Jazz Band Attendance
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I have an issue with students feeling that they are able to miss jazz band rehearsals in the morning before school whenever they feel like it. Since it is an extra curricular activity, it is not for a grade. I currently have a policy that if they miss a certain amout of rehearsals unexcused, they will not be able to play on the next concert. Any thoughts?
I would remind them that without their attendance, you don’t have a band. Everyone depends on everyone else to sound good. I would tell them that if they have one more unexcused absence, they are out of the band–period. And you’ll get someone else to take their place.
I would work hard with your administration to try to get it to be an elective and not an extra curricular. All the jazz bands I performed in had rehearsals before or after school and they were still an elective, graded class. That is your best bet and than you have at least something to hold them to. I have the same problem with my 5th grade group band so I am not saying that making it a class will make the problem disappear.
If you can’t do that I would say snedekerj has a good suggestion, just make sure to write out the policy change and have everybody sign it so you are covered.
I have a similar problem with my before-school ensembles, and was lucky to get my school to agree to put the class on the students’ report cards as a half-credit elective as a “zero period” – it doesn’t effect their GPA much, but parents and high schools do see it. I’m still responsible for following up with attendance as the school won’t track it for me, but I do have the students sign a course description that very clearly lays out the attendance policy. Even getting it on their report card as a pass/fail class would probably help too!
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