Instructional Policies

New swimmers are welcome!

Before registering for swim lessons at Charles River Aquatics, you should understand the evaluation process and our factors to determine swim level placement.

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.

Evaluations are held at our Boys & Girls Club location 105 Allston Street, Allston at the following times:

PLEASE NOTE: swimmers will be expected to be in swim suits on deck and ready to get in the water at the time listed

Wednesdays 5:00

Saturdays 1:00

Sundays 4:00

If none of the above times fit your schedule, please contact us for available alternate evaluation times by emailing evaluations@charlesriveraquatics.com 

Tiny Tots
Tiny Tots program for children 6 months to 3 1/2 years of age (this class requires an adult in the pool with the child).
Splash

Splash class is for children 3 and up.  Children in Splash do not have a guardian with them and go with the instructor. If your 3 year old requires being carried to poolside, does not want you to leave the deck, is not toilet trained or will not put his or her face in the water, please wait another few months before enrolling.

Levels 2-7

New swimmers wishing to enroll in these Levels will need an in-pool evaluation. New students signing up for an incorrect level will be moved to a lower level if space allows. If there is no space, a refund minus $50 will be charged.

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.

Evaluations are held at our Boys & Girls Club location 105 Allston Street, Allston at the following times:

PLEASE NOTE: swimmers will be expected to be in swim suits on deck and ready to get in the water at the time listed

Wednesdays 5:00

Saturdays 1:00

Sundays 4:00

If none of the above times fit your schedule, please contact us for available alternate evaluation times by emailing evaluations@charlesriveraquatics.com 

Advancement

We want your child to gain the full benefits of our program. Every child is different and development may be varied. We respect these differences and encourage children to progress at their own rate, as some are more aware kinesthetically in the pool than others.

Therefore, please do not push your child or compare him/her to other children as it is common for swimmers to repeat the same level many times until a skill set is achieved. We want to foster a love of swimming and once your child masters the skills performed in the current class, then s/he will move to the next level.

Hands On Teaching

In order to properly teach swim lessons, CRA instructors will: manipulate children’s arms and legs in and out of the water, turn children’s heads for side-breathing, support children’s bodies for floats (both on their stomach and their back), help young children exit the pool, guide children into the water for diving, assist anyone afraid to dive into the water, and flip children’s legs over their heads for somersaults.

Equipment and Clothing

Goggles are required for children in Levels 1-7. (We do not require goggles for Splash Class, although it’s a good idea for the children to wear them. When a child’s eyes are protected, he/she is more willing to put his face/eyes into the water.) You can buy goggles at any sports store. We also sell goggles for $5.00 at the pool. We do not loan goggles, as this could lead to eye infections.

  • We do not provide towels.
  • One piece bathing suits are advised for girls.
  • Please avoid excessively long shorts for boys, as they create drag and hamper the child’s ability to swim correctly.
  • Hair should be tied back or a lycra, silicon or latex cap should be worn.
  • Swimmers in Level 4 and above are not allowed to wear swim shirts. These limit arm movement and cause excessive drag.
  • Swimmers in Levels 4/5/6/7 must wear a swim cap unless they have hair above their ears.
Class Sizes

There are only four swimmers allowed in Splash Class and Level 1.

Levels 2, 3 & 4 allows five swimmers.

Levels 5 & 6 allows six swimmers.

Level 7 allows seven swimmers.

We will not break this rule, as this is one reason why CRA is able to teach lessons so effectively.

Time Out Policy
Charles River Aquatics is committed to fostering a learning environment during our swim lessons. Children who are disruptive to the learning process by:

  • putting their head underwater while the instructor is giving directions,
  • swimming off the table or away from the wall without permission,
  • talking while the instructor is talking, -refusing to follow directions,
  • displaying unsafe behavior in the pool, on pool deck, or in the locker room,
  • or hitting, pushing, kicking, or spitting on other children or the instructor,

will be given a warning, to remind them about the rules and the consequence for breaking them. If the swimmer is disruptive again, he/she will be given a timeout.

Timeouts are supervised and handled by trained deck staff, where a conversation occurs about why the swimmer committed the infraction, why the infraction is unsafe, and what the swimmer can do differently next time. Our goal is to identify clear expectations of appropriate behavior and why safety, sportsmanship, fair play and respect are important values we should project in our actions.

Any swimmer who receives 3 timeouts in one lesson will be sent home early.

Important
Because half hour swim lessons are very tiring, children ages 3-6 years old are not allowed to enroll in more than one lesson/day. No child, regardless of age, is allowed to take more than an hour of lessons/day. This applies to children in L4/L5/L6/L7. However, children in any level may enroll in more than one lesson/week.

CONTACT CRA

617-939-8078

 

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