Summer Institute for the Gifted Chicago Illinois

Complaint: My child attended SIG two year in a row and each year there have been many petty problems with this camp but I draw the line at paying $4,000 for three weeks of instruction and being told my child the teacher was replaced and they never even used the books we were required to purchase in addition to the fees and costs they collected. I complained about many of the problems, the first problem in the second year being that they would not issue my child his vitamins unless I obtained a doctors (dentist) note that they were to be issued to my child. The prior year the nurse kept the vitamins and just returned them, not giving him any of them at all and not explaining that they needed a note so in the second year I am just being told (and after he has already joined camp) that they need this note. Don’t expect your child to have access to mail to send any letters home. I complained about that too as the first year he had no access and the second year the camp director told me that the kids have access to mailboxes all over campus. It was then that I asked her if they allow the children to just get up and leave and run around campus anytime they want. There was no reply. These people are not friendly. Why should I have to complain to get my child a way to mail letters home instead of them allowing a convienent excuse for him not to write? Instead of issuing a directive for the couselors to give mail to the front desk to mail or something of a logical nature, the camp director then started badgering my son everyday for his mail and made a point of letting me know this when I came to pick him up and was the only parent not allowed to help him pack and bring his things down. It most certainly felt retaliatory because I am supposed to be grateful they allow me to spend $4,000 a year for a three week camp. In the first year I had to complain because I had made arrangements to borrow a car to pick my child up at the agreed time and during the camp received an email telling me I had to come earlier, that the camp wants our children out because the university expects them to be vacated. I ended up picking my child up a day early just so I don’t have to deal with my child feeling like a burdon or unwanted on the last day. My child liked this camp so much I allowed him to go back even though I was disenchanted with how they run things and how they always blame low level, low paid employees for all these problems. I was the couselors fault my son could not mail anything and it was a no one in the main office that sent out an email to all of us parents telling us to vacate earlier than scheduled. Am I to believe this? Anyway, now it is the second year and after talking to my child about the courses I was informed that the scheduled teacher for Medical Microbiology never taught and was immediately replaced. I have no idea of who taught my child, what their level of certification is (we are given all of the instructors names when the children show up and I look them up) and it seems that this person was probably not qualified or not to the level of certification they taut to be their standard because my child told me they did not use the text book we were directed to buy on campus once. I complained again because this is the final slap in the face. I paid all this money and have no idea what kind of instruction my child received. All he could tell me is articles were photocopied and passed out to be discussed. I called our camp contact Hillary Jade who would not fix this satisfactorily and skirted the issue. At the very least I felt they owe me a refund for the text book I purchased among other outstanding issues. When she would not address my concerns I reached out to an employee that sent an email to me. He took notes, spent the better part of an hour on the phone with me and said he would direct my concerns where they should go to be addressed and I never heard back form them after that. I then decided to call Barbara Swicord and I left a message. To her credit she did return my call but was obstinate about resolving any issues or feeling any remorse for the way the camp is. With regards to the book on Medical Microbiology, she basically told me that she would not refund the money because I can teach him medical microbiology myself. I don’t know what kind of common sense this woman has, if any, because if I could teach my child medical microbiology I certainly wouldn’t be paying them to teach him and I also told her that *if* I did want to teach him medical microbiology I reserve the right to purchase what books I want to instruct him from myself and I certainly do not need her and her institution to waste my money for me. She then came up with the fabulous idea that I should send her the book and she would sell it for what ever she could get and give me the money. Once again, are you kidding me? As if I don’t know a new text book goes for pennies and I couldn’t take the book to half price books or any other used we buy books bookstore and get a whopping $1.00 (if I”m lucky) for a book they required me to purchase that they never used? I told her there is no negotiation and that SIG will take back the book and refund me the full amount (I have the receipt) and they can sell it for whatever they get and count their blessings they aren’t sued because by my true calculations, I am actually owed 1/4 of the tuition back since the class does not seem to have been taught as it should have. She agreed to take the book back and issue a refund. I sent her the book with a copy of the reciept and note that she is to pay the postage as well. She also complained to me that I am the only parent that complains and I told her perhaps the other parents don’t know that their kids didn’t use the books and just ask how the class was, wherein a child who dosn’t know any better will go on to tell about the class and if they liked it, not evaluating the level instruction that they were deprived of. She kept the book and never issued a refund. On the photocopy of the reciept she was warned to just pay back the book and associated costs but hasn’t. Not I consider this theft and deception. I am thus posting this story here because there are not any other places I can leave this formal complaint against this camp as they do not seem to be on any sites that allow this level of critisizm. I have looked at their Facebook account and comments seem to be disabled so in response to Mrs. Swicord’s statement about me being the only one to complain, if the camp is so great why aren’t the comment enabled? It makes me believe that more people are unhappy with the camp as they would like me to believe and I do not for one second think that any of these parents would be happy about spending this kind of money for an expectation of a certain level of instruction for their child and not even have the book cracked open once. Now I must question what was being done, who taught the class and what are they qualified to teach. I believe this about covers the immediate issue but would like to state that had Mrs. Swicord just sent the check for $30 I would not have gone through the trouble of finding out about Ripoff Scams and lodging my complaint here. This is to illustrate that SIG is to cheap to acknowledge their wrong doing and try to correct it on a small level. I reserve my right to add additional complaints in the future should this issue not adequately be resolved and I feel I should also receive a partial refund on the tuition in light of these facts as well since she would not just reimburse the book and let us part ways. At the end of the conversation with Mrs. Swicord I was told that “everyone”” was disturbed by the things I said about their camp and only then did I force the issue and ask if she had heard of my complaints and know who I was. She responded in the affirmative. For this I will also comment to the public that if you do business with this group

Tags: Teachers

Address: this is how hard it is to get any kind of response or acknowledgement. She knew about these problems and made a choice to ignore it. At the very least she could have assigned this issue to someone to respond to me. This pattern of conduct is disturbing to me and because of it I also want that part of my grievance made public because they had absolutely no problem when it came to collecting money to contact me. They have no problem sending me emails to try and get me to purchase additional classes from them. They only seem to have a problem communicating when they have an internal issue and do not wish to discuss it and I find it insulting that she made me climb the chain of command to her offices and acknowledged having knowledge of these issues but decided to make me waste my time and then complain to me that her staff is disturbed by what I am saying. If it was a concern

Website: (866) 303-4744

Phone: she could have called and worked out the issues but clearly has no inclination to act with common decentcy and further add insult to injury by her actions. Mrs. Swicord also sits on the board for the National Society for the Gifted and Talented as well.”

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