1.    Absence Policy

    Absences and tardiness for any reason should be kept to an absolute minimum. Unexcused absences from a performance (Christmas concert, Spring concert, UIL contest…) will result in will result in an alternate performance or written assignment at the discretion of the director. Excused absences may include family emergencies, sudden illness, etc., but final approval rests with the directors. In cases of non-emergency absences, written notice must be given well in advance of the absence:

    Event calendars will be sent home at the start of each semester. Please plan accordingly! Schedules have been known to change, and any changes will be communicated directly to the students in written form. Parents, please communicate to your student the necessity of staying informed. Students’ presence at all functions is important. One person’s absence affects the whole group!

    Students who do not attend concert performances will forfeit their participation in festival performances and trips.


    2.  Grading System

    The grades given in band are symbols of the students’ accomplishments.  The grade will indicate the students’ overall success in the class. 

    The band grade will be determined by considering the three following areas: (1) performance and progress on their instrument; (2) attitude and cooperation; and (3) attendance and promptness at all performances and rehearsals. Please re-read #1.


    3.   Conduct of Band Members (In or Out of School Time)

    Any personal conduct or manner of deportment contrary to the accepted code of behavior—as set by the school administration, the band director(s), student body, or by civil authorities—shall be justifiable reason to remove any individual from their position in the band permanently.

    All band members will be expected to cooperate and work with the band director(s) and to have the    self-discipline to work without the band director(s) being present.  Failure to cooperate with the band director(s) will be justifiable reason for removal of the student from their position in the band permanently.


    4.  Food, Gum, Candy, Drinks, etc.

    There will be no gum chewing at any time while the band is in rehearsal or performance.  Gum, candy, drinks, etc. and should NEVER  be brought into the band hall.  A bottle of water (with a lid) is OK to keep at your chair during rehearsal.


    5. Eligibility

    Eligibility for all band members will be determined by the rules governing the University Interscholastic League competition, the laws of the State of Texas, rules of the Decatur Independent School District, and the Band Handbook.

    Ineligibility caused by failing grades will cause the student to not be allowed to perform in performances, go on trips, etc. and the student will forfeit any fees paid towards such events.


    6.  Awards

    Various awards will be given each year. These awards are given to: reward outstanding band members, to help promote the band, to encourage all band students to greater achievements, and to provide stimulus for potential instrumentalists.  Some of the qualifications for the awards will be: showing outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, showing loyalty and cooperation, attendance, and for showing the high qualities of conduct which school music strives to impart.  There will also be other awards given during the year that may vary from year-to-year.


    7.  Band Directors’ Office

    You will always be welcome in the office, but remember it is not a playroom or lounge.  The contents of the desks, files, cabinets, etc. are not open to students.  You should never be in the office without a band director being present.


    8.  Bus Regulations

    Students will sign up for buses. Sign up sheets will determine which bus the student is to ride on each trip.  Students are to ride the same bus on each trip.

    There is to be no standing up, changing seats, etc. on the bus when it is moving.  Students should always be considerate of others on the bus.  Talking, singing, etc. must be kept between a moderate to a soft volume. Electronic devices may be taken on the bus, but must be used with headphones. The school is not responsible for any items taken or left on the bus.

    Light snacks may be permitted on the bus as long as care is used in keeping food, drinks, etc. off of the bus, clothes, uniforms, etc.  Drinks may be carried on the bus if they are not in glass or other breakable containers.

    All personal items carried on the bus must be able to fit under the seats or in the seat with the student.  No items are to be stored in the aisle of the bus.  Aisles must be kept clear for emergencies. 

    All trash must be removed from the bus after each trip.   If the buses are not cleaned after each trip, the right to carry food and drink on the buses will be revoked.


    9. Contests, Concerts, Trips

    The band will participate in various contests and other performances during the year, which will be selected by the band director(s).  These will include events such as U.I.L. competitions, invitational festivals, etc. The band will also give concerts at various times of the year, which will be open to the public. The band director(s) will select dates and sites for these concerts. Every now and then, there may be a need for an outside rehearsal or a guest clinician may be invited in to work with the students, in which case we will give as much notice as possible. 

    All band members are expected to participate and perform in all of the band activities.  Students with conflicts in other school activities that are occurring at the same time as the band activity will need to notify the band director(s) as soon as the conflict is known. 


    10. Dress Code

    Students will be expected to dress properly for any band function. The manner of dress must meet school guidelines and regulations.  If a specific style of dress is required for any activity, it will be explained before the activity by the band director(s). 


    11.  Equipment—Responsibility for

    All equipment, whether owned by the student or furnished to the student by the school, is the responsibility of the student.  The school will furnish a place to keep the equipment while at school, but the school and/or band director(s) are not responsible for the care or safety of the equipment.  All damage, loss of equipment, theft, etc. is the responsibility of the student using the equipment. Every effort will be made to protect equipment while at school.


    All students are responsible for their own equipment on all trips as well.  Each band member is responsible for getting his or her equipment to the proper place to be loaded and for returning it to the proper storage place after each activity.


    Failure to properly care for school owned equipment will result in the loss of the right to use the equipment.  Any damages to school owned equipment will be charged to the student using the equipment.  This does not include "normal" wear to the instrument, but does include damage caused by neglect, abuse, accidents, etc.  Dents, etc. are not considered as normal wear. The band hall is not the place to store equipment for other activities.  Only band equipment should be kept in the band hall.


    12.  Instrument Repair

    If an instrument (school owned or personal) needs repair, it should be brought to the attention of the band director either before or after rehearsal. If it is a minor repair, the director(s) will try to make the repair if the student so desires.  The director will not be responsible for any damage done to the instrument while trying to repair it.  Any parts used will be charged to the student in order to keep the repair box supplied.  Major repairs will be referred to an approved instrument repair shop. Know in advance if you can send the instrument with the repairman if needed. Sam Gibbs Music ( 1-800-201-1471) in Wichita Falls comes once a week to pick up repair and deliver supplies if you order them from Sam Gibbs Music.


    13.  Instruments—Use of School-Owned

    Certain school-owned instruments are available.  Any student needing to use a school instrument will need to make arrangements with the band director(s).  All school instruments will be checked out to the students by brand and serial number.  Students using school instruments will be responsible for the instrument and its care.  Any repairs not considered normal wear will be charged to the student.  This would include such things as dropping the instrument, breaking the instrument, dents, bending valves/slides or keys, etc.


    14.  Involvement in Other Activities—Band Members

    Band members are encouraged to participate in other activities.  All band members may serve as club, class, or student council officers, etc. and participate in other activities providing these activities do not interfere with the performance of their duties in their respective band position.


    Band members may also participate in athletics.  Every effort will be made to work out conflicts between activities, but excessive interference from other activities will cause the student to have to make a choice between activities.  Band members are responsible for making sure the band director(s) is aware of any conflicts, with plenty of time given to allow for a solution to be worked out.


    15.  Policy Revisions

    All policies are subject to revision and amendment, subject to the approval of the administration.  The band director(s) may revise rules and procedures when it becomes necessary, with the approval of the school administration.


    16.  Readiness for Class

    All students must be in their proper places for roll check when the tardy bell rings.  This means all instruments, chairs, stands, music, reeds, etc. should be ready and the student ready to play.  Students will be considered tardy if they are not in their proper place when the tardy bell rings.


    17. Travel Regulations

    All band members will travel to and from all events with the band on transportation provided by the school district. Schedule conflicts with other school-related activities should be worked out in advance. Parents may bring a student to an event if another school-related activity conflicts. Parents wishing to pick up a student from a trip where district transportation is used must provide written documentation of their intent to do so. If this is not possible (emergencies), parents must find a band director and speak with them face-to-face before a child is released from our custody.


    18. Communication

    All band members are required to notify parents of upcoming band activities or performances well in        advance of the event.  Notification will be sent home either by paper or electronically but students are expected to verify the information with their parent/guardian.  Dates for upcoming events will be on the individual teacher’s calendars on the school website.