When is it Time to Call a Learning Center?

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) - Report cards were carried home this week, and that's prompted some parents to call teachers. Area learning centers are also seeing a spike in phone calls.

So when should a parent make that call for help outside the classroom?

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman has the story.

"Obviously the report cards are to motivate kids, but sometimes it doesn't do that job," said Susan Miller from Sylvan Learning Center.

So what's a parent to do?

"You want to call as soon as there's an indication that there's a possible problem so that we can nip it in the bud," said Carol Loring, the managing director for the Huntinton Learning Center.

But what should signal mom and dad that it's time to call for help outside the classroom?

"Well, say you had a third-grader and that third-grader comes home and has a "D" on the report card in reading. That is a red flag," Miller said.

Susan adds that even a straight-A student may have challenges.

"If a student comes home and they have all As on their report card, but they have a "C" in science, then it might be an indication that they had a project in science that the student didn't do a proper job," Miller said.

Carol Loring cautions parents against what is called a "failure chain."

"Because the last thing we want is for the child to have failure chain, and that's when one downfall leads to another downfall," Loring said.

She adds that schools have improved greatly in their reporting to parents and that parents are more attuned to what's going on in the schools, but the pace is much quicker.

"You look at the 7th grader science book in Knox County, there are things in there that I learned in college and everything is really, really speeded up," Loring said.

And as much as things change.

"The concerns that we'd seen 23 years ago when we first opened up are the exact same concerns that we hear over the phone every single day," Miller said.

About 70 percent of students from Sylvan Learning Center are from public schools while students at Huntington are about 50-50 between public and private schools.

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