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Closed Tutoring Center Has Parents Looking For Answers - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Closed Tutoring Center Has Parents Looking For Answers

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Families and employees are out money after a learning center in Grand Forks and Fargo shut down without notice.

A parent called Valley News Live for help after her son's tutoring center called Student Success suddenly closed, and pre-paid sessions were canceled.

Valley News Team's Kristi Larson investigates what's behind the sudden move, and just how many complaints have been filed.

Kim Salander was concerned for her son's education after hearing problems led him to falling behind in school.

"We were happy with the service and the teacher, and he was making progress" Kim says with a nod.

She and other parents were taken by surprise when one day she picked her son up from the center and learned Student Success was closing for good.

"We didn't see this coming, we trusted them." Kim says shaking her head.

A former employee talked with Kristi Larson on the phone and said not even they were given notice. He said he was told on a Tuesday that Thursday would be everyone's last day. The employee added he and other staff still haven't received their final pay check.

While investigating Valley News Live found there's a law suit filed by Sylvan Learning, INC. against the former franchise owners Todd, Rhonda and Jared Pokrywinski, and James Ebsen (also known as Jim Ebsen).

Valley News Live talked on the phone with the General Council Alan Schroder from Sylvan Learning, INC. who says the corporate offices closed both the Fargo and Grand Forks locations last summer because the owners didn't fulfill the agreement.

At that time Jared Pokrywinski along with his parents, Todd and Rhonda, and James Ebsen started a new business called Student Success.

Schroder explains one complaint in the lawsuit claims the owners didn't hand over customer information, instead keeping many customers to themselves for their new business.

Under the law suit filed against the owners there are multiple claims within. You can read the complaint just to the right of this story.

Families who stayed through the transition lost money when Student Success closed in late February.

"We had no contact from the owners." Kim says, "About $1,500 is what we had left in our account for those hours."

Valley News Live tried several times to get a hold of the owners from knocking on doors to phone calls with no response.  

That's what Kim has been doing, trying to get their money back so she can continue to build her son's future.

"It's been a headache just trying to get what we're owed so we can continue tutoring him." Kim says with a sigh.

Some families have filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

A former employee Valley News Live talked to says he was only told by the owners they weren't making enough money, that's why they were closing.  

Sylvan Learning, INC. says they have opened another location with one of their top franchise owners in the Fargo area.

If you're a parent looking for help or information on tutoring centers with Sylvan Learning click here or call 701-499-4300.

We heard about this story from a viewer, and if you have a problem you want us to look into, give our Whistleblower Hotline a call. The number is 701-237-6576 just call and leave your tip.

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