Questions about our classes, programs, or swimming in general? Below you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

Continuous Enrollment Questions

How do continuous swim lessons work?

You find a day and time that has the class that you need and you register in that class. That is your day and time until you decide to take a break, you move to another day and time, your student moves up a level, or the School year or Summer schedules come to an end. SwimWest has a School Year schedule and a Summer schedule, allowing for year round, continuous lessons. To attend lessons year round, enroll for a School Year schedule class and enroll for a Summer schedule class.

What are the benefits of continuous enrollment?

Students learn better with consistency thus promoting constant progress. Swimmers can enroll at any time throughout the year. SwimWest has a School Year schedule and a Summer schedule to allow for families who need to change schedules over the summer months. Continuous enrollment is budget friendly.  Rather than paying tuition for several months at a time, families will be enrolled in monthly billing.

What happens when a swimmer is ready to advance a level?

Students will receive a level completion ribbon once they master all of the required skills of that level.
Following a level completion, please contact the front desk to schedule your child in his or her new level.
If there is no opening available at your current class time, we will work with you to find a new time that fits your schedule.
If there is not an opening in their new level at a convenient time, the student can be put on a waitlist for an ideal time.  In the meantime, they will begin working on the next level set of skills in his or her current class.

How long does my child stay enrolled?

Continuous enrollment means that your child will stay enrolled in their class day and time until they move up a level, you need to make a change, or the School Year or Summer schedule come to an end. To attend lessons year round, you must enroll for a School Year schedule class and a Summer schedule class. School Year schedules start after Labor Day and end typically after the first week of June. Summer schedules start the second week of June and end the week before Labor Day.

How do we make a change? Can we change class times?

You can transfer to a different class at any time.  You do not need to provide advanced notice. Ask the front desk for assistance.
If you wish to take a break from lessons, a withdrawal form must be completed a minimum of 30 days prior to the day you would like to discontinue.
No refunds will be given for cancelling with less than a 30 day notice.

How do I un-enroll or drop from lessons?

If you wish to take a break from lessons, a withdrawal form must be completed a minimum of 30 days prior to the day you would like to discontinue. The forms are available HERE.
Refunds will not be issued for cancelling with less than a 30 day notice.
You can transfer to a different class at any time.  You do not need to provide advanced notice.

Billing Questions

What is the price of lessons?

For levels Little Snapper-Dolphin the price is $21 per lesson. Parent Tot  is $17 per lesson.  Swim team is $19 per lesson.

Do we get a discount if we have multiple students enrolled?

Immediate family with 2 enrolled swimmers will get a discount of $1 off each per lesson.  Families with 3 or more children enrolled will get a discount of $2 off each per lesson.

How are we billed?

When you register, you pay for the classes remaining in the current month and then you are charged monthly on the first business day of each month.

How are we billed for partial months?

We do pro-rate tuition for partial months. If you start in the middle of a month you are charged for the days left in that month. If you leave in the middle of the month you pay for the classes you are enrolled for. If SwimWest is closed for a holiday you will not be charged for that day.

What is the makeup policy?

All absences must be reported to SwimWest ahead of the missed class to qualify for a makeup lesson. When we are aware of absence ahead of time, we can offer more availability to families for scheduling makeups.

Due to our rapidly changing enrollment, we can only schedule makeup lessons within 24 hours of the scheduled makeup class. Calling the day before you wish to schedule your makeup lesson or the day of, ensures you will be offered the most current availability and will greatly reduce the chance your makeup lesson might need to be rescheduled due to a new enrollment.

An unexcused absences is when you failed to notify SwimWest before the absence occurred. All unexcused absences will be eligible for a family swim pass.

Excused absences, if preferred are welcome to receive a family swim pass instead of a makeup lesson.

Makeup lessons are not guaranteed, but are based on availability. We encourage you to attend lessons regularly to encourage your child’s progress.

With continuous enrollment, make-up lessons must be completed within 30 days of the date of the absence.

General Questions

Do you offer Open Family Swim and Lap Swim times?

Yes, we do! Click here for our Open Swim Schedule.

What is the water temperature?

Our indoor pools are kept at 89-90° year-round.

How do children stand in the water?

We have specially designed platforms that the children stand on while they are waiting to take their turns. These platforms make the water depth about two (2) feet. Our Fitchburg location has built-in stair stations for each lower-level class.

What if my child is scared or crying?

If your child is nervous or crying, please take a moment to chat with the instructor and then let him/her work with your child. Some children may suffer from separation anxiety, and this will go away as soon as the child gets to know and trust the instructor. A fear of new places may also cause a few tears, and this will also go away with time. Being afraid of the water is not uncommon in younger beginners, but the instructor will compassionately help your child adjust to the water through games, songs and basic skills. With time, your child will be happy and successful in the water. Please be patient and allow the instructors and staff to work their magic with your child.

When should my child stop taking swimming lessons?

This really depends on you and your child’s goals. SwimWest is geared to take children from 6 months all the way up to recreational swim team. We love to see our swimmers move on and compete in swimming on the team level.

Why are the swim classes 30 minutes?

Based on our experience, 30 minutes is the right amount of time to keep your child interested, focused, and happy in the pool. Our more advanced classes last for a longer period of time.

What can I do to make my child comfortable in the water?

Let the instructor do most of the teaching. Children learn from repetition and fun. Bath time is another good time to play with skills and have fun in the water. Practice floating or blowing bubbles and kicking your legs in the tub or pool.

Can my child swim more than once a week?

Of course! The more a child is exposed to the water the faster they will learn to swim. Just be sure not to over do it. Children need all kinds of activities to stimulate their minds and bodies.

Why doesn’t SwimWest use floatation devices?

We believe that floatation devices give children and parents a false sense of security. We want our children to feel the water and how it effects and moves their body. The floatation devices tend to make the child swim in a more vertical body position and do not allow the child to discover their own body’s buoyancy. In swimming, you want your body to be in a more horizontal or streamline position so that you can move through water more easily.

Does SwimWest hold lessons during bad weather?

Our westside location of SwimWest will still hold lessons during rain and thunderstorms because there are no outside windows. Our Fitchburg location has several windows in the pool area and must suspend lessons during cloud-to-ground lightning, but lessons usually resume within a short amount of time. We will extend your lesson time or offer a make-up lesson if this happens.
During bad snowstorms, we will make a decision on whether or not to hold classes. All lessons will depend on driving conditions. If you feel it is not safe to come to lessons, we can issue a one-time Family Swim Pass for your missed lesson. We will cancel classes via email, voicemail, Facebook, and our website. Since we cannot control the weather, SwimWest cannot guarantee make up lessons for inclement weather.

What number do I call for status of the day.

Please call our Front Desk at (608) 831-6829 or (608) 276-SWIM if you have questions about our status for the day.

Where are parents able to watch lessons?

We encourage all parents to watch their children swim! Parents and siblings can watch lessons from our observation area.

Do you have a Lost and Found?

SwimWest has a Lost and Found for all those items you might leave behind. All items found throughout the day or in the locker room at the end of the night will be put in our Lost and Found. We cannot hold items at the front desk. If you find an unclaimed item, please put it in the Lost and Found.

What is a Deck Manager?

A Deck Manager is available to answer your questions regarding your child’s progress, a technique we are using in swim lessons, or any other questions you might have. They will educate you on lesson progression and practice activities. We encourage you to speak with the Deck Manager at anytime.

Do I need to bring my own lock for the lockers?

(Madison location only) Anyone using the locker room is responsible for bringing their own lock. You cannot keep your lock on a specific locker any longer than when you are in the facility unless you pay a locker rental fee. Please remember that SwimWest is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

What if my child is not potty-trained?

All children not potty-trained need to wear a reusable swim diaper. Disposable swim diapers (such as “Lil’ Swimmers”) are not allowed in our pool. The cotton inside those diapers leaks out and clogs our pool filters. Our reusable diapers have a tighter fit which helps to avoid “accidents” in our pool.

Where can I change and shower my child?

For your convenience, our west side location has complete men’s and women’s locker rooms, as well as family showers and changing rooms. SwimWest does not allow children over the age of 5 in the opposite-gender locker room. Our Fitchburg location has an area with family changing rooms and showers for your convenience.

10 Reasons to Learn to Swim

  1. Swim for Health. People involved in even simple exercise have a lower risk of many diseases as well as a better state of mental and emotional well-being. Swimming is highly recommended by the medical profession as it also causes no stress to the body’s joints.
  2. Safety in and around the water is greatly enhanced by being able to swim. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5. Many adults also drown regularly while fishing, boating or swimming in rivers and lakes.
  3. It’s good FUN. As soon as the feet leave the bottom, you experience a whole new adventure in the water world.
  4. Fitness for the total body comes from swimming by developing muscle tone and endurance.
  5. Swimming is a lifelong activity – an asset for life.
  6. The family can come swim together for health, fitness, and fun!
  7. Meet new friends–Swimming lessons can be a great place for children and parents to meet new people. Many friendships have been formed at the pool!
  8. Other organized activities at SwimWest Swim School include All Center Achievement Swims, Homeschool swim lessons, and Girl Scout programs.
  9. No barriers: Regardless of age, sex, ethnicity or ability, swimming is an activity for all to enjoy.
  10. Be refreshed. A nice dip in the warm water pool can be great for stress relief.

What to Look for in a Swim School

  1. A Reputation to be proud of: A good swim school will be pleased for you to see their programs before enrolling. They will also have lots of happy customers prepared to tell you about their child’s experiences and successes.
  2. National certification: A good swim school will strive to achieve high standards through certification with the United States Swim School Association and other organizations which provide ongoing training and program development, such as the World Baby Congress and Safer Three Water Safety Program.
  3. Friendliness and helpfulness: As a provider of educational services, the swim school will have a warm and welcome atmosphere. Staff will strive to meet your family’s needs, answer your questions and concerns, and address any questions you may have.
  4. Small classes for young children and beginners: Small class sizes will ensure that children receive all the personal attention they deserve. With smaller classes, the instructor is also able to better care for the safety of each child in the class.
  5. Well maintained facility and clean pool: Pool water should always be clear and well sanitized. Good swim schools will test their water quality at regular intervals throughout the day and be happy to share the results with you.
  6. Comfortable water and air temperature: Babies, young children, and beginners need very warm water and air. The warm atmosphere may be uncomfortable for spectators and staff; however, it’s a small price to pay to ensure that the little swimmers are comfortable before and after their lessons.
  7. Well qualified staff: All instructors should have a nationally recognized swim instruction or swim coach qualification and a current First Aid/CPR certification. Qualifications should be appropriate to the level being taught. A good swim school will also have a core of experienced teachers with special qualifications and constant philosophy and methods taught throughout the school.
  8. A child-centered teaching philosophy: Skills will be appropriate for the child’s age, development, and ability. Children should never be placed under stress during a swim lesson. Nervous beginners will be reassured and gently introduced to new skills as they gain confidence. A nervous child should never be forced into performing swim skills.
  9. Parental involvement: Young children need the security of having a parent close by. Having a parent in view and showing positive reinforcement is important to all young children, especially preschoolers and nervous beginners. A good swim school will welcome parental involvement and want to communicate with you regarding your child’s progress and how to make sure they will do their best!
  10. A progressive approach: Classes should be based on a sound progression of swimming and water safety skills. A good swim school will provide parents with written information explaining the school’s philosophy, levels, and skill progression.
  11. Water safety skills: A good swim school will teach children appropriate safety and survival skills while acknowledging that no child is ever water safe. Children must not be placed in stressful situations in order to teach survival skills. Parents will be taught that constant supervision is the only way to ensure a child’s safety.
  12. Well-grouped classes: All children in a class should be at approximately the same level. This allows the teacher to better cater for individual needs. A good swim school will give consideration to children with special needs.
  13. Short lessons for learners: Young children and beginners may become tired if lessons are longer than 30 minutes. Advanced swimmers will benefit from longer lessons to build fitness and endurance.
  14. Maximum time on task: Children need to repeat skills many times to learn and remember them. A good swim school will provide repetition and quality practice. Those are the keys to developing good swimming techniques.
  15. Interesting and challenging activities: Activities should be varied and fun. Children must be motivated and challenged to learn. Games and activities will be carefully planned to develop and practice aquatic skills.
  16. A comprehensive and professional program: Programs should be ongoing and provide a range of programs from beginners through advanced swimmers.
  17. Opportunity to participate in competitive swimming: A good swim school will be able to recommend a good coaching program. Many swim schools will provide a higher level coaching program and will encourage developing swimmers to pursue swimming at a competitive level.
  18. A motivating system of rewards: Children in a good swim school will be confident and happy to participate. Most schools will have a system in place marking progression between levels, such as mid-session progress reports and achievement ribbons for the last day of class. Smiles and laughter will be the “norm”!