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Frequently Asked Questions For Aquatics

May I request a specific teacher?  

Our instructors are scheduled based on their availability. Depending on the branch, this schedule may be published in advance for your reference during registration. If pre-published, please be aware that the schedule is still subject to change based on class registration/cancellations etc.

What happens if I am put on a waitlist? 

Student/teacher ratios ensure the safety of the students and the instructor in all classes.  When a class is at maximum capacity, other students interested in the class will be put on the waitlist provided that they are not already registered for another class.  The waitlist will allow us to contact you if any space opens up within a reasonable amount of time after the start of the session.  There is no charge for being put on the waitlist.

I think my child is in the wrong class, what do I do? 

There is a difference between class and level.  Progression to the next swim level is based on how effectively the child meets the skill requirements through the entire session.  The class your child is in is based on what time and day work best for your family at the time of sign up.  Moving a child to a different class in the middle of a session is not usually an option because every class moves at a different pace and the child would have a new instructor.  If the instructor makes the decision a child would fit better in another class, that instructor will discuss with the parents what other options are available within the first week of the session.

What should I do if my child cries and is afraid at swimming lessons? 

Tell the child that you know that they are scared but can do the things that the instructor is asking them to try.  Try to come to swim at the pool at a time other than swimming lessons, and even prior to the first day of class, so that the environment will be familiar.  

Be persistent and don't give up!  Crying is usually toughest on the parent.  After the first few lessons children usually become comfortable in the class.  Be sure to share with the instructor if the child has had any negative experiences in an aquatic environment, so these issues can be addressed at the beginning of the session.  It is usually best for parents to stay somewhere where the child cannot see the parent, but the parent can still be observing the lesson.  Allow the instructor to have a few minutes alone with the child to try to change the direction of the child's thinking.  If a child cries for more than half the class, it is best to remove them and try again another day. 

Why do some instructors teach from the deck and some from the water? 

Frequently with the higher levels, instructors need to be on deck to properly observe the students' strokes and to safely be able to watch the class as a whole.  If a student needs demonstration, the instructor will enter the water.  For mid-level classes, the instructor may start the session in the water, and as the session progresses, the class may be able to be independent enough that the instructor can approach the class more from the deck.  For all pre-school levels and beginner levels, the instructors will be in the water for the duration of the session. 

May I observe my child's class? 

Depending on the branch, you may either watch from a viewing area or from the pool deck. When observing from the pool deck, please remain seated on the bleachers or sitting area and refrain from interacting with the swim class while your child is in the water. You may talk to your child’s instructor at the beginning or end of the class, if needed.

May I use the rest of the facility while my child is in class? 

If your child is a preschooler, you must remain in the viewing area during class to be available for bathroom breaks, etc. If your child is in 1st grade or above and if you have a family membership, please inform your instructor where you will be in case of an emergency or pool closure.  Please make sure you arrive on the pool deck before the end of class to pick up your child.  Upper level youth classes are released to the locker rooms, but beginner youth and preschool classes will not be released until the parent has arrived on the deck.  Parents are not allowed to leave the facility and leave the child in the class. 

My child is ill and can't attend class; can we schedule a make-up lesson? 

It is the general policy of Old Colony YMCA that participants cannot make up classes missed due to short-term illness or vacation.  This policy holds especially true in the aquatic programs due to the ratio of instructors to swimmers.  We do issue credits for medically based misses with a doctor's note. Please bring a note from your doctor to the Welcome Center.

What happens if the pool closes due to vomit or a fecal incident, or weather? 

We must clear the pool immediately.  Board of Health sets the allotted time we must wait before re-entry, depending on the accident and chlorine levels in the pool.  During lessons, each class does have sections, like basic first aid and understanding rescues and safety that can be taught on the pool deck. A class will only be canceled if no form of a lesson, whether on the deck or in the pool, can be held.  

How do I register for the next session? 

Progression to the next swim level is based on how effectively the child meets the skill requirements set forth by the YMCA of the USA.  Progress reports will be issued before registration opens.  It is not unusual for a swimmer to need to repeat a level more than once because swimming is progressive.  Registration opens for Family Members an average of two weeks before Non-Members.  Classes can fill up fast, particularly in popular time slots, so register early.  You may register online or at the Welcome Center.