Fall Registration/Scheduling

said: Jul 19, 2007
 15 posts

I am curious to learn how others handle the scheduling process for their private studio. Do you offer a first-come-first-served policy regarding lesson times or do you allow returning students first dibs on their current time and fill in the remaining times with new students? How do you settle multiple requests for the same lesson time? Thanks for your input.

Debbie said: Jul 19, 2007
Debbie MiViolin
138 posts

I have every student fill out a form every year, and they are required to put several lesson times down that they can do, numbered 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice. I tell them that I will do my very best to give everyone as close to their first choice as possible, but as I am very full, it may be difficult. I guess I have not had any big problems because I have a lot of really nice parents in my studio who are very helpful. I have been extremely blessed so far in this reguard. I don’t know how it will work when I have a family who is not quite as easy to work with!

Laura said: Jul 19, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
358 posts

I also have the students or parents fill out a form, listing their preferred time. They have the option to say if this is the ONLY time that will work for them. They are also asked to include other possibilities (in order of preference) that can be used if it means that another student can be accomodated that otherwise wouldn’t. Most parents are quite obliging in this regard, knowing that they would also be treated the same way.

If it comes down to it, the student who had that time last year will get first dibs.

So far, no problems, as no two students have ever insisted on the same time as the only possible time.

Lynn said: Jul 22, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

Hmmm. Clearly great minds think alike….I do exactly the same thing each fall too!

Rachel Schott said: Jul 23, 2007
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

Around early August I assign everyone a fall lesson time. I take into consideration what I know to be true (this family has a long drive…or this one is homeschooled and come earlier) and generally give the same lesson times to families year to year.

I would never have guessed that this would work, but it has! Even if a family can’t make it at the time I’ve suggested, it narrows the discussion and overall, I feel less taken advantage of. They have plenty of time to arrange other rehearsals or activities AROUND violin since I give it out early enough.

Good luck!

Jennifer Visick said: Jul 23, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

My returning students usually get offered their same day and time from last year. If they want to change times, it’s first come first served. This is not a huge problem for me, although I imagine I will become more inflexible as I gain a larger number of students.

Joyce said: Aug 20, 2007
Joyce MizerViolin, Piano
Sarasota, FL
6 posts

We have students indicate their intent to continue by pre-registering in the spring of the year. We then give consideration of time and day to those who are continuing. This simplies life considerable when new students begin in the fall.

This also gives a little boost for children to continue in the fall.

said: Aug 20, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

I also do something similar, in that I have parents fill out a pre-registration sheet with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices. I tell them I will come as close as I can to their 1st choice.

I usually finalize the schedule by July and notify everyone what their time will be. Usually I am a little nervous when I can’t give someone their 1st choice, but usually they are understanding.

However, for two summers in a row I have been thrown for a loop by parents calling to ask for a different time, as they now want to include some other activity in their schedule (usually a sport, and the sports are well-known for handing out schedules VERY last minute). In one case I had to insist that because the family had requested a particular time and THEN decided to add a sport, that they stick to it their original time. I had no options for them. The compromise was that when she had a few conflicts she arrange to trade lessons with someone else on those weeks.

This kind of stuff usually gives me a minor heart attack, though. I am seriously toying with doing a pre-registration deposit, due in June, to hold a spot in the fall (non-refundable). I am not a “school”, though—but I think it could work. I’m also thinking of trying to set my schedule by June and asking people to stick with it—it’s really difficult at times to make scheduling work for 30 students, especially when there are a lot of siblings that come together.

I feel a little better knowing others are experiencing the same thing.

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