Frequently Asked Questions About Star Fish Swimming Academy Where is your pool? The pool is indoors and on site. Most are unaware that it exists due to it being locked down for safety reasons while other classes are going on. The pool is an above ground, self leveling,heated indoor pool. The size of the pool, 32 foot long and 15 wide, sometimes is a surprise to people because it is larger than most backyard in ground pools. The pool is heated and is a salt water sanitized pool, which does not dry out the skin and eye tissues like a chlorine pool does. A dock is on one side for easy access and there is an in water dock for younger students to stand on. The pool itself is four and half feet deep, the perfect level for learning to swim. Once a student reaches the higher levels in our program, they are moved to an outdoor, off site pool that is also heated and is a salt water pool. What if my child is afraid? Star Fish Swimming Academy is a great place to be if your child is afraid of the water. SFA's Positive Strokes program is filled with great fun and encouraging teachers that will have your child replacing their fear with respect for the water and what it can do for us. No student is ever forced to perform an action in the water that they are not ready for. Every student is encouraged to "give it a try" if they can. Your child's comfort and safety is our utmost concern. Depending on the strength of your child's fears, learning to swim may be slower as to not terrify them. We never rush the process.We want all of our swimmers to become strong and smart in the water or their personal safety. For this reason, we encourage parents to consider at least two sessions as a minimum for instruction. On the average, most of our students register for three session each swimming session. Be sure to check out some of the testimonials from our parents concerning their child's instruction with Star Fish Swimming Academy.
Do you offer private lessons? Star Fish Academy does not recommend private lessons for children and only in special cases for adults. SFA classes are small for the best learning experience. Mom & Me and Parent & Me classes are limited to six families. Students 2.5 yrs-3 yrs is kept to four in a class and the 4 yrs and up age divisions are kept at eight. These small classes offer a great time of "learning with a buddy" and lots of personal attention from the teachers. Children especially benefit from taking a class with their peers and seeing that everyone can have fun and learn together. Semi private classes can be held by special booking for up to three students.
My child has taken lessons from other individuals or organizations, will there be a place in your program for them? Star Fish Swimming Academy's curriculum matches up well with most national organizational instruction. It can vary from those programs taught by individuals who have not trained with a recognized program curriculum. If there is any doubt, an assessment for a small fee can be performed. Then if you decide to enroll in the SFA program, that fee can be applied to your registration fee or tuition. Can I watch my child's class? Currently, SFA is not set up for parents to view the class from the pool area due to safety considerations. The pool room is very warm for the comfort of the students but is also uncomfortable for most spectators. We do have a camera system in place so that you can watch the class on a monitor in the lobby. Due to the size of the pool and configuration of the room, all areas of the pool may or may not be viewable on the monitor. SFA loves for the parents to watch so that you can see your child's successes. We hope to sometime have a better system for you to view the class. If there is something we believe you should see, we will call the front desk to send you back. From time to time we do have a parent comeback so that the instructors can tell you how something is to be done correctly when practicing a home or the community pool.
Is there a changing area? There is a changing area at the onsite pool location, although we prefer that participants arrive in their suits. The offsite pools do not have changing areas. If you are scheduled for an offsite location we will give you directions and details.
My child is not potty trained, can they still take classes? Those students that are not fully potty trained cannot enroll in the Guppy level and up. Chilren ages 3 yrs and younger who are not potty trained can participate in the Mom & Me swimming class, but must wear a swim diaper with rubber pants and special suit over it. We take the health of our staff and students very seriously. Contaminated water can be very dangerous and this is why we have these rules and we do enforce the rules.At any time we suspect feces in the water, the pool is shut down for a 24 hour period for sanitization. Our Guppy level for ages 2.5 yrs and up are classses for those who are fully potty trained and do not use a binky. There can be no exceptions.
You say that you are a "rollover school", what does that mean? It means that we spend a great deal of time teaching young children how to roll from a front, face in water position to a back with face out of water position. We also spend alot of time on breath control techniques and being relaxed in the water. Panic in the water is a sure road to possible drowning and being able to relax and roll to a face up position gives more time for a parent or guard to reach a young child who has gotten in over their heads.
What if your schedule or fees does not meet our needs? We believe that aquatic instruction is a lifeskill needed for all students. Therefore, if we cannot meet your needs, we suggest calling the local American Red Cross Chapter to inquire about their class offerings. Most of our lead teachers have training through the Red Cross, and other organizations, and they offer a good program.
What is the difference between your program and the one of a local organization? It really depends on the organization. For the most part, the difference is class size. Instead of 15 to 20 students per instructor, we offer small classes of 8 or less depending on the age and level. Our program does offer a proven safety section in each lesson and we do have structured levels of advancement. We do hold membership in national organizations and teachers participate in yearly trainings and are supervised by well trained aquatic directors.
What should my child bring to class? Your child should arrive in their swim suit and bring a beach towel to dry and wrap up in. For our outdoor pools we suggest a student bring two towels. One to dry off with and one to wrap up in if it is windy.
How fast should my child advance? This is difficult to say since each student is different. Some students who are very coachable and not afraid could advance two or three levels over the summer if enrolled. We have had 8 yr olds swimming high level strokes and performing flip turns and dives. Then there are those students who are more timid or even afraid that may take some time to get through all of the levels. The thing to remember is to not to force a child through the levels too fast, thus causing a false sense of a high swimming level or to cause them to be even more afraid. When a student is ready to advance, the teacher usually has another teach to observe just to make sure it is time to advaance the student or not. Between the two, a better deceision can be made because one teacher may see something totally different from the other.
What is the difference of my child taking classes in a persons backyard or at the local pool with alifeguard? It depends on what you are wanting for your child. Any swimming lessons is better than none, unless the person or group teaching the classes does not have a good understanding of child development and cognitive levels, stroke mechanics, learning styles and much more. Like everything in life, once something is learned incorrectly, it is difficult to change later. That includes safety issues around water. Your child's safety around water as a teenager and adult may just be set in stone by the way they were taught about water safety and swimming when very young. Also, not everyone has had extensive training in dealing with the fearful student as well as being able to teach water safety issues.
As far as gaurds instructing classes, some may be very good at it. Others not so good. The general belief of the public is that is a person is a lifeguard, they are the best swimmer around. This is not always true. A person can be a lifegaurd these days with out being able to swim even the five basic styles of swimming. All saves are now down with a floatation device to assist the swimmer, so the swimming level of the guard is not always the highest level possible. And just because a person is trained to save lives (actually they are trained to prevent incidents from happening), it does not mean that they know how to break down a stroke and teach the mechanics of it. Lifeguarding does not equal swimming instructor. It is different training.
Asking your friend to teach your child in their back yard is also taking a risk that something will not be taught right. Again, an aquatic instructor should be trained and under go extra training on a regular basisi so that everything is performed correctly for the safety of your child. If you do choose an individual to instruct your child, please be sure to ask them to clarify their training background, if they are insured and if they have written guidelines to follow in case of an incident where your child could be injured. Your child's safety should be the most important issue in any program that you choose to participate in, including Star Fish Swimming Academy.
What if I cannot find the proper swim wear for my infant or toddler to participate in your classes? We know how difficult it is to find the proper swim diapewr situation. But you are in luck! We are an affiliate of SwimOutlet.com and you will find their link at the bottom of this page. Just click the link abng go to their site. We have research many companies and find this one to be the best source to meet your needs for swim wear for your entire family!