1. How our lessons work
At DCAM, students attend weekly lessons based on terms, which consist of the Fall, Winter, Spring, and (optional) Summer terms (see #2). Working adults or students who are who are unable to commit to the term system have the option doing their lessons on our Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan (see #3), which is subject to slightly different rates.
2. The term system
Lessons at DCAM are based on terms and consist of the Fall Term (Sep – Dec), Winter Term (Jan – Mar), Spring Term (Apr – Jun) and an optional Summer Term (Jul – Aug) and operate on a rolling enrolment cycle (see #4). The total tuition cost for each term is based on weekly lessons and determined by our per/lesson rate multiplied by the total number of lessons contained in that term. The total number of lessons in each term is calculated by DCAM beforehand and does not include lessons that fall on statutory holidays. For this reason, this number might be different depending on which day of the week your lessons fall on.
3. PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) plan
The PAYG plan is designed primarily for working adults who are unable to commit to our regular term system. PAYG lessons can be weekly or bi-weekly and students are required to pay for 2 lessons in advance. This helps ensure that should they not show up for their scheduled lesson (and fail to give proper cancellation notice), the teacher still gets paid for his/her time. Students in PAYG plans are expected to attend a minimum of 1 lesson every 2 weeks (official holidays/school breaks excepted). If a student does not show up to their lessons for 2 weeks in a row (DCAM-approved vacations excepted), they are automatically de-enrolled and will be subject to a $20 registration fee should they decide to return to lessons again.
4. Rolling enrolment cycle
Lessons/terms at DCAM work on a rolling-enrolment cycle, meaning that students registered for one term are assumed to be registering for the next term at the end of the current one unless timely lesson withdrawal notice is given to DCAM (see #13). Tuition for each term is due at least 1 week before the beginning of that term. Students who interrupt their rolling-enrolment cycle by taking time off between terms (DCAM-approved vacations & summer break excepted) will be subject to our registration fee (see #5) again should they choose to return to lessons later and will most likely lose their former time-slot.
5. Registration fees
Our registration fees are $20 per student and max out at $30 for two or more members of the same family. Registration fees are applicable to all new students or students who have lost their “active” status by being away from lessons for over 3 weeks during regular school year (DCAM-approved vacations & summer breaks excepted).
6. Lesson cancellations and missed lessons
Students (including PAYG students) who are unable to attend their regularly-scheduled lesson for whatever reason must inform DCAM by the following cut-off times:
* for weekday lessons (Mon-Fri) – 12:00 p.m. on the day of the lesson (the absolute latest)
* for weekend lessons (Sat-Sun) – 10:00 p.m. on the day before the lesson (the absolute latest)
Note: cut-off times are different for weekend lessons because we open earlier on weekends.
These cut-off times are necessary to give DCAM enough time to notify teachers of any changes to their schedule. If timely cancellation notice is not provided and the student does not show up for their lesson, the lesson is considered forfeited and the teacher gets paid for his/her time. When timely cancellation notice is provided, a make-up lesson will be arranged for the student (see #7). Important: a maximum of 3 cancellations are permitted for every 8 lessons. Parents/students can inform DCAM of a lesson cancellation by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Make-up lessons
Make-up lessons can be arranged only when timely cancellation notice is provided to DCAM (see #6) and occasionally in cases of emergencies, which are evaluated by the director on a case-by-case basis. Make-up lessons are scheduled to a day and time different from the student’s regularly-scheduled lesson and often with a different teacher. Although DCAM will try to remind students of any outstanding make-up lessons, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to schedule them. All make-up lessons must be completed before the end of the current term and cannot be carried over to the next term.
8. Statutory holidays & school breaks
DCAM will be closed on statutory holidays and school breaks (except summer break, which is optional) and does not include these days in its term schedule.
9. Being on time
It is the student’s responsibility to arrive to their lessons on time. Teachers are not obligated to extend lesson time for a late student since they normally have another student scheduled right after. If a teacher is late for whatever reason, the time by which he/she is late will be added to the student’s future lesson.
Students planning to go on vacation are required to give a minimum of 1-week notice to DCAM and fill out a “Lesson Hold” form indicating the date of their return to lessons. This will allow DCAM to put the student’s lessons on hold until their return. Students who want to reserve their time-slot while away on vacation have the option of doing so for a fee, as specified in the “Lesson Hold” form. Otherwise, DCAM cannot guarantee that their time-slot will be available when they come back. Note: if a student returns from vacation later than was indicated on the “Lesson Hold” form, the missed lesson is subject to our regular “missed lessons” policy (see #6). DCAM can accommodate a maximum of 3 weeks vacation time in the middle of regular school year (summer break not included). Students absent for more than 3 weeks in a row will be deemed inactive and subject to our registration fee (see #5) again should they choose to return to lessons later, and will most likely lose their former time-slot.
11. Tuition payments/late payments
Lesson tuition for each term must be received by DCAM at least 1 week before the beginning of that term. Those on a PAYG plan are required to pay for 2 lessons in advance, with the payment being due 1 day before the first lesson. Students who register for lessons mid-term will have their tuition pro-rated until the end of the ongoing term.
Late payments start incurring a late penalty fee of 2% per month, from the day following the due date. DCAM reserves the right to refuse instruction to a student until a lesson payment is received.
Currently, payments to DCAM can be made in the form of an e-transfer (preferred), cheque, or cash.
12. Teacher absent/sick/on vacation
If a teachers cannot make a lesson for whatever reason, students will be provided with a substitute teacher for that lesson. The same applies if a teacher is on vacation. In cases where a substitute teacher cannot be provided, the student will not lose their lesson but rather have it re-scheduled to a later date.
13. Lesson withdrawals
Students are required to give a minimum of 1-week notice prior to withdrawing from their lessons. This ensures that DCAM is given sufficient time to re-structure its schedule and fill the vacant time-slot with another student. If timely withdrawal notice is given, a refund (in the form of an e-transfer) will be issued to the student in the amount of the cost of the remaining lessons minus a $25 early withdrawal fee. In cases of a late (less than 1 week) withdrawal notice, the student will be have the option of attending one more lesson or being charged for that lesson.