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2023-24 Musician Handbook: Attendance Policy

Important! Please carefully read this entire policy.

Each GTCYS orchestra is a community of musicians, each of whom is equally important to the group’s progress and success. GTCYS students are accountable to their orchestra peers and should honor their commitment by consistently attending all GTCYS activities. This means families should:

Absence Limits: GTCYS’ attendance policy balances rigor with some flexibility, and we take special circumstances into consideration. A limited number of absences are allowed as described here, and steps regarding excessive absences are outlined below:

  • Cycle 1 (September through the last activity in December): 3 absence limit (no more than 2 absences before Fall Festival)
  • Cycle 2 (January through the February/March concert): 2 absence limit
  • Cycle 3 (after the February/March concert through Spring Festival): 2 absence limit

Exceeding the absence limits: If a student exceeds the absence limit for a cycle, GTCYS will follow this process:

  1. GTCYS staff will email the student, their parents/guardians, and the conductor notifying them that the student has exceeded the absence limit.
  2. The student will need to check in with the conductor in advance of the orchestra’s next scheduled activity and may need to play some of the orchestra’s music so the conductor can evaluate next steps.
  3. The conductor will determine if the student should continue in the orchestra for the remainder of that cycle or take a leave of absence until the next cycle begins.

Illness: Students should stay home if they are ill and return to their orchestra as soon as they’ve recovered. If a student has a positive case of COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines. In the case of longer-term illness, injury, or mental health situation, an extended medical leave can be arranged.

GTCYS Concerts: Performances are required, and each student must prioritize attendance at these important events since absences negatively impact the experience of that student and the full group. Missing a performance may result in an extended leave of absence.

Prioritizing School Band and Orchestra Concerts: GTCYS strongly encourages and fully supports students’ participation in school band and orchestra programs. If a school band or orchestra concert conflicts with a GTCYS activity, students should 1) prioritize attendance at their band or orchestra concert, and 2) submit a GTCYS absence form as soon as they know about the conflict. If a student exceeds GTCYS’ absence limit because of school band or orchestra conflicts, their conductor will give that special consideration.

Weather cancellations: Cancellations due to weather are rare. Assume that a GTCYS activity will continue unless you hear otherwise. If an activity is canceled, GTCYS will email families and update the orchestra’s online calendar at gtcys.org/calendar. Families are responsible for checking emails and the online orchestra calendars for an announcement. If a rehearsal is canceled, the orchestra may shift to an online session.

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