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My Child's Class

Who will be in my child’s class?

The fellow students in your child’s class will have been selected on the basis of their similar ability in the water and their close age to your child. Occasionally the Deck Manager will move a child to another class that is better suited for him/her. Do not hesitate to talk with your Deck Manager if you feel your child will benefit by changing classes.

How long is each class?

All classes except for swim team are 30 minutes long. Although it’s possible to keep students in the water longer, experience has taught us that 30 minutes is about the longest you can expect a student to be challenged with new swim skills in the water.

What is the class ratio?

Emler swim classes can be no larger than 4 students for every teacher. Waterbabies and Advanced Waterbabies classes have six students for each teacher because they are parent participation classes. Statistically, the average class size at Emler is 3.3 students per instructor.

What do parents do during a typical swim lesson?
  • Check in at the front desk for attendance and to fill out any paperwork.
  • Encourage your child to use the toilet before lessons.
  • Get your child changed into a swim suit and/or swim pants.
  • Wait in the observation room for your child’s teacher to hold up a card with his/her name.
  • Walk your child out to his class. Pick up any necessary swim equipment your child uses in class.
  • Wait in the observation room during lessons or in a chair on deck near your child’s class. Please do not leave the facility during lessons. For safety, parents are asked to keep their eyes on their child at all times before, during and after the swim lesson.  No one is better at keeping a watchful eye on their child than a parent.
  • Watch for a wave from your child’s teacher near the end of the lesson to come out on deck for a demonstration of today’s goal.
  • Allow your child to slide down a slide to celebrate his/her successful swim lesson.
  • Allow your child to rinse off under the shower on deck. Wrap your child up with his/her towel.
  • Use a changing room to allow your child to change back into clothes.
  • Stop by the front desk so your child can get a stamp on his/her hand to celebrate developing swim skills.
Why doesn’t Emler offer trial lessons?

Emler tried to incorporate Trial Lessons into our program. It was an opportunity for parents to see how their child fit in to our swim lessons. We found Trial Lessons to be a failure on many levels and have suspended them except for Waterbabies and students wishing to try out a Swim Team practice.

Here are the difficulties we discovered with Trial Lessons.

  1. One lesson was not enough time for the child to bond with a new teacher. The trial student rarely gained enough comfort in 30 minutes to be his best.
  2. The regular students in the class intimidated the trial student. The skills of the regular students were already accelerated past what the trial student could do. This increased the trial student’s discomfort in swim class.
  3. The class routine could be disrupted by a “guest” student in a Trial Lesson. The visitor could require too much attention by the teacher, which resulted in a less successful lesson for the regular students.

In short we at Emler have discovered that Trial Lessons do not benefit most students.

The two exceptions are our Waterbabies Orientation Classes for babies under 3 years of age and Swim Team Trials for students who would like to try out one swim team practice. Emler customers are welcomed to participate in Trial Lessons during a Waterbabies Orientation Class or a Swim Team Practice.

Do you provide make up lessons?

Yes, each location offers make-up lessons. You can find your location’s make-up lesson schedule on their respective location page here on our website, or by asking the staff at the location you attend.

Makeup Lesson Policy

  • Makeup tokens will be issued for missed classes.

  • Makeup tokens are limited to 1 per month regardless of the number of absences in that month.

  • Makeup tokens can be redeemed for any open spot in your class level no more than 6 days in advance.

  • Due to our low instructor to student ratio, we cannot guarantee the availability of make-up classes.

  • Makeup tokens will expire 30 days from the issue date.

  • Makeup tokens will not be re-issued for missed makeup lessons.

  • No refund will be issued for unused tokens.

  • All unused makeup tokens will expire on your drop date if withdrawing from classes.  (with the exception of tokens issued for drops)

Is my child safe during swim lessons or at an Emler Swim School party? 

Managers, instructors and lifeguards participate in extensive, ongoing training to monitor pool water, swimmers, swim families and other guests. You may observe some regular drills performed during operating hours, which provide real-life practice. We continually evaluate our team on their performance and vigilance around the water. In addition, we would like to remind parents that although we have professionally trained employees, they are not a substitute for parental supervision. Lifeguards are provided at parties to monitor and respond to emergencies, but not to discipline or bathroom little ones. Safety is our top priority. Please always keep your eyes on your children.

Preparing for Emler

What do I need to bring to Bathtime Babies class?
  • Two reusable swim pants with elastic that is tight around the legs and waist
  • Swim suit for the parent who will be getting in the water with the baby
  • A change of clothes for the baby to be changed into after swimming
  • Car seat to set the baby in while the parent changes
  • A towel for the baby and a towel for the parent
  • Bottle or breastfeeding supplies. Baby might get hungry after all the exercise.
  • A plastic bag for wet clothes
  • Favorite bath time toy
  • A calm and relaxing attitude. Babies pick up tension from rush and stress.
Why does my child wear fins during lessons?

Emler incorporates fins during swim lessons because they assist in the improvment of body position and they enhance propulsion through the water. The younger the swimmer is, the more important the kick is.

Why does my child wear two fins, one fin or then no fins in his swim lessons?

Each semester the students are introduced to new strokes and longer distances than they have swum before. Utilizing fins near the beginning of a semester will give extra propulsion so the students can accomplish new strokes and longer distances. As the students become more proficient in swimming, we remove one fin and eventually both fins.

What are swim pants and why does my child have to wear them?

In an effort to protect all swimmers from Water Born Illnesses (WBI), Emler Swim School requires that all students under 3 years of age wear reusable swim pants. Wearing two pairs of swim pants with tight elastic around the waist and legs will contain a solid accident in the swimming pool and protect everyone from WBI.

My child has food allergies, who do I need to inform?

For children that have any food allergies or sensitivities, we require that they wear a water safe bracelet (provided by us) in class. Please inform the facility when you sign up for classes so we can document it in your child’s file.

Emler Swim School has used M&Ms or Skittles as an incentive in certain class levels for many years, but we are adapting to new incentives for the children to make sure we aren’t excluding anyone who might have an allergy to those food items.

Developing Swim Skills

Does Emler teach backfloat drown-proofing to babies?

Emler Swim School does not use backfloat drown-proofing to teach babies survival in the water. Although we agree that there is a real and present danger of drowning for toddlers, we disagree philosophically with this survival method of teaching.

Emler Swim School does successfully teach babies and toddlers to swim. More importantly we teach safety techniques that have resulted in hundreds of our students recovering from accidental falls into pools by saving themselves. We have devoted the past 40 years to developing effective young swimmers by using nurturing and effective teaching techniques.

We invite all families to visit their nearest Emler facility to witness babies jumping into the water and swimming back to the wall while smiling and laughing.

When will my child be able to swim?

99% of all students learn to swim alone the first semester they are enrolled at Emler. The award winning curriculum along with nurturing, professional teachers account for such a high success rate. The watchful eye of an Emler Manager can identify and assist those students who struggle reaching their swim goals. Each Emler student is evaluated for progress by a manager every four lessons (once a month).

If my child is ready to promote half way through the semester, can he move up?

Yes. Occasionally we’ll have students at Emler who progress faster than their classmates. The Deck Manager will assist you in finding a convenient class time at the proper skill level, should your child need a mid-semester promotion.

Teachers & Facilities

What type of training/certification do your instructors have?

Emler instructors participate in a rigorous Teacher Training Weekend including 16 hours of classroom training and in-water training. If the teacher trainee passes a final exam and the physical demands of this Teacher Training Weekend, s/he is invited to train for 40 more hours beside one of our veteran teachers in swim classes in the water.

Additionally, every Emler instructor is certified in CPR and First Aid.

Teachers of the Waterbabies Program undergo 12 more hours of classroom and in-water training to qualify as Waterbabies teachers.

Learn more about our teachers

Do Emler instructors undergo more training, once they become a teacher?

Yes. Emler instructors participate in several H2O (Huddle 2 Optimize) Meetings a year. These meetings include new teaching techniques and safety improvements. EAPs (Emergency Action Plans) are also practiced regularly by each shift of teachers, so Emler instructors are ready for an emergency.

What do you do to make sure the water is clean and safe?

Emler Swim School is one of the few facilities in town that has invested in the Ultraviolet Light system which is the only proven method to kill all dangerous germs such as Cryptosporidium.

Our pools are monitored continually and fed chemicals electronically the very moment a change in chlorine or pH is indicated. However, in case our equipment malfunctions, we also test our pool water manually every hour that Emler is teaching in the pool.

Learn more about our facilities


Can we enroll for just part of a semester?

Yes. As long as there is an opening in a class, a student is welcomed to join a class late in the semester. A Deck Manager is available to assist if needed to merge the student successfully into the class.

What is Priority Enrollment?

Priority Enrollment is a program offered by Emler that provides hassle-free enrollment and flexible payment options.  Emler Swim School is a semester-based, goal-oriented program.  There are three semesters every year scheduled very much like the school calendar.  This program allows swimmers to keep their favorite class time semester after semester, even though they promote to the next level!

These are the highlights:

  1. Keep your favorite class time.
    No more rushing to get the class time that fits your busy schedule. You keep your same class time each semester unless you decide to change. Nearly 80% of Emler students re-enroll, and most families request the same schedule.
  2. Convenient payment options.
    Semester in full or monthly payment options are available. All students are required to have a credit card on file. Your credit card will not be charged without your permission.
  3. Save time at the facility.
    No lines, wallets, or planners required to register! Current customers are given priority, so swimmers keep the same class day and time* as they promote to the next level. (*When promoting to classes that require the length of the pool, a slight time adjustment may be necessary.)
  4. You can opt out.
    If you choose not to swim with Emler in the next semester, simply alert the front desk before the Priority Enrollment payment date.

Pricing & Payment

Why are Emler prices higher?

Emler Swim School is one of the premiere swim schools in the nation. The 99% success rate in the first semester gives you the highest return on your investment in the BEST swim lessons in town! Other swim programs may be less expensive, but they require enrollment in several semesters before your child is swimming at goal. In the long run, you may spend less money on swim lessons by enrolling with Emler for one semester rather than paying for other programs for several semesters.

Because teaching swimming is our passion, everything we do is first class and costly. From training every instructor for 56 hours, and heating our pools to 90 degrees, to installing expensive ultraviolet light systems to keep our water pristine; you’ll see the value of your tuition immediately.

Teaching swimming is all we do…and we’re the BEST in town!

What is the registration fee for?

The registration fee helps with the cost of administrative expenses. We also pay for insurance on each student with this annual registration fee.  Registration Fees are non refundable.

Why do I have to pay for lessons in advance?

To reach the exceptional goals that Emler has set for your child requires commitment from everyone involved. Commitment from our teachers to honor the bond they have with each of their students until the end of the semester. Commitment from our managers to work on providing ideal pool conditions for your child to learn and commitment from the parents to finish out the semester until their child reaches the swim goals of the class. Paying in advance for the semester is one of commitments required for a professional, quality swim program.

Can Emler pro-rate the cost if we are going to miss several lessons in a semester?

The staff at Emler Swim School realizes that family obligations, religious holidays, etc. may cause our students to miss some of their lessons. Unfortunately, we are not able to pro-rate swim lesson tuition. However, Emler is committed to making certain that all students reach the goals of the level in which they are enrolled even if they have missed some lessons. Your Deck Manager will work together with you to make certain your child achieves the goals of the swim class.

Does Emler have payment plans?

Yes, Emler Swim School does provide a way for you to break down tuition fees into multiple payments. An automatic payment plan can be arranged with the office staff at any Emler Swim School location. There is a small fee for this service.

Learn more

Does Emler give refunds?

Emler swim lessons are fully guaranteed, and we are committed to delivering a world-class swim lesson and experience. We promise to do whatever it takes to ensure your child achieves the goals of the session in a positive, nurturing, and safe environment. In support of the Emler Guarantee and commitment, Emler continually invests in our facilities and equipment. Likewise, we commit significant resources to training our teachers and staffing each class for the entire semester as well as the next class level in subsequent semesters, so your child has a path to continuous improvement. As a result of these commitments, Emler’s lessons are non-refundable with only ONE exception:

  • Refunds will be issued to any active-duty military customer who requests a refund and provides evidence of permanent change of station (PCS) orders occurring during the registered semester