Aquatic Tips/Guidelines

Swim Lessons: Parent & Participant Tips & Guidelines

Lesson Format & Schedule: The JCC Squirrel Hill follows the American Red Cross Water Safety Program that is a nationally recognized program, developed by experts and field tested by American Red Cross aquatic instructors. Each level of swim lessons has specific goals that the children are to meet prior to moving to the next level. Every child progresses at their own pace. The American Red Cross has found that on average, a child progresses one level per 9 – 12 month of continuous swimming.

The class components for each of the swim lessons are the following:

  • Personal safety
  • Stroke development and refinement
  • New skills
  • Helping others
  • Having fun

Arrival Time: It is important for participants to be on deck and ready to go five minutes before their class starts. Participants should use the restroom before class begins. Participants will need to wait on the deck, not in the water, until the instructor is ready.

Swimming Attire & Protection: We recommend that participants and their parents apply sunscreen prior to beginning each lesson at an outdoor pool. Allow ample time for absorption prior to getting in the water. For those with long hair, it must be tied back or covered by a bathing cap during lessons. No cut off shorts or shorts with zippers are to be worn. Participants should not forget to bring a dry towel for use after the lesson.

Parental Support: Be supportive of your children’s efforts in lessons. Learning to swim can be challenging! Remember that fear is learned. If you are hesitant or fearful for your child in the water, your child will generally acquire a fearful attitude. Your child’s progress and enjoyment can be enhanced when you and your child are enthusiastic about swimming. Practice, Practice, Practice: Bring your children to open swim, have them show you all the things they learned in class, let them “be the teacher”, or challenge them with something new.

Observing the Class: Parents and spectators are to observe the class from the lobby through the glass windows. Although you may want to give direct support to your child during the lessons, sometimes this becomes a distraction to your child, the other participants and the instructor. Please do not leave the immediate area completely. In the event of your child needing to use the bathroom, we (JCC staff) ask you to assist with your child.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques Used During Lessons: Any disciplinary problems should be addressed by the swim instructor. Positive reinforcement to encourage appropriate class behavior will include removing the child from the swim lesson (i.e., “time out” for a brief period) and may include addressing the problem with the parent and/or aquatic director.

First Day of Class: The first day of class is utilized for participant skill evaluation and class assignment. Participants will be asked to perform known skills and then be placed in the appropriate level class. Participants may be reassigned to another class if necessary. Please note that class levels may be combined when numbers are small.

Before & After Class: Parents are encouraged to come and talk to the instructor before or after class. If the instructor is busy with another parent, parents can leave their phone number with the lesson coordinator who will ensure that the instructor follows up with the parent.

During Class: Any concerns a parent has about their child’s class that require immediate attention can be director to the lesson coordinator. The lesson coordinator is on deck to assist the instructors in managing their classes, and is accessible in the event questions should arise during the lesson.

Last Day of Class: Please complete a participant/parent evaluation form on the last day of class. These forms will be made available to you at the last lessons. Management reviews the evaluations and uses them to make program adjustments to better meet the needs and those or your child. When possible, we take corrective action immediately. Feedback is shared with the instructor to maintain or improve their skills. Participants will also receive a report card stating how they performed in their lesson and making suggestion for further improvement.

Make-up Policy: Unless the JCC cancels a class, there are no scheduled make-up times.

Health Policy: We can not accept children into any JCC aquatic program if he/she exhibits any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Discharging eyes
  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Open wounds – please remove all band-aids prior to entering the water.

Parents should exercise every caution and keep their child home should any unusual symptoms occur. If a child has been exposed to a contagious condition, he/she should be kept home. If your child has a medical condition, such as but not limited to, allergies, seizures, or epilepsy, a medical clearance form from your physician is required and must be submitted to the aquatics director prior to the first day of class. In an emergency, knowledge of medical conditions will aid our staff and emergency personnel in providing care.

General Safety:

  • No gum, cough drops, food, juice box, coffee, etc. of any kind is allowed in the Aquatic Center for participants, parents or spectators. Only water in plastic bottles is permitted in the Aquatic Center.
  • No street shoes on deck. This will help keep the pool and pool area clean.
  • Walk, do not run, in the Aquatic Center at all times.
  • Kindly make the instructors aware of any new outside injuries such as a hurt wrist, cuts, bumps, etc. We will take extra care not to aggravate the injury.
  • For those not potty trained, the use of a disposable swim diaper is mandatory.
  • In the event of a thunderstorm in the area, we do clear the pool.
  • Please do not leave strollers unattended in the Aquatic Center.
  • All swimmers are to shower prior to entering the pool.
  • Trim toe and finger nails regularly.
  • Follow lifeguard instructions – they are here for your safety.
  • Respect others.
  • Be honest about your feelings