Termination Policy in Contracts

Barbara Stafford said: Aug 28, 2014
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

Hello everyone, I am thinking about updating my policies. I never used to have a termination policy because I don’t want parents to decide they are allowed to quit by simply violating the agreements I have with them. But I am currently thinking I do need to consider a termination policy. I would love to get info about things in your contract that help parents expect themselves to be on the ball about paying, and informing you about necessary absences, and setting conditions down in which it is acceptable to “fire” a student. Thank you for any help! Barbara

Adrian Vella said: Aug 29, 2014
Adrian VellaGuitar
San Ma Q, Argentina
2 posts

Hello, I am trying to understand what you mean, in Argentina is not common to have many policies with parents. I think is very important to do it in order to avoid some problems in the sense you have mentioned (absences, payments, settings, etc) I would love to learn more about this and start to incorporate clear policies. Go forward!

Adrián Vella

Heather Figi said: Aug 29, 2014
Heather FigiViolin
Eugene, OR
96 posts

Great point. For me, being a teacher gives me lots of life practice for not taking things personally. I do value this character development. There can reach a point when it is too much though and policies are great for making things clear ahead of time.

I have considered adding in a policy that if a parent consistently is late in their payment, for example 3 times, they need to find a new teaching studio.

I already charge a $35 late fee.

I do not agree with the value that late payments model for the student for several reasons.

I have hesitated in doing this since then I have to start a student from the beginning and I find great value in maintaining relationships.

Thanks

Heather Figi said: Aug 29, 2014
Heather FigiViolin
Eugene, OR
96 posts

Adrian—for reference on policies, please post this request on a teacher’s forum.

Suzuki Teachers are fantastic at setting policies. I have gained many of mine from my colleagues.

Most teachers here in the USA have these typed up and are happy to share.

Danielle Gomez Kravitz said: Aug 31, 2014
Danielle Gomez KravitzInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
59 posts

I don’t have a late fee but I do send out regular monthly invoices to serve as a reminder. I also encourage that people pay me through automatic bill pay through their online banking.

Between these two things I haven’t had much trouble getting paid. Of course there have been a couple of “instances” (impossible to avoid, unfortunately). But I dealt with these cases individually.

My studio policies have morphed over time. I think the biggest difference is not so much the actual wording so much as my willingness to enforce the policies. For example, I’ve always had a 24 hour notice rescheduling policy. But it took me about two years before I finally had the guts to tell people “no.”

I think the same holds true for for termination policies. You can spell out as much detail as you want but unless you’re willing to enforce these policies it’s kind of a moot point. For example, there’s really no need to have a lot of subsections about how many months are “allowed” to go by without payment if you just send polite reminders and follow through in collecting that payment.

Adrian Vella said: Sep 1, 2014
Adrian VellaGuitar
San Ma Q, Argentina
2 posts

Thank you very much Heather!!!

Adrián Vella

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