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Pandemic Support

How Sylvan Learning Continues to Serve Clients and Support Franchisees in a Changed Environment

The supplemental education brand has pivoted to online learning and increased communication with franchisees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all types of industries, and that includes education. Schools across the country closed and canceled the rest of the school year, leaving many parents worried about whether their children will fall behind academically.

Sylvan Learning knows this all too well, which is why the supplemental and enrichment education brand has pivoted to meet this challenge and roll out creative ways to continue helping students in the age of social distancing.

As soon as COVID-19 began to break out, the brand got down to business and pivoted to offering online solutions. Today, Sylvan Learning is using Zoom and screen-sharing features to connect students and teachers. The brand is also continuing to utilize its proprietary software, SylvanSync™, which provides teachers and students with adaptive practice sessions.

The change happened very quickly. When the brand realized in mid-March that the COVID-19 crisis would result in widespread school closures, it was able to implement more online solutions over the course of a weekend.

“When it looked like more than just Seattle would need to close schools, we got into action,” Vice President of Education Emily Levitt said. “We’re still amazed at what we were able to do, which was move instruction for more than 100,000 students from in-person to online in less than one week.”

What helped the brand pivot so quickly and adapt so well to the situation was that so many systems were already online.

“Last year, we spent the entire year migrating every single Sylvan Learning center to a web-based platform that facilitates multi-unit management,” Chief Franchise Operations Officer Susan Valverde said. “We’ve also migrated to a platform that allows us to centralize our content through SylvanSync™ in a way that has made this transition a lot easier. Those investments put us in a position of strength right out of the gate.”

Sylvan Learning has also adjusted the hours of operation at its centers by switching to “summer” hours. Now, centers are open for business during the school day, the late afternoon and the early evening.

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