of the absence.
All unexcused absences will count the same for the activity. An absence is considered unexcused if the procedures above for the absence weren't followed. In the event of extreme circumstances and an inability to communicate before rehearsal, or a misunderstanding, please contact the director ASAP to work out the details.
Unexcused absences will count against the student's grade. Two unexcused absences from rehearsal equal a lowered letter grade. One unexcused absence from a performance is an automatic "F" for the activity and students will not receive awards for participating in the activity. Students taking the class pass/fail will be considered failing if they fall below a "C" for the semester.
Female students who wish to have a physical education waiver signed must earn a "C" or higher in the class to earn the credit for physical education.
This attendance policy is being enacted to give guidance and structure to our current system. It is not intended to be punitive. While we want our students to be able to participate in as many activities as possible, the bands require a team effort. Honoring our commitment to music education is core purpose for this attendance policy. The attendance policy is now in place to give parents and students a guideline for minimum participation for success. Ideally, students would attend all performances and rehearsals and, in fact, many students do so. All absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If students are participating in activities that work in confluence with the goals of the bands, such as outside ensemble, private lessons, or honor groups, those absences are more likely to be excused than ones that are simply scheduled at the same time. Please help our bands be as good as they can be by attending as many rehearsals as possible and all performances.