FAQ — Orca Kids


1How do we define “Swimming” and what is a “Swimmer?”
We believe that 'swimming' is a life skill, and a 'swimmer' is a person who has a total feeling of comfort in the water, comparable to that which they have on land.
2How do I sign my swimmer up?
The first step toward getting your child enrolled with Orca Kids Swim School will be to submit an online registration form: https://orcakids.net/registration/ Once your form has been submitted, we will begin looking for suitable classes for your swimmer(s), based on your preferences, and will contact you with options.
3How long are lessons?
Lessons in Seattle and Bothell are 45 minutes each. Lessons in Bellevue are 30 minutes each.
4How many times per week do they meet?
Most swimmers are in the water once per week, over a long period of time. This regime works well for developing permanence in learning skills needed to be safe in and around the water. In the long term, consistency over time will contribute greatly to swimmer safety. It is possible to swim multiple times per week, and if this is your preference, please indicate so on your registration form, or via email.
5How long are sessions?
-A unique feature of Orca Kids Swim School is that we offer Ongoing Lessons. This means that once you are enrolled in a class that works for you and your swimmer, you will be enrolled in that class indefinitely (until 30 day notice of disenrollment is submitted). -There is no need to re-enroll every 6-8 weeks, and swimmers will continue to study with the same teacher at the same day and time for as long as they wish. -The consistency of Ongoing Lessons contributes to permanence in learning, and moves children toward total independence in the water.
6When are classes offered?
We offer classes 7 days per week between our three locations. Most classes take place during after school hours (3-8pm), and some classes are offered on weekends (Bothell and Seattle only) between 9:30am-2pm.
7Where are classes offered
Bellevue Aquatic Center 601 143rd Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98007 Programs: Kids Swimming Lessons: Mon/Wed/Thurs/Fri 3-7pm The Bellevue Aquatic Center is operated by the city of Bellevue. It features 2 pools: a warm shallow water therapy pool, and lap pool that is 25 yards long 3-5 feet deep with a dive tank. Our lessons use both pools depending on the skills and needs of each class. Seattle Cloverdale and 55th Ave S Seattle Programs: Kids Swim Lessons: Mon 3:00pm — 8:15pm, Thurs 3:00pm — 8:15pm, Sun 9:15am — 12:45pm. This residential backyard pool has been enclosed by an Airdome to keep it warm and comfortable for swimmers. The pool offers a nice quiet setting with both shallow and deep water that is heated to 90 degrees. To ensure a quiet setting only one kids class is offered at a time. Bothell 23006 19th Ave SE Bothell Programs: Kids Swim Lessons: Tues/Wed/Thurs 3:30 — 7:30pm, Sat 10am -2:30pm This is a private indoor pool with many outdoor features like beautiful plants that surround the deck. The pool has both shallow and deep water. The water temperature in the pool is a consistent 90 degrees. Our classes are exclusive to this pool.
8At what age can we start?
Swimmers may begin lessons when they are ready to be in the water without a parent. For most swimmers, this is generally between 2.5-4 years of age. Beginning swimmers should be ready to communicate with instructors, and follow direction.
9What is your teaching method?
We work with swimmers based on their individual needs, and individual modes of learning, at a pace that best suits the natural inclination of the swimmer.

Our process is flexible and works toward serving the needs of the individual.

Every process starts with developing comfort, self awareness, and physical/mental control in the water.

Swimmers will first learn the essential skills for water safety and self preservation (resting and getting air whenever needed), deep water comfort (total independence), and later may choose to learn intermediate and advanced techniques like proper strokes, diving, and treading water.

We believe that children learn best when engaged in fun. We use concepts of play, games, science, and physics to nurture the natural curiosity of children, and encourage exploration in a safe environment.
10How do you deal with children that have a fear of water?
To truly learn to swim, students must be comfortable in the aquatic environment, know how their body works with the water, and not to be in panic mode when in the water.

Students that come to our program with fear must first develop a positive relationship with the water and trust in themselves.

We do not push students to move beyond what makes them feel safe, especially if they have had a negative experience. Pushing may produce short-term results, but does not ensure a safe swimmer.

It does not work to teach strokes to a person that is afraid as the information will not make sense and will not be usable when in an emergency situation.

We work gently with students who fear water to help answer all of their questions and allow them to safely experiment with the water to understand how it works with our bodies.
11How long does it take a child to learn to swim?
The average beginner will need 120-150 hours of guided in-water practice to reach a place of total comfort and independence in the water. The average swimmer will typically go from being a total beginner to an independent swimmer, possessing the skill and state of mind for independent swimming in 2-3 years. Considering that swimming is a life skill, this investment of time is well worth the return- a lifetime of safe and joyful swimming.
12What should my swimmer expect on the first day of class?
On the first day of class please arrive early so your child has enough time to get dressed, use the bathroom, get a feel for the building and activities, and to sit by the pool observing what others are doing. Allowing time for these steps is often very important to help children feel comfortable, not rushed, and ready for learning.

Since the lesson time is limited to a strict schedule, we want to spend as much of it in the water having fun as possible. Arriving a few minutes early ensures that the full class time can be used for learning and discovery.

Once the student is in the water the instructor will start developing a relationship with your child to get to know their comforts, skills, and personality.

Please let the instructor know if your child has any special needs physically, developmentally or in learning style.

The activities done during class will depend on the skill level of you child. Generally we work on water comfort, signature floating, body mechanics and alignment, and overall safety skills as appropriate for age/ability. Later work begins on competitive stroke building blocks.

At the end of class the teacher will let the kids know it is time to get out. Children need to leave the pool with their class (not going to another part of the pool to climb out) so that the instructor knows the student is back in your care. This is for the safety of your child and so the instructor can get the next class started on time.

After class talk with your child about the experience. If there is some concern or something scary for them please let us know so we make sure to address it and help them work through to a new understanding.
13What do we need to do on the first day of class?
Have your child dressed and ready to enter the water by the start of class.

Bring a towel, or a robe for your swimmer to dry off with once the lesson is over.

We strongly encourage swimmers to use goggles, as they are an excellent tool for developing water comfort, especially in the early stages of learning.

Swim caps are optional. Swimmers with long hair should consider using a swim cap, or putting their hair up while in the pool to help minimize interference.
14Do parents need to be in the water?
Parents will not be in the water with swimmers. It is very important that swimmers are ready to be in the pool without a parent. This is a critical component for teaching independence in the water.
15How do you evaluate swimmers?
Since our process is ongoing, lessons progress along with the swimmers. As they are ready for new information and concepts, these are introduced by the teacher as appropriate.

While we do not assign levels to our swimmers, as this concept is entirely arbitrary.

Parents are encouraged to contact the office for updates on the progress of individual swimmers.
16What do I do if my swimmer is ill?
If your child is out for one week due to illness we appreciate notice so we know why you were not there. This lesson will be considered a missed lesson, and is technically forfeit. You may request a Makeup Lesson. While Makeup Lessons are not guaranteed, we will provide them as the schedule allows. If your student is out for 2 weeks or more due to extended illness you can pay 1/2 price to hold your slot for the weeks they are out.
17What happens if we miss a class?
This lesson will be considered a missed lesson, and is technically forfeit. You may request a Makeup Lesson. While Makeup Lessons are not guaranteed, we will provide them as the schedule allows. If your student is out for 2 weeks or more due to extended illness you can pay 1/2 price to hold your slot for the weeks they are out.
18What happens if lessons are canceled?
In the event that a lesson is canceled on our part, a credit for the canceled lesson will be issued in the next billing cycle. Effectively you will not be charged for lessons we are not able to provide.
19What happens if we are out of town?
If you will be out of town for 2 or more consecutive weeks, you may request a ½ Price Hold, allowing you to retain your spot on the schedule, while only paying ½ price for the lessons missed. Please email the office to provide notificaiton.
20How do I cancel our enrollment?
Enrollment can be canceled at any time. We have a strict 30 day notice policy for all cancelations of enrollment, so please plan accordingly. When you wish to cancel your enrollment, please notify the office in writing, by email. Your last day will be set based on the date we receive your written notice.
21What are the cost of lessons?
Group Lessons (3:1 or 4:1): $23 per child/lesson
-Semi-Private Lessons (2:1): $32 per child/lesson
-Private Lessons (1:1): $60 per lesson
-Family Private Lessons (2:1 siblings): $60 per lesson
-Family Private Lessons (3:1 or 4:1): $65 per lesson
22What Holidays do you take?
The holiday schedule may change slightly from year to year. Most Federal Holidays are off days. There is a break the week of Thanksgiving, WED-SUN, and a two week Winter Break around Christmas and the New Year.
23How do I make a payment?
Payments are made online. Please follow the link on your invoice. If you wish to set up Automatic Payments, please call the office at: (425)-296-1214. All payments are due by the 1st of the month.

Still have questions?

Please, call us: (425) 296-1214