Aquatic Center Classes

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American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program

In an effort to provide better instruction to our participants, our Learn to swim program is limited to 12 children per class. All classes are held Monday through Friday, for approximately 40 minutes each day, with the last few minutes being free/play time. The last day of class is a fun day and the slides are turned on for that day only. Please keep in mind when your child passes one level, it does not necessarily mean that they are immediately ready for the next one. (Levels IV and up swimmers may consider a few private lessons between group lessons). This will allow for the child’s coordination and strength to grow without feeling overwhelmed by not being able to rapidly pass through the next set of classes.

Please read the following carefully to register your child for the appropriate class. When a child is misplaced, every attempt is made to move them. However, sometimes the class sizes do not allow this and a child may have to stay in a class that is too advanced or simple for their capabilities.


This course is a water orientation class designed to help the adult learn the proper techniques for teaching swimming skills through games, songs, and individual instruction. Children must be at least 6 months old and under 3 years of age to be in this course. An adult must accompany each child.

Preschool I

This is the most basic course in our program. Students are taught the foundation skills such as blowing bubbles, assisted floating, and use of the kick-board. Children must be 3-4 years of age.

Preschool II

Students learn to be more independent in the water. The participant must be very comfortable in the water and capable of submerging their face and holding their breath. They work on the front and back floats with little assistance from the instructor. Deeper water is introduced along with the primary skills of the arm stroke. Children’s ages range from 3-5 years of age.

Preschool III

This class continues to build on the skills the child already possesses. Participants will begin coordinating basic strokes and will work on underwater and deep water skills. By the end of the session they should be able to front and back float with no assistance.

American Red Cross Program

The Red Cross has updated their swim lesson program. Listed below are the highlights for each level. Each child’s ability will be accessed the first day of the class. Staff will then determine if the child is in the appropriate level. If the need arises, we will try to accommodate by moving the participant to the appropriate level, if there is room.

The prerequisite for each level is the successful demonstration of the skills from the preceding level, except for Level 1, which has no prerequisite. Each level of the Learn-to-Swim includes training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency, in addition to the skills outlined below:

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills

  • Enter and exit water safely
  • Submerge mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Exhale underwater through mouth and nose
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object
  • Change direction while walking or paddling
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front with support
  • Explore floating on front and back with support
  • Explore swimming on front and back using arm and leg actions with support
  • Use a life jacket

Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills

  • Enter water by stepping or jumping from the side
  • Exit water safely using ladder or side
  • Submerge entire head
  • Blow bubbles submerging head in rhythmic pattern
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object in shallow water
  • Float on front and back
  • Perform front and back glide
  • Change direction of travel paddling on front or back
  • Roll over from front to back to front
  • Tread water using arm and leg motions (chest deep water)
  • Swim on front, back, side, using combined arm and leg actions
  • Move in the water while wearing a life jacket

Level 3: Stroke Development

  • Jump into deep water from the side
  • Dive from kneeling or standing position
  • Submerge and retrieve an object in chest deep water
  • Bob with head fully submerged
  • Rotary breathing in horizontal position
  • Perform front and back glide using two different kicks
  • Float on front and back in deep water
  • Change from horizontal to vertical position on front and back
  • Tread water using hand and leg movements

Level 4: Stroke Improvement

  • Perform a dive from a standing or stride position
  • Swim underwater
  • Perform feet-first surface dive
  • Perform open turns on front and back
  • Tread water using sculling arm motions and with different kicks
  • Perform the following:
    • Front and Back Crawl
    • Breaststroke
    • Butterfly
    • Elementary Backstroke
    • Swim on side using scissors-like kick
  • Perform compact jump into water from a height while wearing a life jacket

Level 5: Stroke Refinement

Perform the following:

  • Standing dive
  • Shallow dive, glide two body lengths & begin front stroke
  • Tuck surface dive
  • Pike surface dive
  • Front flip turn
  • Backstroke flip turn
  • Front and back crawl
  • Butterfly
  • Breaststroke
  • Elementary Backstroke
  • Sidestroke
  • Tread water with two different kicks
  • Learn survival swimming

Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency

  • Front Crawl-100 yards
  • Back Crawl- 100 yards
  • Butterfly- 50 yards
  • Elementary Backstroke- 50 yards
  • Breaststroke- 50 yards
  • Sidestroke- 50 yards
  • Tread water with hand in deep water- 5 minutes
  • Demonstrate survival swimming- 10 minutes
  • Demonstrate a feet first surface dive and retrieve an object from a depth of 7 feet

Lifeguard Training Class

This course certifies participants as professional’s lifeguards. The course covers such subjects as public safety, public relations, facility management, aquatic emergencies, and includes CPR and First-Aid components. Certification is based on written and physical skill test, ability to react to accidents, and decision making abilities. To participate, individuals must meet the following prerequisites:

  1. Must be at least 15 years of age.
  2. Swim 500 continuous yards using the front crawl, breaststroke and sidestrokes.
  3. Retrieve a 10 lb. brick from at least 7 ft. of water.
  4. Tread water for 2 minutes without use of hands.

These skills will be tested the first day of class. Anyone unable to perform these skills will be given a refund.

Water Safety Instructor (WSI)

This course certifies qualified candidates as an American Red Cross Instructor for the Infant/Preschool through, Water Safety Aid courses. Candidates must be at least 17 years of age and have a strong knowledge of swimming and water safety. This course is approximately 36 hours in length, which will be spread over a 2 to 3 week period.

For more information or questions about which level is appropriate for your child, call the Parks and Recreation Office at 319-385-1475.


All participants must wear regulation swimming suites. T-shirts over the suit, cut-off jeans or sweat pants are not allowed.


Parents are not allowed near the pool edge or on the deck during lessons, unless enrolled in a Parent/Tot class. Parents may however, sit in the concession area as long as they are not disruptive to the child’s class. Most children listen and perform better when they cannot speak with or easily see their parent or guardian. Those with questions may speak to the Lesson Coordinator during the class.

Swim Lesson Registration

Registration for all aquatic classes begins on April 1, 2020 for mail-in registrations and May 1, 2020 for walk-in registration. Please refer to page 9 for the fees and deadlines for all the aquatic programs offered by the Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Department. If you have suggestions for aquatic programs that we do not currently offer, please contact us and tell us your suggestions. For more information on Aquatic Programs or Facilities, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 319-385-1475.

Swim Lesson Changes/Cancellations

A change of registration form must be completed to change a class. Changes to swim lesson registration will no longer be accepted by phone. All forms must be completed at the Parks and Recreation office, located in City Hall. A one-week notice prior to a lesson beginning is required to receive a refund for a cancelled lesson.

Class Cancellations

Classes will not be cancelled unless severe weather are reported. Due to the heated water, air temperature and or light rain will not affect lesson times. Chance are taken when registering for any outdoor program, therefore, refund will not be grated and lessons will not be made up due to the weather.

Private Lessons

Private lessons will be offered at an organized level of instruction. Lessons will be offered at a specific time for 5 consecutive, 40-minute lessons. Written request for instructors will no longer be accepted. It is our finding that a child gains more experience and confidence through working with a variety of instructors throughout the summer. Must be 5 years of age or older.