Can I put my child in private lessons?
Our experience has shown us that children do best in a group setting. Our small class size (4:1 student-teacher ratio) allows time for each child to practice their skills throughout the lesson, interact with their peers and learn through observing and demonstrating.
Private lessons are typically recommended for children with special needs and/or children who have a goal to meet within a specific time frame (e.g. perfect their dive for swim team; swim a specified distance for camp, etc.). We have very limited space for privates and typically can only accommodate them in the morning hours.
How do I get started?
The Ocean First Swim School is a year-round teaching facility. Our classes are open enrollment, meaning there's no start or stop date. You can begin whenever you are ready. When you enroll, your child will swim at the same time each week. This allows the teachers to interact most effectively with their students as they get to know them better.
To get started you must complete our online registration; once completed, give us a call and we can quickly enroll your child into a class.
How do I know what class to put my child in?
Our staff works hard to make sure that each child is placed in the correct class. In the first part of any new lesson, the teacher will test the student's skills in the water. This allows us to determine their strengths and areas of improvement and ensure that they are in the correct class. Placing students in the appropriate class is important because a student in a class below their skill level can cause boredom and a student that is in a class above their skill level could create frustration and discouragement.
How much does class cost?
We charge tuition on a monthly basis. Monthly tuition will vary based upon the number of classes available in a calendar month. The number of classes that will occur in a month will vary depending upon the day of the week your class is scheduled and how the calendar looks for that month.
- Lessons cost $25 per session and typically our students swim with us once a week at the same time every week.
- If you wish to add additional classes you may do so; they will be charged on your same billing cycle.
- Due to our busy pool schedule, we do not permit drop in classes. Please always call ahead if your schedule has differed from what we have noted.
- We offer a discount for families with multiple students.
- There is an annual registration fee of $25 per family that is used to insure every student of the Ocean First Swim School has liability coverage. This is payable each calendar year and is non-refundable.
How warm is your pool?
We keep our indoor pool at a comfortable 89 degrees. Keeping the pool warm allows the students to focus on their skills, not on their body temperature.
My child asked me to promise that they won’t have to do a specific task in class. What should I say?
Encourage your child to express those feelings to their instructor; they will be more likely to trust their teacher if they know you do too. The instructor will make sure to take time to speak with your child and talk through why they are timid about a particular task.
What is your diaper policy?
We request that you please take your child to the restroom prior to the start of their lesson. For the health and safety of our students and our pool, the Ocean First Swim School requires all swimmers under the age of 3 AND children over the age of 3 who are not fully potty trained to wear a reusable swim diaper (also known as swim pants), which you can purchase at the counter if you do not already own them. Your child will not be allowed to enter the pool if this policy is not followed.
*In the event that a potty-trained child has an accident, they will be required to adhere to the diaper policy. Length of time to be determined by OFSS management.
What is your make-up policy?
At the Ocean First Swim School, we strongly believe in the power of a consistent learning environment which is why we encourage attending your weekly scheduled swim class as often as possible.
We are proud of our unique make-up policy. This policy allows any student to make-up any missed classes up to a month after they are absent. If you know in advance you are missing a class, please let us know and we can help schedule a class before you are gone, giving you a larger window of opportunity to do your make-up. We greatly appreciate it when we know in advance that you will not be in your regular class for any reason. This allows us to use that space for another swimmers make-up class. If you do not call to let us know that you will not be in class, we cannot offer you a make-up class.
- Make-ups are based on availability and are not guaranteed.
- We do not guarantee the same teacher for your make-up class.
- The make-up class option expires 30 days following the absence.
- You cannot schedule your make-up class more than 7 days in advance.
- You may not accumulate make-ups.
- Make-ups cannot be rescheduled.
What kind of training do the teachers receive?
Each teacher goes through rigorous training by Swim Schools International (SSI) standards. In order to get certified, one must complete in-depth classroom training and homework and an in-water training portion that covers perfected swimming techniques. This is followed by an apprenticeship which consists of 30 hours of class observation, co-teaching with a current swim teacher, and then teaching a class supervised by another swim teacher.
After all of these requirements have been met, they are prepared to teach their own class.
What size are your classes?
We limit our classes to no more than four students per teacher, and six for the Baby and Me, Adult and Advanced classes. This allows the students to get the ideal level of attention from their teacher, while still having the opportunity to observe their peers performing the in-water skills.
When will my child move up to the next level?
Parents always want to see their child succeed, so we understand why this is a common question. Every child is different and thus moves through each level at their own pace...we even have twins who progress at different rates! The beginner classes are key to your child’s swimming foundation, so rushing through these skills only puts them at a disadvantage when they reach higher levels. Each class builds on the previous one and we want our swimmers to feel confident as they progress. Just because they haven’t passed a level certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t swimming to their full potential.
Learning speeds are also affected by prior water experience, parental attitudes, and additional exposure to the water, therefore we recommend maintaining swimming lessons throughout the year as well as practice outside of class
Why do we teach reach and pull arms?
The most natural way to breathe while in the water is with your head forward, so when a child is in a situation of panic, their natural instinct is to lift their head to breathe. We want to make sure that our swimmers are confident in this breathing technique in case of an instinctual response. Once they can get across the pool using this technique, we can transition into teaching them rollover breathing.
Why do we teach windmill arms?
Windmill arms are an important primary skill to master for many reasons. First, keeping the arms straight ensures that the student is creating a full stroke with the hand pushing all the way back to the leg. Secondly, we refrain from teaching bent elbow arm recovery in beginner classes because doing so results in students dragging arms through the water and not completing the pull. Additionally, windmill arms teach swimmers how to use their arms in a controlled manner. A swimmer must be aware of where their arms are at all times to keep them straight under and over the water. This sets the foundation for a strong freestyle technique when they graduate into higher levels. Until students develop strength and awareness of their arm positioning, windmill arms are a great tool to set our students up for success
Why does my child sit on the pool ledge instead of in the water?
Our first priority is safety at all times. A child is more likely to fall into the pool when standing and playing on the island which is why our beginner children sit on the side of the pool so their heads are always above water and they are at our eye level. This also gives them the opportunity to watch what the other students are doing, which in turn helps to improve their own skills.