SOBuzz: Snow Days… When to Close?

If you live in the northeastern US – well, ANYWHERE in the US this past month, you probably just got hit with some bad or unexpected snow.  My friends in the southern states also just dealt with high winds and flooding and all of us in New York are experiencing the brunt of winter’s worst…  So whether its snow storms, flooding, or high winds…how do you decide when to close the studio or cancel a performance? 

When to close?
One easy way to decide when to close is looking at your local school districts.  Generally they have their information up early in the mornings.  I decide my closings for morning classes by 8am.  If the local schools districts are delayed by 2 hours or closed, I cancel morning classes.  With one hour delays, I will check the main roads myself and then make a decision.

For afternoon and evening classes, it is a tougher decision.  I base my decision on the evening weather forecast and how far my instructors have to travel.  I have a few instructors who commute 30-60 minutes to teach and ofter their area gets hit worse with bad weather.

Canceling a Performance
This is one of the hardest calls to make, but is it really worth it to put parents and students at risk to hold a performance for a small audience? No performance– no matter how many hours– is worth that risk.

Should I Offer a Make-Up Class or Refund?

The view from my  window is depressing these days

For classes that clients pre-pay for, such as semester, monthly or yearly tuition, it is good business etiquette to offer a make-up class if you are not giving a refund.  If you offer multiple classes of the same level, you could allow students to attend a second class during the week to make-up their missed class.

For classes that are pay-per-class, no make-up class is necessary since no one is out any money.

We have found that if we plan snow make-ups on a separate day or during spring break, the attendance is poor at best.  So we built in one extra week into the season for the inevitable snow day that happens each year.  We do not make-up the first snow day.

For canceled performances, if you can re-schedule, find a way to do so.  If you can’t, you will have to refund ticket holders.
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Keep an eye out for our next post for suggestions on how to get the word out to your students and parents when you need to cancel dance class.

What was the last reason you had to cancel class?

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