About Our Swim School
Palo Alto Swim School
Welcome to Palo Alto Swim School! We’re all about making a safe splash and helping our community become stronger, more confident swimmers.
At Palo Alto Swim School, we believe it’s never too early or too late to start learning to swim. That’s why we offer swim lessons for children of all ages. Our Instructors go through multiple weeks of training so that they can gain experience with every age and skill level. Each Instructor comes from different swim backgrounds and varying skill levels, making each one unique so that everyone can find the right fit.
For our youngest swimmers, our Water Babies classes focus on water acclimation with a parent or caretaker in the water. We work on building water confidence and introduce basic water skills in a safe and nurturing environment. We use songs and activities to help babies and parents bond while introducing this important life-saving skill.
For children 3 years old and up, we offer classes for all skill levels starting at Level 1, where we teach basic fundamentals such as kicking and floating, through Level 4, where students will graduate out of swim school knowing Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly. To see the classes we offer as well as the skills we teach at each level, please visit the Levels and Classes page.
Youth swim lessons are offered as a series ranging from 10-15 weeks. Classes meet once per week for sessions held in Fall through Spring. In the Summer, lessons are 4-day sessions (Monday-Thursday), so your child can make the most of those hot summer days while learning a life-long skill. Specific sign-up dates and session dates vary each season. We recommend signing up for our newsletter so that you never miss a registration announcement!
Whether you’re just starting your swim journey or looking to take your skills to the next level, Palo Alto Swim School is here to support and encourage you. We can’t wait to see your child make a splash and help them become a safe, confident swimmer!
Want to know more about our Swim School schedule and lessons? Sign up for our Swim School Mailing list!
Levels and Classes at Palo Alto Swim School
Class Level Progressions at Palo Alto Swim School
During the first group lesson, our instructors will assess swimmers through our in-water progression to assess skills and confirm whether that is the appropriate level for your swimmer. The Instructor and Deck Coordinator will decide which level best suits swimmers based on their abilities, comfort, and safety. If the staff decides that the level is too easy or too difficult for the swimmer, the caretaker must sign up for the appropriate class based on the staff’s evaluation.
*Class Ratios are for booking purposes. Unforeseen circumstances day of may increase ratio.
Schedule & Pricing
March 19 – June 1
These lessons are booked as a once-a-week series from March 19 – June 1.
For specific class details like entry requirements and class level goals, please visit our Class Levels page to learn more.
ALL lessons are 30 minutes.
|3:15pm – 7:00pm
Water Babies 1 & 2
Group Swim Lessons: $319 for season ($29 per lesson for 11 weeks)
Saturday Lessons: $290 (price adjusted due to holiday on Saturday, May 25th)
15% non-refundable fee
Pro-rated cancellations are available minus past sessions and 15% non-refundable fee
No makeups/credits/refunds for missed classes
Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation Scholarships
Palo Alto Swim & Sport is proud to partner with the Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation (BBAF). BBAF offers scholarships to those financially in need who want to develop a life-long love for swimming in the Bay area. You can visit their website by clicking the link above to see all of their partners in the Bay area.
Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation is working to finalize their scholarship offerings for 2024. Until then, we will not be providing scholarships. We are very sorry for the delay.
Please note that swim lessons for the Spring Session will not be offered at the BBAF price.
We will continue to accept applications and we will let you know as soon as we have more information about when we can restart scholarship swim lessons.
We truly love having you and your swimmers be a part of our swim school and cannot wait to be able to provide you subsidized lessons as soon as possible.
BBAF at Palo Swim & Sport
Palo Alto Swim & Sport offers BBAF scholarships for the following programs:
Group Swim Lessons: Levels 1-4
For more information and to see if you qualify please fill out this form.
La fundación Beyond Barriers (BBAF) está trabajando para finalizar sus ofertas de becas para 2024. Hasta entonces, no ofreceremos becas. Lamentamos mucho el retraso.
Tenga en cuenta que las clases de natación para la sesión de primavera no se ofrecerán al precio BBAF.
Continuaremos aceptando aplicaciones y le informaremos tan pronto como tengamos más información sobre cuándo podremos reiniciar las clases de natación becadas.
Realmente nos encanta que usted y sus nadadores formen parte de nuestra escuela de natación y estamos emocionados por poder ofrecer clases subsidiadas lo antes posible.
Coaches & Instructors
Each of our instructors completes training with a master instructor trainer before beginning solo instruction. Our Master Instructors have over 5 years of experience teaching swim lessons. New instructors are cross-trained with current instructors, so all instructors are familiar with current teaching techniques and methods. All our instructors attend regular on-going training throughout the year, to develop them as instructors, swimmers and individuals and strengthen our swim lesson program.
Our Head of Swim School
Bri grew up in a family of competitive swimmers and water polo players, so her experience in the water started before she can remember. She swam competitively in Summer leagues up until high school where she played water polo and swam for the high school team.
Bri has been a swim instructor since 2016 teaching skills from novice to advanced for students as young as 4 months old up to adults. She has also been an aquatics manager since 2021 where she has trained and developed swim instructors while aiming to provide high-quality swim lessons. Bri adores children since growing up in her mom’s home daycare. She combined this with her passion for swimming to help every child gain confidence to learn life-saving skills in the water. She provides a safe and fun learning environment to encourage students to want to go past their comfort zone in order to become safe and better swimmers!
Arnecia has been teaching lessons since 2019. Her style of lessons is built on communication and creating a comfortable environment for her students. Arnecia understands that every swimmer is unique and tailors her teaching approach to meet their individual needs. By fostering open communication and building trust, she ensures that her students feel safe in the water so they can overcome fears and build on their skills in a supportive environment. Aside from seeing Arnecia in the water, you may also find her at the front desk, in the lifeguard chair, or on the pool deck coordinating swim lessons.
Hana has been teaching swim lessons since 2022. In her free time, she loves spending time in the water, swimming, and surfing. She enjoys working with children of all ages and seeing them progress in their swimming abilities. With Hana’s experience in swimming and passion for teaching, she creates a safe and fun learning environment for kids to learn and grow as swimmers.
Meet David, a swim instructor who’s not only engaging and fun, but is also patient while helping swimmers move out of their comfort zone. David creates a fun and supportive environment where students feel motivated to learn while improving their skills. David has been teaching swim lessons since 2022 and is also a Lifeguard and Deck Coordinator!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I schedule a swim lesson for my child?
A. Lessons can be booked online here for private or group lessons.
Q: Are there makeup lessons?
A: At this time we do not offer make-up lessons for missed classes. There are no makeups, credits or refunds for missed classes.
For classes booked individually (Adult, Private, One-off) cancellations made more than 48 hours in advance will receive a refund.
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement for swim lessons?
A: Our youngest age group starts at 6 months old. Depending on the class, there are minimum and maximum age restrictions in addition to skill requirements for safety and class efficiency. For more information and class descriptions, please visit Levels and Classes.
Q: What is the minimum age for lessons where the parent is not in the water?
A: 3 years old.
Q: I’m not sure what level my child is at.
A: If it is your child’s first time in swim lessons, they will likely be in one of our Level 1 classes. If your child has some swim experience, you can compare their current abilities to the skills in each level here. During the first group lesson, our instructors will take swimmers through an in-water progression to assess skills and confirm the appropriate level for your swimmer. The instructor and deck coordinator will decide which level best suits swimmers based on their abilities, comfort, and safety. If the instructor deems the group unsafe or not a fit for your swimmer’s swim level, your child may be removed from the class.
When in doubt, register for the lower level than what you’re considering. It’s easier (and safer) for the instructor to assess skills at a lower level because they typically review skills at a slower pace compared to higher level classes. If you would like an assessment at your first lesson, please let the deck coordinator know so that they can get an update from the instructor at the end of class. If we need to change your child’s level we can do so at no additional charge if space is available.
Q: Do you offer Adaptive Lessons?
A: Since we are still building our swim school after pandemic-caused delays, we do not have a program specifically for adaptive lessons. However, an adaptive lesson may be accommodated upon request. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Q: What days are you closed?
A: Swim School is closed on certain holidays. To see our holiday schedule for the current season, check out our schedule here.
Q: It is raining! Is my swim lesson going to be canceled?
A: Lessons continue rain or shine! In the event of lightning or thunder, the pool will be closed for 30 minutes following the last event. If we decide to cancel lessons, the payment method you used to book classes will be refunded at the end of the season.
Q: Can we meet our instructor prior to class?
A: We do not allow personal communication between clients and instructors. If you have a specific question or information you’d like your swim instructor to know, please let the deck coordinator know and we can pass along the information to the instructor.
Classes are taught back-to-back so instructors do not have time to chat between classes. If you need to speak with your instructor please keep the conversation brief so they are not late to start their next lesson.
Q: Can I join my child in their swim lesson?
A: Parents cannot join group lessons for Levels 1-4.
One parent/adult is required to be in the water with their child for Water Babies.
For private lessons, you can bring up to 4 people in your time slot. Please try to bring swimmers of similar abilities for efficient class flow.
Q: What should I bring to the lesson?
A: Swimmers will need their own swimsuit, goggles, and towel. If you do not have your own goggles, you may check our lost and found to borrow a pair for the lesson.
Q: Are there showers?
A: Yes, we have Men’s and Women’s bathrooms with locker rooms equipped with showers. Please keep in mind that children over the age of 6 must use their same gendered bathroom.
Q: My child keeps crying during their lesson. What should I do?
A: Don’t worry, crying is normal! There are many factors that can cause tears. Whether it’s meeting a new instructor, being in lessons for the first time, fatigue, or hunger, we have seen it all in swim lessons. Our instructors will not be bothered or surprised if they get a fussy child. This behavior usually tapers off once swimmers get more comfortable in the environment and feel more confident in their skills. While it’s tempting to put off or cancel lessons because your child keeps crying, don’t! Learning to swim provides life-saving skills that will last a lifetime and should not be neglected.
The best thing to do in this situation is leave your child with the instructor or deck coordinator and walk away out of sight from your child, “Out of sight, out of mind”! Bring something to distract yourself or take a walk around the performance pool (the one further away from the lesson pool).
Please do not sit on the edge of the pool next to the lesson. Sitting on the edge of the pool with a crying child reaching out to you from the platform is unsafe and distracting to the rest of the class. If the staff see an alternative solution to “out of sight, out of mind”, we will let you know, we’re here to help!
Q: My child doesn’t want to put their face in the water, can they skip this skill?
A: No. Learning to swim includes learning how to put their face in the water. While we won’t force a child underwater, we will adapt the skill in different ways to help ease their comfort such as pouring water over their head and blowing bubbles to work up to going underwater.
To help with this discomfort, it’s best to practice these skills at home or during our Public Open Swim. If you don’t have access to a bathtub or pool, you can practice these skills at home by filling a large bowl with water. Have your child practice blowing bubbles, working up to their “balloon face” to hold their breath.
Most children don’t like going under water because they’re inhaling through their nose. While breath control can be learned over time, it’s important to teach them how to blow out of their nose when this happens. You can practice blowing their nose into a tissue, and then remind them to do this if they ever get water up their nose.
You can check out YouTube videos for more tips for at-home practice!
All of our lessons are by appointment. Payment for lessons are due in full at the time of booking.
Registration for a new lesson can be done online by clicking this link.
Cancellation Policy – Private, Adult and One-Off Lessons
If you cannot make the lesson after booking, please cancel as soon as possible so that another student can benefit from the lesson.
Cancellations made more than 48 hours in advance receive a refund.
No refunds for cancellations made within 48 hours of start.
No makeups, credits or refunds for missed lessons.
Cancellation Policy – Sessions
15% non-refundable fee
Pro-rated cancellations are available minus all past sessions and 15% non-refundable fee
No makeups/credits/refunds for missed classes
Policy on swimmers booked in incorrect levels
If the instructor deems the group unsafe or not a fit for your swimmer’s swim level, your child may be removed from the class.
In this case only, the 15% cancellation fee will be waived.
“Double-Diaper” policy is required for students under 3 years old. This is a disposable swim diaper covered by a reusable swim diaper.
15 Minute Sunscreen Rule
Palo Alto Swim and Sport requires that swimmers apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to getting into the pool. This allows us to maintain optimal cleanliness to our facilities.
General Pool Rules
- No swimming allowed unless a lifeguard is on duty.
- Children ages fourteen (14) and under must be supervised by an adult at all times while at the pool facility.
- Children 5 years and under must have a parent/guardian in the pool, within arm’s reach at all times.
- Roughhousing, shoving, and dunking are not allowed. No pushing or pulling into the pool, hitting with noodles or other objects.
- No spins, flips, belly flops, back dives, or back jumps.
- No long breath holding, hyperventilating, or extended underwater swimming is allowed.
- No playing, swinging, jumping, or diving on stairs, ladders, or railings.
- No diving into the Instructional Pool. Jump in feet first, facing forward only.
- Water wings and other inflatable devices are not allowed. Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permissible and must be provided by the patron.
- Non-toilet trained children must adhere to the double diaper policy. They must wear a water-proof diaper and a diaper cover; a swim suit over the diaper counts as a diaper cover.
- Swimmers must wear proper swim attire at all times.
- No glass or ceramic containers are allowed anywhere in the facility.
- No running or skipping on deck. Walk at all times to avoid accidents.
- No unauthorized swim lessons or coaching.
- Please do not visit with or distract the lifeguards. If you have questions, inquire inside at the Front Desk.
- Only lifeguards who are properly trained are allowed on lifeguard chairs.
- No sitting on, pushing down, or swimming over lane lines.
- Kickboards, pull buoys and fins provided by Palo Alto Swim and Sport are for lap swimming only. They are not allowed in open swim areas.
- Starting blocks are for use by competitive programs only when directly supervised by a qualified coach.
- No smoking (including electronic cigarettes), alcohol, or drugs allowed in the facility.
- No food or drink on the pool deck. Eating is permitted at tables, benches and grassy areas.
- Bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates, scooters and other vehicles are not allowed to be operated in the pool area and must be walked while on deck.
- No dogs or other pets are allowed in the facility except service animals.
- Persons currently having active diarrhea or who have had active diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall not be allowed to enter the pool water.
- Changing clothes on deck is not allowed.
- In the event of an emergency, follow directions from the staff.
- Any action or behavior that is deemed unsafe or inappropriate by the aquatics staff will not be allowed. All aquatics staff have full authority over guests using the pool area and as situations warrant, they may enforce rules not listed.
- The Pool Manager on Duty may close the entire pool complex or any portion(s) of the pool complex, for any safety or maintenance reason.
- Please respect the rights of others to feel safe and secure.
- Please refrain from using profanity or offensive language, loud conversations or music, inappropriate public display of affection, or any other disruptive behavior
- Admission price is for one entry only. No in and out privileges.
- Palo Alto Swim and Sport, Team Sheeper, Inc. and City of Palo Alto are not responsible for any lost or stolen personal items and assume no liability for the loss or theft of a patron’s personal belongings.
- Lockers are provided to secure personal belongings. They are for day use only and will be emptied at the end of the day.
- Locker rooms will close 20 minutes after the pool closes.
- Emergency doors are to remain closed and be used in case of emergency only.
- Emergency doors, facility doors, storage areas, and safety equipment are not to be blocked by guests or objects.
- Please dispose of all trash in receptacles provided.
- Restrooms and locker rooms may not be used for loitering or other unintended uses. Cell phone use in locker rooms is prohibited
- Offices and areas marked as “Employees Only” are not for use by the general public unless approved by staff.
Swim School Program
- Program registration is specific to each program and does not include open swim or lap swim before or after the program.
- Only participants who are registered for a class or program may attend.
- Siblings of a participant may not join any class or program without registering.
- During a class or registered program, parents must wait in designated areas. Please respect the instructors, counselors, or coaches, as well as the other participants of the class by avoiding any interruptions.
- Participants and parents must follow all specific class and program policies unless otherwise specified.
- For programs that require parents to sign in and out their children, ONLY a parent or designated guardian (over 18 years old) will be allowed to pick up and/or drop off the child unless otherwise communicated with staff.
- Diving boards are for Open Swim use only.
- Only one person on the board at a time.
- Second person in line must have both feet on the cement waiting their turn. They may not start their dive until the previous diver has cleared the cone zone.
- The dive must be face front and forward off the board. No side or back or spin jumps.
- One bounce only.
- When resurfacing after the dive, the diver must return to the wall immediately but 8 feet away from the board (on the other side of the cone) and on the right side of the right board and on the left side of the left board.
- Ladders are to remain clear unless being used to exit/enter the pool.
- Slide may be used ONLY when a lifeguard is standing next to it.
- Slide is for children’s use who are shorter than the height of the slide.
- Slides are to be done sitting down only; no standing nor belly slides.
- Second person in line must wait with both feet on the cement.
- After completing a slide, the slider must clear the slide drop area immediately.
- A swimmer may exit the pool near the slide with a three tile clearance of the slide.
- The pool ladders may be used for entering and exiting the pool only. No standing on the railing.
- The ADA ramp is for use by physically challenged swimmers only. The railing in this area is to have five feet of clearance at all times.