Frequently Asked Questions
How many days a week are lessons and how long is each session?
Lessons are attended 10 minutes a day, 5 consecutive days a week for approximately 6 weeks. The consistency of daily lessons is critical for learning efficiency. These are NOT traditional swim lessons! We are teaching highly specialized skills and it is very important to attend class every day. If you cannot commit to this schedule, you may not register until you are sure you can.
What time of day are you offering lessons?
Available lesson times vary from session to session. Currently we offer AM times (~7:30a start) and teach through midday. There is a week of afternoon slots scheduled into every session for returning maintenance and refresher students only.
While we would love to offer afternoon slots for new students to learn, it is not something we are able to offer at this time as moms of young children, one of us being a single mom. The first slots of the day are reserved for fellow working parents and we strive to offer as many slots as possible throughout the year while balancing our own families needs. We appreciate your understanding!
We are only available on weekends. Do you have weekend classes?
Lessons are 5 consecutive days a week so you will always need to attend lessons on weekdays. Currently and for the foreseeable future, we will be operating on a Mon-Fri schedule.
Do I have to get in the water?
Parents are not required to get in the water. Your instructor may suggest a time when it may make sense for you to join a lesson or two with your child, towards the end of the session, to learn how to play with them in the water while honoring their hard earned skills!
Do you give group lessons?
No, lessons are always one-on-one.
Is my child too old/too young for ISR lessons?
The ISR program is for infants and children aged 6 months-6 years, but really there is no upper age limit! Older children are just more likely to learn in a shorter period of time than the typical 6 week session. On the younger end, he or she must be 6 mos AND must be able to sit in an upright position independently.
My child loves/hates/is fearful of/has no experience in the water. Will he still be able to learn the skills?
Absolutely! We teach children to have a healthy respect for the water, and we work in very small increments each day. We present children with small achievable tasks and always set them up to succeed. They learn to trust their skills, and in turn, they gain an incredible amount of confidence in the water.
How much does it cost?
2021 tuition pricing is $1050 for a 6 week session for one student. Note lessons are 5 days a week for 6 weeks. A non-refundable, non-transferable $350 deposit is due at the time of slot selection to secure your slot via Venmo. Your remaining tuition balance is due in Week 1 of lessons.
The is a one-time registration fee of $105 which goes directly to ISR (NOT your instructor) to cover a comprehensive medical background check that you complete online when you register for classes. ISR’s staff of nurses reviews all the information in full to ensure your child can safely participate in lessons. One example that might prevent your child from being trained by ISR is a history of seizures. Registration links will be sent out approx 4 weeks prior to the start of lessons at which time you will pay the fee.
Sibling Discounts: Sibling discounts are available for 2 or more siblings enrolled in lessons at the same time. Tuition for the 2nd sibling is discounted by 10%, a 3rd sibling enrolled simultaneously is discounted by 15%. The one-time national registration fee mentioned above is $105.00 per child and is not subject to sibling discounts.
Why are ISR lessons so much more expensive than regular swim programs?
Great question! ISR has been researched and developed for 55+ years. It’s nationally recognized as the safest swim program for infants and children. Your children will learn life saving skills that traditional lessons do not provide. If you are looking for a swim class that focuses on socialization and play rather than safety and survival, you might consider traditional swim lessons.
1. ISR teaches your children to SWIM. There are no other programs in Pennsylvania that will teach your child to swim with his face in the water or offer any sort of guarantee about what he will learn. Many parents come to us after spending hundreds of dollars on traditional “swim” programs frustrated because their child doesn’t have any discernible skills after weeks, months, or even years of lessons.
2. You do not need to enroll your children into swim lessons summer after summer, year after year. Once they learn these skills, they have them forever. With maintenance and refresher lessons, they will retain their skills indefinitely. You end up spending more money over time on traditional lessons that are taught by former high school swimmers or college students trying to make some spending money over the summer. Speaking of teaching credentials…
3. Every ISR instructor undergoes 8 weeks of intense training. Hands on, in the pool with an ISR Master Instructor and students, learning the ISR method. For 8 weeks, we are in the pool 5x per week for several hours a day, for a minimum of 60 hours with ACTUAL students. In addition, we receive extensive hours of academic training in anatomy, physiology, child psychology, behavior and development, sensorimotor learning, and how each relates to the aquatic environment. Every instructor also maintains CPR and First Aid certifications, as well as annual recertification and testing to maintain our ISR certification and skills.
Lastly, if you add up what you’d spend in a traditional swim program for a few weeks during the summer – where he leaves the class with little to no skills – and then multiply that by every summer until he is 6 years old, this program costs significantly less and the value is infinitely greater.
What happens when a session of lessons is over?
Once your child completes the session, he/she is fully skilled to survive an aquatic emergency and in most cases has a successful rollback-to-float or swim-float-swim sequence. Despite being skilled, there is no substitute for adult supervision and parents should still employ layers of protection- pool fences, pool alarms, door alarms, etc.
Maintenance lessons are suggested for most students at a cadence of 1-2 one time, pay-as-you-go lessons per month when available. Refresher Lessons are highly recommended every 3-6 months to adjust your child's skills to their growing body. We strive to make Refresher and Maintenance lessons readily available in every session throughout the year to give your little one ongoing opportunities to practice their skills.
Once your child is around age 6 we can help make a recommendation for a swim instructor who can take their skills further....learning stroke, swim mechanics etc. should we determine they are ready and their self-rescue skills are not at risk of being lost by doing so!
What if my child cries? Will he develop a "fear" of the water?
Some children cry the first few lessons due to anxiety. He is in a new building with a pool he's never been to being handed into the water to a stranger - it's normal for him to be wary of the situation! It's important for us to teach your child to trust his/her instructor and eventually to trust the water. Many kids can't wait to come to lessons by the end of the first week!
Remember, fear is a learned behavior. We didn't come out of the womb afraid of spiders or water or large dogs. When someone has a negative experience that involves the fearful object or experience, fear is developed. Your child will only truly be fearful of the water if he or she has witnessed or experienced a traumatic aquatic event.
I don't want my child to cry under any circumstances. Ever.
ISR might not be the right fit for your family. Parents who have lost a child to drowning will tell you they'd give everything to hear their child cry again. Accidents happen to everyone. If it makes you uncomfortable to hear your child cry, think about what it would feel like to never have the opportunity to hear him at all. And more importantly, remember some of the reasons children cry...
How do I register?
Here is the registration process:
1. Read through all the information on this website. When you are ready to proceed, e-mail Jenna Porcelli at firstname.lastname@example.org. An auto responder email will come right back to you with next steps. Throughout most of the year the message will offer a link to any currently available schedules/slots or will instruct you to add your child's name to the waitlist to hear about upcoming enrollment opportunities as soon as they are available.
2. Keep your eyes peeled for email and social media annoucements about upcoming enrollment opportunities. When schedules open they tend to fill VERY quickly! Once you go through the process of selecting a slot you will need to secure it within 24 hours with a $350/student non-refundable, non-transferable deposit via Venmo.
3. About 4 weeks prior to lessons, you will receive a link to register your child with ISR (This is a one-time $105 fee for new students, $35 annual fee for returning students) as well as a link to your Parent Resource Handbook + various start docs from your instructor. Please read through and complete the required documentation prior to the start of lessons. Your tuition balance will be due in Week 1 of lessons.
4. You will receive an email from your instructor approx. 1 week before lessons begin which includes directions to the pool location, BUDS sheets information, ISR Policies, & a Welcome letter that contains many helpful hints and reminders to get your child's ISR lessons started.
That's more than I can afford. Are there other options?
Working out a payment plan is a great option for families who may be a bit overwhelmed at the cost, particularly with siblings enrolled, but are not candidates for a financial scholarship. Please inquire with your instructor about options to spread payments out a bit before and during a session.
There are also options to see if you qualify for an ISR scholarship via non-profit partners of ours, namely the CAST Water Safety Foundation and Live Like Jake. These organizations were created to raise awareness for drowning prevention and provide swim lesson scholarships to those who cannot afford them. Please inquire with your instructor if you think you may be a candidate for financial assistance and we will send you an application.
Where are you located?
We currently rent space at the indoor pools in the Newtown PA area. Our primary location is the beautiful indoor pool at the George School. Some of our instructors may also be holding lessons at the Newtown Athletic Club. Both facilities are conveniently located right off of the Newtown Bypass. When lessons are held at the NAC, both members and non-members are welcome.
In both locations, ISR students will have access to locker rooms which are right next to the pool, providing a space to get ready before & after lessons.
Please note we are a freestanding business and not affiliated with our rental pools beyond a partnership to utilize their space to help make the children of our community safer near water!
Will you come to my home to do private lessons?
For private lesson inquiries, email us and we can let you know if it's something we are able to work into the existing or upcoming schedule. We typically can only fit in one private stop in the summer session. Private lessons start at $350/week/student (no sibling discounts can be applied) and depending on location may incur an additional travel fee.
If you want lessons to be at your home for convenience purposes but without the private lesson premium, consider applying to be a summer host pool. Host families allow us to use their pool for a daily ~2.5 hour block of time, M-F in the 6 week summer session.
The perks of hosting are preferred choice of timeslot for the host family's children and the host family can enjoy a non-existent commute. Hosting is also a great way to "do your part" ensuring not only your own children get skilled, but to help us reach more children in your very own community.
Primary requirements are a convenient/centrally located location in Newtown PA, a heated pool to 86-88 degrees (by a heater, not just the sun!) a set of shallow end steps or sun shelf, and neighbors who won't mind a bit of "kid" noise. Email us for a full list of requirements for hosting!