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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
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The private $35,000/year school we send our very bright son

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The private $35,000/year school we send our very bright son to has failed to provide him with an adequate and challenging math program. We have made many written and verbal requests for change. We have been stalled by promises of grade wide testing that was supposed to reveal students who require math classes more advanced than their 4th grade classmates can function under. We are fed up. We want our money back and a complete release from the contract we signed with the school. What should we do?

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

What state is this in regards ***** *****?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was not able to open your answer, rather, your question till now. The school is Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. I live in Virginia

Thank you for responding;

I am sorry to hear that your son is not being challenged;

the good news is that a parent does have a contractual relationship with a private school, and the contract can be either an actual signed document, and/or the school's handbook, mission statement, and verbal promises made to parents regarding the terms and conditions of the contractual arrangement. So for example, if the school fails to provide sufficient educational opportunities, fails to test for advanced students for the express purpose of identifying these students and providing adequate educational resources; then the school can be sued for breach of contract.

The damages for a breach of contract are those economic damages that are reasonably foreseeable, and proximately caused by the defendant's breach.

So the court, if they do determine there is a breach, can either enter a judgment for the amount of tuition paid, and rescind the remainder of the contract; or they can determine the value of the education received, and order the school to reimburse the difference from what was actually paid.

The court will expect the parties to act in a reasonable manner- for example, the parents would typically be expected to try and resolve the issue with administrators by perhaps formulating a time schedule for when testing will occur, for example. If it is still not provided, then the parent may file suit.

Small claims is only for cases involving $5,000 or less so regular civil court would be necessary unless a contract has a mandatory arbitration clause

Please see:

http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/superior/org_civil/civilactionsbranch.jsf

This will walk you through the process of filing a civil suit.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What would you have me say to the head of school when I meet with him? I have notes of discussions I've had with the lower school principal and the teachers. I also have emails of my back and forth with the same people. What words and approach would hasten the head of school to chose to refund our $23,000 paid and refund the contract entirely??

Basically one would need to assert the terms of the contract, and provide proof where applicable; and address how the terms were not fulfilled, and given the fact that time is of the essence in educational matters, a refund is requested, along with an agreement to void the contract so the child can transfer schools if that is the desired outcome. If an agreement cannot be reached, one would need to file suit for a judge to review.

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