Frequently Asked Questions

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

Does my swimmer need an evaluation?

We will evaluate swimmers when we first meet them at the start of lessons and other programs and begin working on the appropriate skills with the swimmer. Covid-19 Operational Procedures do not allow for pre-program evaluations.

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.


CRA levels are unique.

Our levels to not align with Red Cross or other common program guidelines.

We base our levels on the technical accuracy of the swimmers movement and often isolate a movement to create correct muscle memory before layering on the next skill.

We do not work on endurance or swim great distances in lessons. We create efficient, safer and fasters swimmers.

What is the tuition for group lessons?



All group swim lessons are half hour and $100/month

Tune Up programming is a full hour and $100/month

How am I billed for tuition?

Tuition is billed during the first week of the month.

Begin by creating an account with CRA, registering your swimmer(s) and entering payment information.  The first tuition payment will be deducted on the first of the following month and your swimmer’s first lesson will be on or after the first of that month.  (For example—a swimmer is registered on October 20, first tuition payment is November 1, first lesson is later in the first week of November).

After the first tuition payment, deductions occur during the first week of the month through June.  If you wish to cancel, please email your request to CRA requires 30 days’ notice for cancellation and does not prorate tuition.


A one-time tuition payment is due at 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.

All persons with hair 6 inches or longer must wear swim caps at all times.

All students enrolled in CRA swim lessons, Levels 3 and higher plus Tune Up, must wear swim caps at all times.

All athletes practicing with swim teams must wear swim caps at all times.

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

CRA requires 30 days notice to drop School Year  Season group lesson enrollment and we will not prorate tuition for any month. 

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

To change or cancel please email

Does CRA offer refunds or make-up opportunities for missed lessons?

CRA is unable to offer refunds or make-up lessons. 

Please review CRA’s Cancellation & Changes Policies for details.

How does CRA communicate important information?

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?
Are instructors consistent?

At CRA our goal is to maintain a consistency of instruction.  While a student will generally have the same instructor throughout the course of a level, he/she will occasionally have a substitute or a change in teacher.  As a student advances in level, he/she will also experience new instructors. Each instructor brings something new to the learning experience of the student.  At every lesson, instructors make detailed notes on each swimmer, guaranteeing continuity of instruction. All of our instructors are carefully trained in CRA’s technique-based instructional method, maintaining the high quality of our program. 

Can I request a specific instructor?

We welcome requests for specific instructors and, while we cannot guarantee, will attempt to accommodate.  All of our instructors are carefully trained in CRA’s technique-based instructional method. We know your student will thrive with any of our instructors!

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 he/she still enroll in a clinic or camp?

YES! Many of our students begin with us unable to swim. As long as your swimmer is at least 4 years old, he/she is welcome to attend our camps and clinics.

At CRA we create efficient, confident swimmers!

Can parents stay and observe their swimmer?

Due to safety restrictions, only swimmers and staff are allowed to stay in the building. Parents/guardians must exit the building after dropping off their swimmer(s).

Where can I view my swimmer's progress report?

You can view your swimmer’s progress report by logging into your CRA account at and clicking Evaluations.

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

There is no set timeline for learning to swim with CRA.  Each swimmer is a unique learner and individually tracked through the levels.   As skills are achieved and consistently demonstrated, students advance.

What happens when my swimmer advances to the next level?

Once requirements for advancement are satisfied, your swimmer immediately begins working on higher level skills without disrupting their class schedule.

More questions?

Contact Sarah at or call at 617-939-8078