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FAQ's: Frequently Asked Questions

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City of Longmont Swim Lesson FAQ’s

What is the difference between Blast and American Red Cross Classes?
How many days per week should my child attend classes?
How long will it take my child to learn how to swim?
May I request a specific teacher?

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel after registering?
Do you have a Swim Team?
What is a Pool Manager?
Does my child need to wear a swim cap?
Do I need to buy my child a pair of goggles?
Can my child wear a "floatie" to swim lessons?
Is it OK to eat before my child's lesson?
How do I switch to a different day and/or time?
If I miss a class, may I schedule a makeup?
What if my normal class falls on a holiday?
What if my child cries or is afraid?
Should the parents be visible during class?
What if my child is sick?
My child is “Stuck” in their current class, what can I do to help?
Should I opt for group lessons or private lessons?

What is the difference between Blast and American Red Cross Classes

Blast swim lessons are set up to be technique driven.  Students will master body position and kicking, then move on to freestyle, then backstroke, and finish with breast stroke and butterfly.  Each class has a different skill mastery requirement.

American Red Cross swim lessons are set up as a more safety driven approach. Kids are given sample of strokes and techniques in each level with a lower level of mastery required.  The goal being safety and the ability to find a technique that works for the individual swimmer.

How many days per week should my child attend classes?
Our schedule is set up for the convenience of busy families. We have multiple session opportunities so you can schedule either one day a week or up to 6 days a week depending on what fits your schedule. Consistency and repetition is a big part of mastering new skills.  The more classes or practice a student gets in on week will increase the chances of learning new skills. A lot of the skills they will be learning are all part of muscle memory which means the more practice a skill the more natural it become to them.

How long will it take my child to learn how to swim?
This questions gets asked a lot and there is no right answer.  There are a lot of different elements that determine how fast a child or adult will learn to swim. Our goal is to offer a program that gives students a number of options to help them learn how to swim at their own pace.  It is important to have a realistic goal for your child when signing them up for the right lesson.  If a parent signs their child for a class above their skill level it could set them back because they will not have the proper skills or technique to learn the new skills being taught in the high class.  Please avoid signing your child up for the next class or level before they complete all the exit skills for their current class.

May I request a specific teacher?
No, we do not take request for specific teachers.  Our teachers are not full time employees and have changing schedules so they are not consistently teaching the same days of the week.  When we do have teachers teaching back to back sessions we schedule them with the same classes keeping them familiar with students from prior session. If you do have a teacher you really like you may ask them to schedule a private swim lesson (see private swim lessons for more information). All our instructors are certified and attend regular staff training to ensure quality and consistency within out swim lesson program. 

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel after registering?
You can cancel your swim lessons 4 business days before the session starts, and will be charged a $5 cancellation fee. After 4 business days, we do not refund money back for swim lessons.  Please contact Tarah Cole, Swim Lesson Coordinator or Mark Dorow, Aquatic Specialist, if you have any further questions regarding refunds.

Do you have a Swim Team?
Yes, we have multiple CARA Swim Teams at all our aquatic facilities.  CARA, Colorado Athletic Recreation Association, swim team is a recreational swim team for youths ages 6-18 who are not USS swimmers.  CARA is a state wide organization that offers a recreational league for participants who want to compete against local cities but not at the competitive level.  We have three teams located at Centennial Pool, Longmont Recreation Center, and Sunset Pool.

What is a Pool Manager?
A Pool Manager is a City employee who is in charge of supervising the lifeguards and swim instructors.  They oversee the swim lessons and make sure teachers are teaching proper technique and are prepared with well written lesson plans.  Feel free to talk to them if you have any questions about swim lessons, pool rules, hours, or anything else pertaining to the pool. 

Does my child need to wear a swim cap?
Swim caps are not required but can help keep in body heat and also keep long hair out of swimmers eyes.  If you have long hair and do not wear a swim cap we recommend braiding or using a hair clip or band to keep hair out of eyes.

Do I need to buy my child a pair of goggles?
We suggest not to wear goggles for our beginning classes (Turtle, Alligator, and Level 1).  Our goal is to have all participants build a comfort of water without goggles before moving on to our Seal or Level 2 classes.  This way they don’t build a dependency on having to wear goggles while in the water. Make sure to try on and goggles before your class to ensure the right fit.  Goggles can be a big distraction to students if they do not fit or work correctly. 

Can my child wear a "floatie" to swim lessons?
No, we do not recommend float suits.  This create a false sense of floating. Our goal is to teach flotation from the start without flotation suits.  Our goal being that once the child learns how to float on their own they will learn a skill they can use the rest of their life.  The City of Longmont does not believe in “Drown-proofing.”  Our goal is to teach the our participants how to swim so if they ever find themselves in a scenario where they are in trouble they feel confident in their swimming skills and can swim themselves to safety. 

Is it OK to eat before my child's lesson?
We recommend to have a light snack before swimming.  Just like any other sport it is not a good idea to have a big meal before physical activity.

How do I switch to a different day and/or time?
We allow participants to switch to different days or times as long as it is 4 business days before the class starts and the class they wish to transfer into has not already started.  Once a class has started we do not transfer kids to different classes.  The reason for this is it is hard on class dynamics and instructors to have new kids joining classes that have already started.  Adding one more kid to a class can affect a whole class, setting them back days in instruction.

If I miss a class, may I schedule a makeup?
No, we do not offer make up options for missed classes.  We find it is not beneficial for a student to join a separate class for a day since the instructor does not know their ability and it can affect that classes group dynamic for the day. 

What if my normal class falls on a holiday?
City of Longmont tries to keep our facilities open as much as possible, but do not program programs on all holidays.  Classes are not held over spring break week, July 4th, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Easter.  Class fees are adjusted for session that have holidays. 

What if my child cries or is afraid?
Children often cry or are afraid when starting swim lessons for the first time.  Crying could be a symptom of multiple things and our goal is to figure out what is causing them to cry and help them work though any issues which might be keeping them from participating in the swim class.  Many times kids are scared of being in a class environment, not knowing the instructor, being uncertain or scared of the water, or may just need time to understand what they are being asked to do.

Our instructors and Pool Manager are here to help your child feel more comfortable and become a part of the swim class they signed up for.  They will communicate with the parent to understand any background the child might have and then work with child using toys or games to encourage them to participate with the class.  The instructor will bring the class close to the child displaying how much fun swim lessons can be. 

Sometimes it takes several classes for a child to feel totally comfortable with their instructor or the class environment so be patient. Once children get in a routine they feel more comfortable in the class dynamic.

We do ask parents after Aquababy and Aquatot not to get into the water with their child to help them transition into water Explorer or Turtles. This can create a false expectation that you will get into the water every class and can create a habit that is hard to break. 

Should the parents be visible during class?
Parents are allowed to sit on the pool deck at Centennial Pool, Longmont Recreation Center, and Sunset Pool during swim lessons.  The only time we would ask a parent to watch from a distance was if their child was becoming distracted from them being too close to the pool. 

We also ask that parent do not talk or distract the class while in progress.  It can be tough on instructors or kids who have parent who are communicating with them while they are trying to focus on the skill task at hand.

What if my child is sick?
If your child has an illness which is contagious such as the flu or pink eye, or if your child has a digestion illness or is vomiting, they should miss class until they get better. 

A cold or sniffles is not a serious illness and they should be fine to come to swim lessons.

My child is “Stuck” in their current class, what can I do to help?
It is common for children to get “stuck” in certain classes.  There are many things that can cause child to have to take a class multiple times and this is nothing to be worried about.  Certain levels ask children to learn skills that are harder than others. 

For example Turtles are asked to bob for the first time which can be a very scary skill to learn if they have never put their face or head under water before.  This is a skill that takes a while to learn because they need to become comfortable in the water before they will build up the courage to submerge their head for the first time. 

Other classes, such as Level 3, can be difficult because there are stroke performance criteria participants need to perfect before they can move on.  The participant might be able to perform the stroke but may need to fix certain parts of their stroke in order to meet the stroke criteria to move on to the next level. I

f you are worried about your child not moving to the next class as fast as you would like there are certain things you can do such as take them to the pool to practice in between lessons.  If they are young enough you can work on certain skills such as blowing bubbles and submerging their face in the tub at home. 

It is very important not to become impatient or move a child up a class before they have mastered all of the exit skills.  If they move to the next class before they master the exit skills they can become overwhelmed or unable to learn new skills because they have not perfected other exit skills which are building blocks to the skills being taught in the next class.

Should I opt for group lessons or private lessons?
Each individual is different. Group swim lessons are the best choice for most students; they are economical and there is much to be said for a supportive group environment as motivation for a hesitant learner to attempt a new skill. Private lessons allow individuals to set specific goals for each lesson whereas most group lessons will progress along a set list of lesson objectives based upon the class being taken.

Private swim lessons may be scheduled, depending on instructor availability. Requests for private lessons may be made directly to an instructor, or by following this link to our Private Swim Lesson page to fill out a request form.  Once request form is submitted you will receive the Swim Lesson Guide, which will give you direction on how to find an instructor.  Private Lesson Fee: $37 resident/ $33 non-resident per ½ hour lesson. Semi-Private Fee: (2+) $37 resident /$46 non-resident per ½ hour lesson.

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