An occasional series about how Foss Swim School operates.
Whether you are considering swimming with us for the first time or already a part of the “Foss Family,” you may wonder how we approach the enrollment process at Foss Swim School. If this describes you, here is our registration roadmap, along with some suggestions for would-be enrollees.
Understanding this process may put some of your questions to rest, and even show you some ways to improve your chances of swimming in your preferred time slot.
Step 1: Get into the system and view schedules
Even if you aren’t ready to sign up, you will need to have a Family Account on record. Existing swimmers, this is covered.
We’ve found that running lessons as a school and syncing with the school year calendar produces the best results. Yet, this also leads to a difference in length of each quarter. Here is how we think through the year.
Starting the Fall Quarter around the time schools go back to school leads us to finish our Fall Quarter around the time of Winter break. Typically that leads to 15 week Fall Quarters.
Because January is the start of the year and schools let our for Summer break around the end of May our Winter and Spring Quarters are typically 10 and 12 weeks respectively.
This leaves the Summer Quarter to be approximately 12 weeks and that rounds out the year.
Families select the quarter that matches their schedules to swim. Some families only swim at FOSS in the Summer. Others choose to swim the school year and not in the Summer. Either way, the quarters make it easy to make a commitment to Students and Classmates and Teachers to learn to swim and learn together for their time during that enrollment.
FOSS TIP: New families, you can create an account at any time with no commitment, and we recommend you do so in advance so that you can find classes that work with your family’s schedule and be ready to go when enrollment opens.
Step 2: Get in the know on tuition and installments
Tuition is calculated by class. As a result, 10 weeks of tuition for Winter calculates very differently than 15 weeks for Fall. It’s a 50% increase in the Fall. However, the cost per class is the same quarter by quarter, the difference comes in the number of total classes for the current quarter.
To assist families in making tuition more approachable we offer installment payments. Installments are available in up to three increments and are spread out by 28 days. Installment payments can be selected from your Family Account as well as through your requests with our Enrollment staff.
Step 3: New to FOSS? Get assessed
Before you sign up for a class, you will want to know what level is right. Students who are already in a class will know their next level recommended by the instructor. If you’re joining FOSS for the first time, or coming back after a hiatus, you have the option to sign up for a free assessment—we’ll let you know what level you’ll want to choose when enrollment opens.
FOSS TIP: Make sure you sign up for our email reminders, and check that they aren’t going into your junk mail—you’ll hear about registration at the pool, and we publish enrollment dates on our website, but emails offer an in-the-moment reminder when enrollment opens.
Step 4: Get enrolled
We operate our school by quarters – winter, spring, summer and fall—and offer both 12-week once-a-week classes and condensed 4-week swim camps each quarter at most locations. We add 2-week camps for the summer quarter. We open registration for all potential enrollees simultaneously approximately a month before each quarter starts. Go online and enroll as soon as you are able by requesting preferred classes for each swimmer.
FOSS TIP: Don’t delay—the time at which you enroll is one factor in the order in which your request is processed. If you missed the first day, though, don’t worry—while many classes do fill up, there are often great options available at other times.
Step 5: Get your enrollment processed
This is a small waiting game—as soon as enrollment opens, we start processing applications. Here’s where your status with FOSS matters. The order of processing is:
- Current Foss Families First – Earliest enrollments are processed first, first come first served.
- Former Foss Families Second – After currently enrolled families are placed, we move to returning students.
- New Foss Families Third – Next we move to new families, working hard to get them into the classes that most closely match their request.
FOSS TIP: If you are new and want to improve your position for the next quarter, consider enrolling in a camp this quarter. You’ll get the complete Foss experience in a few weeks, get a recommendation from a teacher who knows your swimmer, and gain status as a current customer. But don’t forget, you’re only a New Family once.
Step 6: Get confirmation
Log in to your family account or watch your email to check status—it may take several days to work through the priority list right after enrollment, especially for returning and new swimmers. If you don’t get your first choice, we will follow up by phone to confirm you are happy with your class or discuss alternative times.
FOSS TIP: Some FOSS families love classes at lower-traffic times, like evenings, because they are quieter and can become part of the nightly going-to-bed routine (they bring pajamas to change kids into.) Others find that deliberately staggering when multiple kids have class is an advantage. Read all our scheduling tips when considering which time is best for your family.
We hope this overview is helpful, and we look forward to swimming with you! See you at the pool!