Like schools everywhere, Foss Swim School is committed to providing a variety of learning environments to suit our students. For most students, we are big believers in the group learning found in our once-a-week quarterly classes and 2- and 4-week long swim camps, but we know that isn’t for everyone.
Whether because of the way a student learns best, or to achieve highly specific results, sometimes private and semi-private swim classes are best. These small lessons also offer an alternative to families who want their child (or children) to have less exposure to large groups due to COVID-19 concerns, but still want to stay on their Swim Path and enjoy the healthy activity swim school offers.
First, the facts:
- Private classes are one-on-one sessions with a teacher, while semi-private are 2-on-1 (compared to our typical group class ratio of 3:1 or 4:1.)
- A semi-private class must have two students to form; generally two friends, siblings or a parent and child will be enrolled together.
- Tuition is higher than for a standard class, simply because you are receiving more individualized instruction.
- The classes generally follow our Swim Path curriculum, learning the same skills in the same order. The techniques and speed of learning may be identical to the group class if the student can learn that way, or may be adapted to meet the student’s need.
- Like our other offerings, private and semi-private classes have a set schedule, not a drop-in policy. Often these times are during quieter periods of the day, when there is more lane availability.
- Availability of these classes may be limited by pool and teacher availability.
When should I consider private or semi-private classes?
If a group class is an option, we will always recommend that first. But some of our families have found private swim lessons or semi-private swim classes are the best choice in certain circumstances.
- Health concerns: While we look forward to the day when viral infection is not a major concern in our communities, we know some families prefer to reduce exposure to larger groups as much as possible, especially for unvaccinated children.
- Extreme fear of water: Some students need to overcome significant fear before learning to swim. Students can work exclusively on acclimation in a very personalized manner in private lessons. Often, once this fear is overcome, group classes become an option.
- Special needs: Students with special needs can learn to swim like anyone else, and often can be accommodated in group classes. In some cases, a learning disability, physical disability or behavior pattern makes private or semi-private lessons a better option, where students can learn at their own pace, get more attention and customize the learning process. Learn more about swimming classes for special needs here.
- Distraction concerns: Among those with special needs, we often encounter students who are on the autism spectrum or have attention disorders. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, private and semi-private classes are also often scheduled when the pool is quieter and less overwhelming from a sensory perspective.
- Adult and teen swimmers: When adults and older children or teens join us for learn-to-swim or swim improvement classes, they often do have some swimming experience, and may need to focus on specific skills (or unlearn bad habits.) Private and semi-private classes allow for that customization.
- Competitive swimmers: People who swim competitively, whether middle or high schoolers or adults, may seek to refine their technique outside their team. These highly-customized classes draw on the coaching experience of some of our teachers.
The bottom line: Flexibility, personalization and a controlled environment
If your situation has you considering private or semi-private swim classes, we encourage you to contact your Foss Swim School to learn more. Prices for private and semi-private classes are posted on each school’s location page.
The first step will be a free preview class, where we can evaluate current ability and needs. We’ll also take extra time to talk about how these types of classes will benefit the student and discuss how these lessons fit into the swimmer’s overall Swim Path.
Together, we can use all the tools available to help your student become a more skilled and confident swimmer. We look forward to seeing you at the pool!