Swim Lessons

This page was last updated 11.28.22.
INDEX  - January through May Swim Lesson schedule, "Pop-up" Private Swim Lessons, FAQ's, description of each level, who is teaching, goggle policy, refund and missed class policy, Windy City Diving, Angela Aquatic Supervisor's  contact. 

Register HERE on December 6 at 10am for all three sessions through May. 




Pop-up Private Swimming Lessons | Ages 3 through adult.

►An à la carte experience

►No session dates to worry about (great if you travel a lot)

►One, 30 minute swim lesson with private one-on-one attention

►Hand select your swim instructors to match their teaching strengths with your goals. Perfect for: a preschooler who might prefer either a boy or girl teacher, supplement to swim team, or the beginner adult.

►Sign up for one -  or sign up for 10! 

►Tell your instructor what you want to work on and we'll make it happen

►Keep checking back if you don't find a time that works for you. We load more classes each week as we review our instructors' personal availability. 

►Tuesday PM, Thursday PM, Saturday AM



What should I sign up for?


Teen/Adult Group Lessons – Advanced. 13 yrs and up. 6:1 ratio. 30 min. This class is for the teen or adult swimmer who can swim at least one length of a 25-yard pool. You’re signing up for this class because you want work on: being more efficient with breathing, endurance tips, learn a new stroke, or maybe you want to compete in a Triathlon but you're not confident with the swimming leg of the race. This is a group class and we will utilize the diving well and lap pool. This class is taught by Margaret, who won her age group of the 2022 Chicago Triathlon. 

Teen/Adult Group Lessons – Beginner. 13 yrs and up. 6:1 ratio. 30 min. It’s never too late to learn basic water safety and survival skills. Swimming is a life skill. This class is for the teen or adult who is not comfortable in water. Flotation belts can be used to relax your muscles if you tense up in water. We will work on floating, breathing, kicking with a kickboard, elementary backstroke, and treading water (a basic survival skill). We will utilize a combination of our warm water pool, lap pool, and diving well. This is a group. There will be a total of 6 people.

Water Babies. 6-24 months with one parent in water with baby. 30 min. Other adults are welcome to watch class from side of pool. Start exposing your baby to a body of water bigger than the kitchen sink now! This will help them better adjust to swimming lessons in a few years. We use songs and games to relax your baby and hopefully squeeze out a smile. We introduce holding positions so you are comfortable holding your baby in water. This class is in our warm water pool.

Water Toddlers. 2-4 yrs with one parent in water with child. 30 min. We add on to our Water Babies class format by introducing skills that will take place in our Junior Swim School classes. For the last 4 minutes the instructor typically plays a game or we enjoy the kiddie slide and sprays. This class is in our Family Activity Pool. (pool with yellow slide). If your 3 or 4-year-old is comfortable/happy in a pool, consider signing them up for Junior Swim School which is with no parent in water to give them that extra push of independence in water.

Junior Swim School (JSS). 3-6 yrs. 3:1 ratio. No parent in water. 30 min. For most – it’s the first time a child enters a pool without a parent so we begin by making your child feel comfortable. This may look like simply focusing on getting the face and hair wet at first, which can be scary for some. Then progressing through supported floats, bobs, kick board use, and eventually swimming 3 yards with no assistance under water. No goggles. See below why we recommend no goggles at this level. There are three levels in JSS – Snails, Turtles, Jellyfish. If your child completes all Jellyfish skills, we can move them to our Swim School Program if that works for your schedule. Our instructors DO play games to relax your child and hopefully squeeze out a smile. This class is in our Family Activity Pool (the pool with the yellow slide). 

Swim School
. 5-12 yrs. 6:1 ratio. 30 min. A group environment to motivate your child. Children are evaluated on the first day and grouped with kids of a similar skill set. Our first level begins with correct face and body position, floats, and opening eyes underwater without goggles. Your child will then progress through levels where all the swim strokes are introduced and eventually working towards treading in deep water, dives, and flip turns. The instructor typically plays a game using swim school skills for the last 4 minutes. This class is in our lap pool. Diving well is used to complete some skills in our higher levels.   

LEVELS - there are nine levels in Swim School. There may be children in your child's group at a slightly different level than your child. Our instructors teach to all levels in their group.



My child would like specifically either a boy or girl instructor.


We recommend considering “Pop-up” Private Swim Lessons which give you the option to hand select your child’s teacher. It is not possible to select a specific instructor for group lessons.


Why doesn’t my child have the same teacher each week?



Our goal is to pair your child with the same teacher for the entire session.

Your child may have a different teacher for one of two reasons: an instructor calls in sick and there’s a substitute or an instructor has put in a day off request. Instructors are usually putting in a day off request for studying or because they have a game or meet for their high-school sport or club. 


Snails – Junior Swim School
-enter the pool. 
-be comfortable when someone splashes their face.
-want to put their face in the water on their own.
-blow bubbles. 
-float with assistance. 
-stay in water for entire class time.
-pool safety rules.
-kick with kickboard 5yrds w/ assistance
-practice holding breath
-bob up and down

Turtles – Junior Swim School
-push off wall with assistance.
-kick with kickboard.
-float – 10 seconds wo assistance
-swim under water 3yrds.
-jump into water w/ assistance.
-open eyes under water.
-touch bottom of pool 3’ deep.

Jellyfish – Junior Swim School
-hold breath 10 seconds
-jump in water and swim back to wall with no assistance
-willingly go under water and retrieve objects from bottom
-start using arms

Dunkers – Swim School 
-Sometimes children begin swimming lessons for the first time at age 6. We keep them in Swim School because of their maturity level, size, and age; however, we may be working on the same skills as Junior Swim School above. 

Underwater Explorers
-kick with kickboard for 10yrds.
-front crawl arms
-back stroke arms

- two backstroke switches wo assistance.
-two front switches in one breath with form.
-elementary backstroke arms with flutter kick

-elementary backstroke kick w/ kickboard.
-3 backstroke switches.
-3 front switches in one breath
-elementary backstroke arms w/ flutter kick 10yrds

High Seas
-coordinated elementary backstroke.
-proper front crawl w/ side breathing.
-straight-arm backstroke

-breaststroke arms w/ flutter kick
-breaststroke kick w/ kickboard

Deep Sea Journeyers
-coordinated breaststroke 1 pool length
-backstroke, front crawl, elementary back stroke 3 pool lengths
-scissor kick w/ kickboard.
-surface dives
-tread water 4 min.
-open turn
-survival float 4 min

Kings of the Ocean
-backstroke and front crawl 4 pool lengths. 
-dolphin kick
-flip turn

Lifesaving Leaders
-all strokes except butterfly 100 yards
-butterfly 15 yards
-tread water 5 min
-throwing assist


Who is teaching my child? Almost all of our instructors are currently high school or college students. Their energy is through the roof and they love their jobs and working with kids. Many are high school and college swimmers and quite a few are interested in a career specializing in early childhood and/or teaching. We aim for our swimming lesson program to be a highlight of your child’s school year. And that is only possible because of our young staff. For many, this is their first job and they are eager to succeed.

To goggle or not? We recommend NO GOGGLES in our Junior Swim School program. Why?

  • Becoming dependent on goggles will not help your child adapt and feel comfortable in water as they grow older.
  • Opening eyes underwater is a skill in Junior Swim School.
  • Goggles are also not allowed on our diving boards or slides. We want your child's first experience going off the diving board to be positive and feel familiar underwater. Often times the child who panics after going of the diving board for the first time has never felt the sensation of being underwater with no goggles. 




Cold weather and rain:

Yes - we do run our swim lesson program at our outdoor locations in cool temps and rain. There is no minimum temperature.


Swim caps. We know, we know... swim caps are not pretty. But we're not here to put on a fashion show, we're here to learn proper swim strokes. If your child has long hair please have them wear a swim cap.  Even if your child has short hair a swim cap can be very beneficial. Bangs can cover the eyes which throws off proper head alignment. Long hair in a pony tail can get caught under the armpit when swimming front craw and back stroke. This can alter the entire body position which can affect the outcome of a child's stroke for years to come. We can give you one on the first day if you don't have one.

REFUND POLICY. We begin scheduling instructors for work a week in advance to insure we have enough instructors to meet the child/instructor ratios listed in the descriptions and to provide staff with their work schedule a week in advance. Most of our instructors are in high-school and/or college and adjust their school and sport schedules to be present for lessons. To receive a full refund (less the $5 processing fee) all refunds need to be requested HERE at least one week before the first class. With a few exceptions (such as illness with a doctor's note) refunds will not be provided once the first class of the session begins.

MAKE-UP POLICY. There are no make-ups for missed classes. Sessions run back to back. There is not a week off or break in-between sessions to accommodate make-ups. Make-ups cannot be done on a different day, location, or time than what you signed up for as each class has a maximum capacity aligned with the number of instructors pre-scheduled.  Refunds are not provided for the value of one lesson if you miss or don't show up for a day in a session. 

TRANSFERRING TO A DIFFERENT CLASS. If your schedule changes after you register and you'd like to transfer from one class code to another - please call Angela 847-577-3029. If there are openings in another day/time/location for the same class format, a transfer can be processed. This would need to be done before the first day of a session. 



No class dates. Class fees already reflect no class on these days for the session you are signing up for. You are not being charged for these days. ***No class dates for diving are different than swim lessons. 

  • October 8
    October 10
  • October 31 – have fun trick-or-treating
  • November 22
  • November 23
  • November 24


CLICK HERE to register for Windy City Diving Lessons

Level 1 
The beginner diving class is an introduction to the sport of springboard diving and is designated to teach the safe and proper way to use the springboard. Any individual 8-18 years old who has an interest in diving, can swim comfortably in deep water, and dive in head first off the side of the pool deck into deep water can take this class. Students will be taught a forward approach and a back press. They will progress to forward and backward dives as well as other skills based on ability.

Level 2
The intermediate and advanced diving classes are for those divers who already know how to do a proper diving hurdle and back press. The divers will be taught new skills and tricks based on their current skill and ability. *Prerequisite - Must have previously participated in a level 2 lesson or have gymnastics experience. Must also be able to perform a back fall in entry without a spot.

Level 3 Team
Diving club will be offered to those students who have shown the skills necessary to move beyond the intermediate diving lessons, or who have already been on a high school diving team. These divers are looking to learn new tricks to improve their diving list and are willing to compete.


In the event that diving or swim lessons cannot run in the water due to mechanical issues or a fecal incident: The Park District swim classes are designed to include out of water instruction and safety procedures which are called a "Rain Day." Each session is allotted 1 Rain Day. Participants should still come prepared to get in the water should the issue become resolved during class. 

In the rare case of more than one "Rain Day" per session, the lesson may be canceled.  Refunds will be handled by our Guest Services Coordinator and participants need not fill any additional forms or information. A refund will be placed on your household account for future use. Please note that all refunds will not be processed until the end of your class’s session. 


Angela Neill
Aquatic Supervisor | Swimming and Diving Lessons, Water Exercise



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