King County Parks offers swimming lessons that follow the American Red Cross "Learn to Swim" program and are grouped by age, and swimming ability. The four age groupings are:
Parent Infant and Parent Toddler (6 months - 3 years with parent)
Preschool (3 - 6 years)
Youth (6 - 14 years)
Adult (15 and up)
Preschool and Youth students who have not attended lessons in the six months prior to the start of a lesson session are required to have a placement test before registering for lessons. The placement test evaluates a student's readiness, responsiveness, and skill knowledge. Proper class placement is vital to a student's success.
We want every child's swimming instruction experience to be positive and fun filled. If you have questions or concerns about the instruction program, please talk to the Aquatic Coordinator, Assistant Aquatic Coordinator or your child's instructor.
Instructors teaching advanced level courses are certified Red Cross Water Safety Instructors (WSI). Instructors teaching Parent-tot and beginning level classes are certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors (WSI) or Water Safety Aides (WSA). All swimming instructors are certified American Red Cross Lifeguards.
Parent Infant and Parent Toddler (Ages 6 Months - 3 Years with parent)
The infant learning progression of this program provides a basic introduction to the aquatic environment focusing on the parent and child as one learning unit. Course Objectives: observation and practice of safe and effective use of floatation devices; introduction to supported movement and other skills in the water; positive exposure to water adjustment activities; and, introduction to appropriate water safety skills. It is important to understand that this program is not designed to teach children to become accomplished swimmers, or even to survive in the water on their own. The program provides information and techniques for parents to orient their children to the water and to learn how to safely supervise water activities.
Preschool 1 (Ages 3 - 6 Years)
Preschool Level 1 develops a comfort level in and around water, as well as a readiness for "Learning to Swim." Course Objectives: positive exposure to water adjustment skills; introduction to elementary propulsion in the water, and introduction to basic water safety skills.
Preschool 2 (Ages 3 - 6 Years)
Preschool Level 2 develops a comfort level in and around the water, as well as swimming skills. Course Objectives: develop floating skills: front and back; introduction to unassisted swimming; develop breath control -- rhythmic breathing skills and safety skills.
Preschool 3 (Ages 3 - 6 Years)
Preschool Level 3 introduces crawl stroke; combined stoke on the back and deep-water adjustment. Course Objectives: development of crawl stroke; development of combined stroke on back; adjustment to deep water and safety skills.
Preschool 4 (Ages 3 - 6 Years)
Preschool Level 4 further develops advanced swimming skills. Course Objectives: develop strength and endurance; refine crawl stroke and deep water skills; and safety skills.
Preschool 5 (Ages 3 - 6 Years)
Preschool Level 5 provides students who have completed the basic preschool series the opportunity to become efficient in advanced skills. Course Objectives: introduction to advanced swimming strokes and skills; maintain proper stroke technique for long distances; and increased awareness of personal water safety.
Youth 1 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 1 is an introduction to personal water safety education. Course Objectives: positive exposure to adjustment skills; development of skills basic to swimming; and introduction to personal safety awareness in and around the water.
Youth 2 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 2 introduces crawl stroke and combined stroke on the back. Course Objectives: introduction to crawl stroke and rotary rhythmic breathing; development of basic swimming skills on the back; rescue skills and safety skills.
Youth 3 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 3 introduces elementary backstroke, develops rotary rhythmic breathing and continues to refine and strengthen the crawl stroke. Course Objectives: further development of crawl stroke and rotary breathing; swimming in deep water and development of other deep water skills; rescue skills and safety skills.
Youth 4 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 4 emphasizes increased coordination and endurance. Course Objectives: further development of deep-water skills; increased endurance and refinement of crawl stroke and backstroke; introduction to breaststroke and sidestroke and butterfly; and safety skills.
Youth 5 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 5 promotes self-help skills and introduces advanced stroke technique and further develops endurance levels. Course Objectives: further development of elementary backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke; perform crawl stroke, backstroke and with increased distances; diving from diving board; introduction to self-help skills; and safety skills.
Youth 6 (Ages 6 - 14 Years)
Youth Level 6 polishes strokes so students swim them with more ease, efficiency, power, and smoothness over greater distances. Course Objectives: improved endurance and proficiency of crawl stroke, backstroke, sidestroke, and butterfly; flip turns, surface dives, and spinal injury management; and safety skills.
Adult (Ages 14 +)
Adult lessons focus on the novice swimmer and are structured to meet the needs of the individual students.