By Susan Payne
A new Sylvan Learning Center is ready to tackle learning challenges students in Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and surrounding areas are experiencing.
The center has been open since November, but franchise owner Dr. Bianca Coker’s collective work in education has made it seem longer as she continues to pursue her love for education.
Coker has more than 20 years of experience teaching math and engineering for kinder through 12th grade students, five years at the university level, four years as a school improvement and professional development consultant and five years as a district administrator supporting teachers in math, science and fine arts.
In the three months of its opening, Coker has seen an interest among families who have faced isolation or learning deficits due to the pandemic. Opening the center, Coker said she hopes students find educational grounding and confidence in the many personalized tutoring programs the center offers.
Sylvan Learning Center’s assessment-based onboarding positions students to get the most out of their personalized education program.
“Through the Insight Assessment, we can assess a single subject, or multiple subjects, in addition to study skills, attitudes about school and self-confidence,” Coker said. “There’s been some loss in learning due to the pandemic, but our enrichment program is here to fill those gaps as soon as possible.”
Sessions are designed to motivate and ensure skill mastery, aligned with state, college and career readiness standards.
“We have tutoring year-round, especially if the child is making up time or wants to get prepared. We can take a child not reading at all, to reading at the end of the program. We can even helped graduating seniors with advanced reading strategies so they can start and be prepared for college courses,” Coker said.
In the summer, the center offers specialized camps such as Bridge to Middle School Math, or Bridge to Algebra ahead of the next level of schooling.
“We make our camps fun so students can enjoy the summer and enjoy learning,” Coker said.
Sylvan Learning Center is currently housed on the second floor of the Citibank at 11726 San Vicente Boulevard, while they renovate the street level site downstairs that will be their permanent location. The permanent site will be much larger allowing the center to serve more families and offer additional specialized group classes.
“It was imperative that we opened as soon as we could. We can help children who have lost educational grounding due to illness or quarantine which can be traumatic, and we’re here to help get students back on track,” Coker said.
To date, the center employs six staff members with varying levels of educational experience and degrees.
“We’re grateful that we were able to recruit and create a wonderful team in just a few short months,” Coker said. “We have a teacher that has a Ph.D., and others who have been tutoring for years. We’re so grateful they have joined us.”
Coker’s husband Jerry, who has over 25 years of experience as a manager of people including hiring, performance reviews, merit treatment, and mentoring, is a tutor on the Sylvan team and co-owner of the franchise.
“Together, we purchased the center and are enjoying the next stage of our lives serving the community,” Coker said.
If you are concerned about teacher feedback or reporter cards, Sylvan Learning Center has a “Free Report Card Consultation” that will help you understand the report, your child’s subject area needs and how that can be turned around through a personal action plan. In February, the center will have a “Share the Love” referral program. Families who refer other families can receive a free week of Sylvan up to four sessions for both families.
For more information, visit Sylvan Learning Center online or call 424-256-2640.