Health & Safety Protocols


When will SwimWest reopen?

  • SwimWest is planning to reopen Monday June 8th based on the most recent guidelines provided by the governing state and local authorities; the experiences of swim schools in other parts of the country; and the experiences of excellent swim schools we regularly work with in other countries who are ahead of the U.S. in reopening.   We are confident that we can provide a safe environment for your children to continue their swimming journey.

Is it safe to swim?

  • Yes. The CDC issued guidance that it is safe to swim as the virus cannot be spread via properly chlorinated and maintained pool water.  Both SwimWest pools meet or exceed the health standards set by the CDC.
  • Here is a LINK to the CDC direction on swimming and pool water.
  • Likewise, HERE is an article outlining how the virus cannot be spread in a properly maintained pool.

What are my lesson options for summer?

  • Note: All lessons will have 5 minutes between classes for cleaning and time for families to leave the building.
  • Group lessons: Our group lessons will be 25 minutes long and have a reduced number of swimmers. (Manatee – Shark classes at our West Madison location will be 40 minutes and utilize both lanes.) Regular lesson rate.
  • Family Private lessons: Our family private lessons will be 25 minutes long. 1-4 swimmers of similar level from the same family in the same class. $65.25 per weekly lesson. Contact customer service for availability.
  • Want to take a class with a friend or neighbor? We may be able to put you into the same class if they are the same level or one level apart. Contact customer service if you need help finding a class.

What is SwimWest doing to comply with social distancing?

  • One caretaker per child is allowed inside the swim school. 
  • Chairs in the observation rooms and pool deck will be spaced out  and we ask that you be mindful of others and patient while occupying shared spaces.
  • We ask that students arrive only five minutes before their scheduled class time to keep occupancy numbers within guidelines and walkways clear. Likewise, please exit the building as soon as possible following your child’s lesson 
  • Lesson start times will be staggered to ensure we have a controlled flow of people into the facilities.
  • Please note that our West Madison location has traditionally run their clocks 5 minutes slow. We will no longer be running clocks slow – classes will begin at their designated time.


How many people are going to be in the facility with me?

  • Currently, we are making plans to operate with no more than 50 people in the building at any one time. We will continue to follow local and state recommendations for how many people will be allowed in our facilities and will schedule our lessons to meet and adhere to these requirements.
  • If you would like to get a sense of how many people will be in the facility during your lesson, please call a customer service representative. If you would like to schedule your class at times when the facility loads make you most comfortable,  we will be prepared to work with you.


What can I expect to see different at the SwimWest locations?

  •  Parents and children ages 5+ need to wear a face mask entering the building, waiting for classes and exiting the building as of July 13th per the Dane County Health Department order. 
  •  Children will be required to remove their face covering/mask while swimming. Parents participating in any Parent-Tot class will be required to wear a face shield like instructors do. Face shields are available for purchase for Parent Tot parents only at $5 each. 
  • SwimWest will be conducting temperature screening checks on all staff at the beginning of their shifts. Individuals with an elevated temperature will not be permitted in the building.
  • The front desk  will be equipped with protective barriers.
  • Teachers will initially be wearing face shields. While a face shield may be a strange sight to your child, we will be working on making the shields as fun as possible.  Our goal is to maintain SwimWest’s commitment to creating a warm and loving environment while also keeping your children and our valued teachers safe.
  • Please bring your own cap and goggles. For the time being, teachers will not have caps or goggles to lend out. For your convenience, we will have caps and goggles for sale at the front desk.

What is SwimWest doing to keep the schools clean?

  • We have always followed CDC cleaning protocols and those set out by other health professionals and authorities.  We also use CDC recommended cleaning products.
  • The facility will be wiped down throughout the day including high traffic areas and all door handles, tables, chairs, toilets, etc.
  • Disinfecting wipes will continue to be available throughout the facility and in changing areas.
  • The use of pool toys in our lessons is being scaled back and all toys and equipment that may be used will be disinfected between uses.
  • Additional deep cleans will be utilized as needed or recommended.
  • All observation room books and toys have been removed  to prevent the spread of germs in the observation areas.
  • Hand sanitizer will remain available at all locations but since supplies are so limited, we encourage families to bring their own.

What can I do to keep the schools a safe place for me and my family?

  • If you have visited SwimWest Swim School and have come in close contact with anyone who has experienced symptoms, we ask that you please notify the school immediately before returning. You may be asked to obtain medical clearance before returning to the swim school.
  • Any individual with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is asked to notify us and remain out of the swim school until receiving written medical clearance to return.
  • If you have traveled outside of the country or been in contact with anyone who has, or with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or any flu-like virus, please notify the school immediately before returning. You may be asked to obtain medical clearance before returning to the swim school.
  • In general, if you or anyone in your household are sick or exhibiting symptoms of any illness, we ask that you fully recover before returning to the swim school.
  • SwimWest is continuously updating its safety measures so you may see additional precautions being implemented or existing protocols modified at your school.

What steps does SwimWest take to properly maintain their pools?

  • Since its inception, SwimWest Swim School has been at the forefront of building and maintaining pools that fight the spread of viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19, as well as the flu and other common childhood viruses.
  • Providing a safe and clean environment is why SwimWest Swim School has invested heavily in the infrastructure of our pools.
    • In addition to the appropriate use of chlorine, each pool has a high-quality UV water purification system that keeps the water clean. When water is pumped through our UV system, ultraviolet light rays kill dangerous germs and inactivates viruses.
    • SwimWest’s cutting-edge air filtration systems continuously expel stale air from the pool room and replace it with 100% ambient, fresh air. 
    • Our dehumidifiers have features like antimicrobial filters and controls that enable us to maintain healthy humidity levels that reduce the survival of bacteria and viruses.
    • SwimWest pools are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that monitors pool chemicals electronically and, in addition, we perform scheduled and documented manual water tests throughout the day to maintain healthy and balanced pools.
    • SwimWest pools are permitted by the governing Health Departments and are periodically inspected without notice by local authorities.
  • SwimWest pools are some of the cleanest and safest places for your children and our instructors.

IMPORTANT Summer health and safety at SwimWest

Dear SwimWest Families,

GREAT NEWS! Following the guidelines of government officials, we are happy to announce that SwimWest plans to welcome back students on June 8th for Summer lessons!

We are excited to get back to doing what we love to do and seeing all of our swimmers in the pool again!  The SwimWest team is working behind the scenes to provide a clean and healthy experience for our swimmers, parents, and our team members.

What will not change:

  • We will still have our passion for making children safer around the water.
  • We will still have our proven curriculum and advancement through levels as swimmers’ skills progress.
  • We will still have our high energy, fun atmosphere with nurturing, dedicated SwimWest instructors.
  • We will continue to keep our pool water clean with a combination of chlorine and UV light filtration.
  • We will continue our commitment to sharing our water safety message throughout the community in an effort to reduce drowning.

What will change:
We will be implementing temporary measures to help provide cleaner and safer swim lessons. This includes many measures to reduce the number of people in the facility at one time.

  • We ask that families enter the building no more than 5 minutes before their child’s lesson begins.
  • Only one adult per swimmer in the building. (An exception: Parent-tot swimmers can bring 2 adults if necessary.)
  • Please sanitize your hands upon entering the building. SwimWest will have sanitizer available but when possible please bring your own since supplies are limited.
  • Do not enter the building if you or anyone in your household has a fever or other COVID symptoms.
  • We ask that parents wear a face mask into the building to reduce the spread of germs.
  • We have created foot traffic flow patterns with in and out doors and spaced seating to encourage physical distancing. Please follow the signs and arrows posted throughout the building.
  • Changing rooms will be reserved for swimmers who wear a swim diaper and parent-tot parents. All other swimmers should arrive in their swimsuits and leave in their swimsuits.
  • No food or drink other than water inside the building. Our drinking fountain will not be available but bring your water bottle. We now have a touchless water bottle refill station at both locations!
  • Outdoor seating will be available at both locations or bring a lawn chair to relax in. (Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!)
  • Staff will have their temperature taken upon arriving at the facility.
  • Staff will be cleaning the facility throughout the day, especially frequently touched surfaces.
  • Clear face shields will be worn by instructors during lessons.
  • Instructors will not have caps or goggles to share. Please bring your own. They are also available to purchase at the front desk.
  • We will have fewer classes going on at one time plus class size will be reduced with most classes at 3, parent-tot limited to 4, and upper levels at West Madison capped at 6.
  • Special option for summer: Family private lessons (details below)
  • Classes will end 5 minutes early to allow time for swimmers to leave the pool area and time for staff to wipe down surfaces between classes.
  • If you need to miss a class, please call or email in your absence. We will record your absence and mark you eligible for a makeup class. We will not be scheduling makeup classes for at least the first part of summer to keep our classes small and consistent. Makeup expiration dates will be extended until at least December 2020.

    Watch for a video showcasing some of these features next week!

Summer Lesson Options

Summer lessons are scheduled to run June 8 – August 30. (please note the extended end date on Summer lessons)

NEW! Family Private Lessons for Summer: We will be offering individual private lessons and family private lessons for the summer.  Classes will be 25 minutes long. 1-4 swimmers of similar level from the same family in the same class. Contact customer service for pricing and availability.

Everyday for Two Week Lessons: Our Fitchburg location offers everyday for two week Monday-Friday morning classes to give your swimmers a boost! We have openings in levels Little Snapper through Manatee. These are not available for online registration so contact customer service for availability.

Regular group lessons: Classes will be 25 minutes except upper levels at West Madison which will be 40 minutes. We have capped lessons at 4 for Parent-Tot, 6 for upper levels at West Madison (using 2 lanes), and 3 for all other group lessons. You can register online using the links below or by contacting customer service.


Plus, School Year 20-21 Registration is NOW OPEN!!
These lessons begin August 31. Register using the links below or by contacting SwimWest.

Want to register or make a change?

To view your current or past enrollment:

Login to the parent portal or contact customer service.

To register:

Register for West Madison classes HERE. Select Summer or School Year Tab
Register for Fitchburg classes HERE. Select Summer or School Year Tab

To transfer:

You can look at options using the registration links above then call or email with the class you want to transfer into.

To remove an enrollment:

Click here to withdraw from West Madison classes.
Click here to withdraw from Fitchburg classes.

We’re here to help!

If you have questions, need any assistance, or just want to talk with a friendly SwimWest team member, email or give us a call.  We are ready to take your calls Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (closed the Monday of Memorial Day).

SwimWest will not charge you on April 1, follow our Daily Dose of Fun

You will not be charged on April 1 
If you are currently enrolled in lessons, you will not be charged on April 1. We do not have a firm re-open date at this time, but once we start up again, we will prorate fees based on the number of weeks remaining in the month. Watch your email for updates!

SwimWest Daily Dose of Fun
Do you follow us on Facebook? While we are temporarily closed, our staff will be sharing fun posts throughout the week — activities for kids (like our coloring book!) and staff adventures (including SwimWest staff and our families trying to catch a leprechaun!) Click here to download our SwimWest Water Safety Activity and Coloring Book.

We hope you can follow along! #swimwestdailydoseoffun

Our SwimWest families our in our thoughts 
Karen and our SwimWest Leadership Team want you to know that we are thinking of you and hope you can find a little (or a lot!) of joy in each day. We thank you for the kind words so many of you shared with us over the past few days. They really mean a lot to us!

Teaming Up with Water Safety in Mind

Working with the Community for our Community

Being an active member of the community has always been part of the SwimWest culture. Teaming up with like-minded organizations within that community makes us stronger and widens our reach. Each group we are involved with affects our school in a positive way, impacting our staff, our swimmers and our families. Read on to learn a little bit more about each of these organizations and how together we make a difference.

Internation Swim School AssociationThe International Swim School Association (ISSA) helps improve our curriculum. They provide education, networking and more. This association delivers invaluable updates, articles, and information on researched based curriculum. It’s a group that emphasizes the benefits children get from learning to swim in more ways than just drowning prevention. The ISSA provides an international network and unlimited information. They support the latest training, marketing, and industry trends as well.

Safe Kids MadisonKaren Clay, SwimWest owner, has been on the board of the Safe Kids Madison Area program since 2003. The Safe Kids Program aims to prevent unintentional childhood injuries. It works to bring together individuals and organizations to make this happen. “It is great to be within a community like Safe Kids Madison that believes in safety in all areas,” said Karen. “I volunteer for a variety of safety events sponsored by them. They supply a platform for me to amplify the SwimWest safer swimming message.”

Safer 3 ProgramSeeing a future in which no one drowns, the Safer 3 Program’s curriculum teaches kids how to recognize drowning risks. As a member of the board, Karen says she gets lots of ideas and initiatives from the program that help keep our community safer. Promoting swim lessons to develop the skills and experience children need for safer swimming is among this organization’s many goals.

US Swim School AssociationBeing a part of this prestigious organization ensures our school follows a code of ethics set up by a nationally recognized institution. “There is an unlimited wealth of knowledge to pick from as well as gaining support on any topic or situation I may encounter,” Karen said. “I have served on the board twice and love to give back to the national swim school and help other swim school owners be successful.”

Working together

We look for events and organizations that promote and bring awareness to water safety. Our continued efforts to create a world without drowning and educate about water safety remains SwimWest’s core value. By working together with the above programs and organizations, we will continue to create a safer community.

SwimWest Lesson Etiquette for Parents and Kids

SwimWest Lesson Etiquette for Parents and Kids

How to make your child’s first (and every) swim lesson a success . . .

It’s your child’s first swim lesson. You’re excited. She’s excited! You rush out the door, then stop. Do you have everything you need? Did she finish her breakfast? Where’s your coffee? Did she go potty? Did you go potty?

Relax! At SwimWest we want to make every swim lesson a fun and unstressful experience. We’ve put together a few guidelines for you and a fun video for your young swimmer to help. Hopefully, it will help you know exactly what to expect and what to bring so every lesson is her best one.

What to bring:

With a little preparation, you’ll make getting her to her lesson stress-free. Creating a ‘launchpad’ area by the door with your child’s swim bag filled with all the essentials the night before swim lessons will help the rush out the door go smoothly.

There are a few things you’ll NEED to put in her bag and a few things you’ll probably WANT to put in her bag.

  1. A Swimsuit – All children, regardless of age, must wear swimsuits.
  2. A towel – along with a spare one, just in case!
  3. A change of clothes
  4. A swim cap (all children are required to wear a swim cap during swim lessons, except those enrolled in the Parent-Tot classes),
    Goggles (optional)
  5. A snack/drink for after (we have a special area for snacks!).
About that potty thing . . .

Two Reusable Swim Diapers – Children who are not completely potty trained must wear two reusable swim diapers. Disposable swim diapers are not allowed in the pool. Cloth swim diapers are available in the lobby swim shop.

And remember – older children should use the restroom before their class begins. There are restrooms available at SwimWest, of course, so we’ve got you covered too!

Where and when should she change?

We find it easier for swimmers to be prepared when they get to SwimWest. Wearing their swimsuit under their clothes helps for a speedy transition from home to class. After class, please use assigned changing areas or dressing rooms in the facility to dress and redress. We ask that children over the age of 5 use their same-gender locker room. We have family changing areas throughout the facility for your use.

Can I watch the lesson?

Yes! We definitely want you to watch your child during her lesson. In fact, we require that parents remain on SwimWest Swim School premises at all times during their child’s lesson. We have a comfortable area in the Observation Room, or you are welcome to stay around the pool deck.

Are there any other rules I should be aware of?

For the safety of all our swimmers, we do have a few rules that we ask everyone to observe.

  • Do not let your children enter the pool until the class is scheduled to begin.
  • Please allow swimmers finishing their classes to exit the pool and wait for the instructor before putting your child into the water.
  • Stay with your child and their siblings (if you’ve brought company) at all times.
What should she expect at her lesson?

Glad you asked! We’ve put together a special video just for her. It will walk her through exactly what she can expect when she comes to a SwimWest Swim School lesson. It’s less than 3 minutes long so a perfect view during snack time: My First Swim Lesson

What if she doesn’t feel well?*

If your child is not feeling well, it is better not to bring them to class. If your child has a fever or a contagious disease, please stay at home until the illness has subsided. If you are unsure, please consult your doctor for the proper course of action. Read more about how to know how sick is too sick in our blog post.

*If your child is unable to attend lessons due to illness or a scheduling conflict, please call the front desk and let them know.

A few other tips:

Remove all Band-Aids. We recommend using a liquid band-aid during lessons.

If you’d like to speak with your child’s instructor feel free to send them an email or schedule a time at the front desk. Because most lessons are back-to-back, there isn’t enough time between for our instructors to give you their full attention.

Feel good!

You are helping your child learn a lifesaving skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Keeping these tips and rules in mind will help ensure your child gets the absolute most from their lesson and you have a great time too.

Swim Safe, SwimWest