Swim lessons are back at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. Please read our updated guidelines here. These are the most recent updates following COVID-19 health and safety protocols for swim lessons. 

If you are new to the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA’s Swimming Lesson Program, below are answers to common questions as well as basic guidelines to ensure your child has a successful experience in our program.

The swim lesson classes offered at our Y are designed to give your child a positive learning experience while teaching lifelong swimming and water safety skills in a fun, supportive and safe environment. We incorporate the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in every class.

What should my swimmer wear?

Swimmers should wear a bathing suit, a one-piece garment designed specifically for swimming. Swimmers who are not toilet-trained should wear a swim diaper as well as a bathing suit. If swimmers have long hair it should be tied back so it will not get in their face during their swim class. We strongly suggest that bathing caps be worn for swimmers whose hair is past their chin. Swim goggles are highly recommended.

Who evaluates the swimmers to determine their appropriate swim level?

During the first class each student will be evaluated to make sure they are properly placed. This means they will be asked to perform skills that are prerequisites for their class level. If your child is too advanced or not skilled enough for their class level, they will be assigned to another class level. The Aquatic Director or Deck Supervisor will approach you to discuss the re-assignment so you understand why. If you believe your child has been improperly placed, please speak to the Aquatic Director or Deck Supervisor on deck as soon as possible. Please be patient with this process as we are assessing all children on the first day.

On week 6 of the session, the Deck Supervisor will give you a sheet of paper which indicates whether your child should advance to the next level or stay in their present level so you can register them for the next swim lesson session in a timely fashion. The YMCA runs its swim lesson program year-round to insure continuity and your child’s progression.

Where is the best place to observe the swim lesson?

Swimmers under the age of 8 must have adult supervision on the pool deck. Swimmers between the ages of 8-12 must have adult supervision within the building. Deck Supervisors and/or Swim Instructors cannot bring any swimmer to the restroom. It is recommended that your swimmer use the restroom before class begins. Please enjoy sitting on our bleachers or standing in the hallway behind the glass wall. Please utilize this hallway when bringing your swimmer to and from their swim lane and avoid walking in front of the lifeguard stand as it obstructs the view for the lifeguard. We ask that parents/caregivers avoid creating distractions and avoid getting involved in the swim class.

Who do I speak with if I have a question about my child’s progress?

No two children develop at the same rate. Each child learns at a different pace depending on factors such as physical growth, individual development, comfort, practice and previous experience. It is important to note that swimming is not a Pass/Fail program. It is not unusual for a child to be in the same level for more than one session. All questions regarding your swimmer’s progress should be directed to the Deck Supervisor. We ask that parents/caregivers refrain from speaking with swim instructors before, during or after the lesson as it disrupts the class. Deck Supervisors will address the swim instructors with any concerns when their shift has ended.

How can I help my swimmer to improve?

Swimming involves a lot of moving parts. Practice, practice, practice in a fun, safe way. Talk about what your swimmer learned during their swim lesson. Full Members can come during Open Swim and Family Swim sessions weekly to swim with your swimmer. Pool schedules are available at the FSPY Welcome Center. Structured and unstructured play in the water encourages water discovery and leads to relaxed, confident swimmers who will progress more quickly through their formal lessons. One half hour a week with us isn’t nearly enough time!

What if a class is canceled by the Aquatic Department?

If the Aquatic Department closes the pool due to lightning, chemical issues or mechanical failure, classes will be canceled and makeups will be offered. A makeup class date is assigned only for classes canceled by the Aquatics Department. Details will be communicated to participants before the next scheduled class. The FSPY Welcome Center will also be informed of the makeup class information (telephone: 908-889-8880).

What if I need to withdraw from a class?

We understand that situations can change. A written request 7 days prior to the start of the class is required to receive credit for the session. A credit will be issued for a class less a $10 processing fee. After the class starts, credits will only be given for classes remaining in the session and upon receipt of a doctor’s note. All credit requests must be submitted prior to the end of the session. Credits are good for one year.

The Aquatic Staff is committed to ensuring the success of your child’s swim instruction experience. If you have any questions, comments or concerns do not hesitate to contact Ellen Daudelin, Aquatic Director, or Zach Smith, Associate Aquatic Director, at 908-889-8880.