When we first enrolled our son in this program, we were clearly told (the literature provided supported their statement, as evidenced in the above header) that this was a full immersion Chinese language
program that ran from 1PM to 6PM on Mondays.
While we thought the fee was high ($50/day plus an $80 registration fee and a $25/month one-way transportation fee) we enrolled our son because of one reason their stated claim that this was a full
immersion course. The sign up form clearly states that withdrawal from the program will cost you 50% of the monthly $200 tuition, which is $100.
On the first day of school, we discovered that the program was held in an old wood building that smelled bad. But the teacher seemed nice, so we decided to give it a try.
Each time our son came home, we asked him what he learned. The answer we received was always one Chinese word and I dont remember the rest. When we asked if they used Chinese most of the time, the answer was an immediate No, we spoke mostly in English.
A few weeks later, we went to speak with the teacher and asked how the full immersion was implemented. The teacher threw up his arms and stated, We simply cannot do full immersion. The kids here resist it and said it would be too hard. I simply cant enforce it because if the kids were pushed too hard, they would go home and tell their parents that they dont want to stay in the program any more. He went on to suggest that, if we want our son to learn more, we should consider Chinese schools.
After a few more weeks of no improvement, we decided to pull our son out of the program. Unfortunately, our credit card was already charged $175 for the following month ($150 for three lessons in the month because of holidays, plus $25 transportation fee).
We called the branch program director in McLean. This director, who used to be very pleasant, suddenly turned to a monster once she heard that our intention was to withdraw. She denied how they actually run the program and refused to give us a refund for the following month.
We then spoke with the executive director about our belief that, given that the program failed to deliver what it promised to deliver, we should not be subject to the four-week-notice requirement and should at least get a refund for the month in which our son didn't attend the program. She sounded reasonable on the phone and said she had spoken with the branch director. She acknowledged our effort of communicating with the program and leaving more than enough time for them to improve, apologized properly for
the poor conduct of the branch director, and promised: "I will personally process your refund immediately."
Three weeks later, we didn't receive the refund and we called the executive director again. This time, she denied her promise outright and refused to give us any refund, even though we were charged $75
more than what is stated in their own policy, let alone that they failed to deliver what was promised by the program:
At time of acceptance, CGR Academy requires a 50% monthly payment as deposit per child. If your child leaves the program with less than a four-week notification, the deposit will be forfeited. With the four-week notice, the deposit will be applied towards the final tuition payment or refunded.
We are stunned to find out that these so-called "educators" could lie so easily and without shame. We strongly caution other parents to avoid this program unless you are simply looking for a place to park your children for the afternoon.