Why choose CRA?

We are a competitive technique-based program dedicated to building a solid foundation for every person to continue with swimming as a life-long sport. CRA challenges each swimmer to have the most efficient technique possible, while also supporting their growth as a person. Through each of our different programs, we have your entire family covered from Tiny Tots to Triathletes!

With an emphasis on both water safety and stroke development, CRA has a comprehensive approach to developing proper technique. Our on-deck coaching support, small class sizes, and detailed progress notes on each swimmer ensure an individualized experience with proven results. All instructors at Charles River Aquatics are provided with extensive, ongoing training in alignment with our philosophy for high-level instruction and coaching. Our positive, encouraging environment, coupled with a cumulative, tiered curriculum, assures swimmers achieve their goals in the water while maintaining an efficient technique.

The Charles River Aquatics Dragons Swim Team is a comprehensive swim program dedicated to teach, train, and motivate age group swimmers to excel at all levels of the sport. We are committed to providing a positive team atmosphere conducive to individual development and growth while fostering life skills and empowering each swimmer to achieve his or her potential within the sport. We foster sportsmanship and fair play and demand respect for others both on our team and in the larger community. With an emphasis on developing an efficient technique from an early age, our youngest training groups begin at five yeas old. Our emphasis is on teamwork within and across the program while simultaneously encouraging swimmers to enjoy the sport as individuals.
Charles River Aquatics Masters Team aims to provide an environment where swimmers ages eighteen and over can improve their fitness and technique while also meeting new friends and training partners within the Masters Swimming community. CRA Masters is one of New England’s premier programs and offers training options for all levels of dedicated Masters athletes and triathletes. Team members can choose from any of our 16 workout sessions offered each week as each workout is tiered to accommodate swimmers of all abilities. Whether you are looking for a competitive team to train with or just looking for a new fitness routine, CRA Masters has something for everyone looking to be involved in the swimming community.


Contact Sarah at or call at 617-939-8078

Do swimmers new to CRA need an evaluation?

Welcome to CRA!

Before registering for School Year Season or Summer Sessions of group swim lessons at CRA, you should understand the evaluation process and how we determine swim level placement.

Enrollment for Camps or Clinics do not require an evaluation prior to attending. We will evaluate your swimmer within the first few minutes of the program.

ADULTS: Please read our Adult Level Descriptions and determine where you fit best. You will be evaluated at your first lesson and will begin working on appropriate skills for your level.

CHILDREN: Our Children Level Descriptions help explain what skills are taught in each level, and what skills need to be accomplished to move to the next level.

When considering the appropriate level for your child, please read the following requirements.

CRA levels are unique

We highly recommend the following placement into our program for newcomers:

6 months to 3 yrs old: Please place in Tiny Tots

Age 3: Please place in Splash Class

Age 4 and 5: Charles River Aquatics has done extensive research on 4 and 5-year-old children that were new to our program. All 4-year-olds and 95% of 5-year-olds who are with us the first time have been evaluated as Level 1 swimmers. Therefore, if you are new and your child is ages 4-5, we recommend that you sign your child up as a Level 1 swimmer.

Age 6 and above: Evaluations are mandatory for new swimmers thought to be in level 2 or higher.

If you have looked over our Level Descriptions and believe your child is Level 2 or higher, you will need an evaluation prior to registration.

Please schedule an evaluation by emailing

How much do group lessons cost?



Tiny Tots, Splash, Level 1, 2, 3 | Half hour classes: $100/month

Levels 4, 5, 6, 7, & Adult | Full hour classes: $150/month

Billing will be monthly on the 1st.

Once you create an account, register your swimmer and enter your payment information your first payment will process on the first of the next month and YOUR FIRST LESSON WILL BE ON OR AFTER THE 1st of the FOLLOWING MONTH.

Once you register for your swimmer’s spot you will be automatically charged the 1st week of each month through June unless you email the REGISTRAR to cancel. CRA requires 30 days notice for cancellations and will not prorate monthly charges.


The total cost of these multi week session programs are charged upon registration.

What should swimmers wear?

One piece suits for females and comfortable board shorts for males. Swim shirts are not recommended as they can obstruct the full range of movement necessary when swimming.

Goggles are required for levels 1 and above and we encourage Splash swimmers to wear them as well.

Long hair must be tied back if the swimmer is not wearing a cap.

How do I cancel my class or change the day and/or time?

You can request changes at any time but moves mid-month will incur a $10 admin fee per registration change.

CRA requires 30 days notice to drop enrollment and we will not prorate tuition for any month.

To change or cancel please email

If I miss a lesson, can I get a refund or make up lesson?

Please be sure you understand the following before registering

  • CRA will issue no refunds or credits for missed or cancelled programs.
  • CRA offers no make-ups, nor a class change for a day.
  • CRA will not prorate a month of lessons if you cancel mid-month.
  • The only exception is if CRA has cancelled a program due to inclement weather or pool issues. Under these circumstances we will offer a free swim opportunity.
How does CRA communicate important info?

CRA provides important information about schedule changes and new programs by e-mail and social media. Time sensitive messages are sometimes emailed, texted and/or communicated through phone calls. It is recommended you do not opt out of emails, texts or phone calls as we only use these methods to communicate important info such as class cancellations and will never share your information.

When are lesson black out dates?
Am I assured the same teacher every week?

Your child will generally have the same teacher for their level/day/time. Subs will fill in when the class instructor is unavailable. Instructors will change as your child moves up in levels. All of our teachers are well qualified and trained in the CRA technically focused method. Each instructor is provided the detailed notes on each swimmer that we collect at every lesson. We believe that instruction from more than one individual is extremely helpful because students learn in different ways.

Can I request a specific instructor?

You are welcome to request specific instructors and we do attempt to accommodate, but CRA cannot guarantee you will get your preference. All of our teachers are well qualified and trained in the CRA technically focused method and detailed notes are recorded on each swimmer and follow them through each CRA program.

If a swimmer is afraid, how will CRA help?

Having fear associated with water is not unusual for children and adults alike. We understand it can take a little extra encouragement to get some swimmers comfortable and we make every effort to ensure they have a positive experience.

My swimmer is a true beginner. Can I still enroll them for a clinic or camp?

YES! Many of our participants begin with us unable to swim. As long as your swimmer is at least 4 years old they are welcome to attend our camps and clinics.

Let CRA turn them into efficient, confident swimmers!

Can parents stay and watch their swimmer?

Wellesley Sports Center location has spectator seating on the upper level of the facility. Only staff and swimmers are allow on deck during programs.

Doubletree Hilton location does not have on-deck seating but has a viewing window. We will invite parents to observe on deck occasionally.

Boys & Girls Club location does have on-deck seating for group and private lessons. We ask that families continue to uphold our deck policy and keep their distance and watch from the seats and do not walk around on the pool deck aside from going to the locker rooms. Unfortunately, we cannot have spectators during school break programs, clinics or summer camp.

Where can I see my swimmer's progress report?

You can view progress 

How long does it take to pass to the next level?

Everyone learns at different rates and we cannot estimate a timeline for any swimmer. We will not move a swimmer up to the next level until they have consistently achieved all skills in their current level.

What happens when my swimmer moves up a level?

If all requirements are satisfied, then your child will immediately begin working on the higher level skills and be moved to a group working at the higher level at the same day/time whenever possible. The only occasion there will be time changes is when a swimmer moves from half hour Level 3 to full hour Level 4.

More questions?

Contact Sarah at or call at 617-939-8078