• Swim Lesson Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know in what level to place my child?

    If children have no experience with swim lessons and little to no experience with pools in general, children ages 3-6 years should enroll in Preschool 1 and children 6-12 years (first grade and up) should register for Learn-to-Swim (School Age) Level 1.

    If your child has some experience but requires shallow water, then Preschool 2 or School Age 2 would be the class they need.

    For children who have swim lesson experience at other facilities and you’re not sure which level to register for, we will do a swimming evaluation and then recommend a class.  Please call the front desk at 503-491-7243 and request a swim lesson evaluation.

    If my child needs accommodations due to a disability or delay, who should I notify?

    When you register your child for a lesson, check “yes” for the box that asks if your child requires accommodations.  At the top of the Children’s Programs page on our website, there is a link to the MHCC Accessible Education Office.  Contact the office, obtain an application to fill out, and then return it to the AES Office.  Both of our departments are working on a link to the actual form from both of our web pages.  The AES will then work with you directly to determine what your child needs while attending swim lessons.

    What if I can no longer bring my child to lessons after I’ve registered?

    If you need to withdraw from lessons, you will receive a full refund if you request it three or more business days before the lesson session begins.  Once the session has started, you will receive ½ refund.  If there is a medical reason for withdrawing from lessons, please contact the Program Coordinator, Program Assistant or Aquatics Manager.

    What should we bring to lessons each day?
    Bring a swimsuit and a towel.  Goggles are allowed and recommended for all levels except parent/child classes and Preschool 1.  Please do not bring face masks to swim lessons, as they block the nose and make it more difficult for children to learn breathing patterns
    How do we know where to find our class on the first day?

    On the first day, the Program Coordinator and/or the Program Assistant will give a brief introduction to the lessons at the red barriers on the 25-yard deck.  Check in at the attendance books in the lobby, then change and shower. Instructors will take attendance at the barriers and then take the children to the pool.  For all lessons in the session, the instructors will pick up and return children to the red barriers.

    What should I expect to see on the first day?
    The instructors will check each child’s skill level as they move through their lesson plan and will report to the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant.  This is usually a combination of having each child swim the previous level’s exit skills and also performing the current level’s skills
    What if my child is not in the appropriate class?

    If a child is not in the appropriate class, the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant will check with you about possibly transferring the child to a class that better suits their current skills.  If the new class is not offered at the same time, we will attempt to find a day and time that works for you and transfer your child, as long as there is still availability in the class they need.

    What is the water temperature of the pools?

    The 25-yard pool is 83-84 degrees and the Learner pool is 89-92 degrees.

    May I (or my family) watch every lesson every day?t

    Yes for any parent/child class and all classes held in the 25-yard pool.  For Preschool 1 and 2, which are held in the Learner pool, we limit watching on deck to the first and last day.  The deck is quite small, so the children tend to focus intently on their parents or other family members and not focus as much on their instructor.
    We do ask that you stay in the facility, preferably the bleachers for the 25-yard pool, for the duration of your child’s lesson.

    What if my child cries on the first day or cries when I leave the deck?

    Stay near your child on the pool deck and remain positive.  If you can get them to at least sit with the class and observe, it will give them time to get used to the idea.  This is often more about the new situation than it is about liking or disliking the water.  It can take a few days for some children to get used to the idea of participating in group swim lessons.

    Why are safety topics included each day of the swim lesson set?

    The American Red Cross emphasizes safety in, on and around all bodies of water.  By introducing or reinforcing safety topics in short periods of time at each class, children are more likely to retain the information.

    I like my child’s instructor. May I request the same instructor for the next session?

    You are welcome to request a specific instructor, or check with the Program Coordinator or Program Assistant to see if the instructor assignments are done for the next session.  It is not always possible to have the same instructor for your child.  Children often benefit by experiencing a variety of teaching styles.

    How should I get a message to my child’s instructor or ask a question?

    The instructors often have little time between classes.  You are welcome to ask a quick question between classes, but please understand that they are required to start their next class as soon as possible.  If you have a more detailed question, please ask the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant.  You may also leave messages at the front desk.

    Should I expect that my child will advance to the next level after every session?

    Children will progress at different rates and will often “plateau” at certain levels for a period of time.  Our primary goal in placing children in certain levels is that they have ample opportunity to practice the skills they need.  Swimming is learned by repetition, and children will master the skills at different rates.  It is normal for children to repeat some levels as many as four or five times.  It just means they need the practice time to master the skills.

    Open recreation swims are a good way to have your child practice what they have learned.  This can make a difference in how they proceed through the swim levels.

    Why are some classes combined?

    Classes may be combined with compatible classes or cancelled if fewer than three children are enrolled.  This helps to prevent classes from being cancelled.  The instructors continue to work with each child at his/her level or pace.

    What if a class cancels after the session starts?

    If your child’s class cancels after the session starts, and we cannot find another suitable class to transfer, we will give you a full refund back to your method of payment.