By Jon Foss, co-founder, Foss Swim School It’s been more than 20 years since we founded Foss Swim School with the goal of helping kids learn to swim well for safety, fun and the benefit of a great life skill. But parents ask – rightly – about how we operate and how we can deliver swimmers, guaranteed. One way we ensure success is the way we organize our classes, schedule and content. Why do we set up classes as quarters? It’s a natural question. More than two decades of experience have convinced us the quarter’s system is the right one – in fact, we even tried a monthly fee model and found that quarters were simply superior in terms of swimming skills gained. Here are some reasons why:
- Clear progress: By offering many, narrowly focused levels with clear goals, we can ensure kids are picking up the right skills in the right order to learn to swim well. Levels focus on can’t-miss skills – in the FOSS System, you need to master them before moving on, and having a level where that skill is a key outcome means no child moves on too soon for their development as a swimmer.
- Well-matched classes: Can you imagine a second-grade classroom where a teacher would be expected to teach a different group of kids day in and day out? It’s the same in swimming – mixed, open-ended groups may result in teachers holding back strong swimmers or giving too little time to weaker swimmers. Teaching FOSS levels in quarters helps us match your child with other swimmers of similar age and skill.
- Tangible commitment: Families are busy. Everyone at FOSS understands that. We believe that offering parents a clear commitment to a specific class for a set number of weeks, we encourage regular attendance and progress and give families a natural break between quarters to adjust schedules. Our quarters also coincide with school and other activities so families can balance schedules.
- Strong relationships: Instructors and students form bonds. Instructors learn the strengths and needs of their students and adapt accordingly to meet the level’s goals. Students form bonds and learn from consistent peers too. It’s part of why term based learning is the backbone of our education system. In an ongoing class, instructors and students move in and out and compromise continuity and quality connections – core components to learning.
- A basis for guarantees: Did you know FOSS guarantees your child will learn to swim? With distinct levels taught in quarters, we can track progress and deliver on our promise. On occasion, we actually EXPECT kids to repeat levels – that’s how we ensure they have critical skills. If they need to repeat a level twice, that’s OK. Their progress will not necessarily line up with the school year. However, if a third (and/or subsequent) quarter is required, we have a range of services designed and targeted at serving your swimmers advancement. That’s how strong our commitment to teaching your child to swim well is.