Program Information

Program Procedures, General Info, Pool Facilities, FAQ’s, and Other Pertinent Information.  You’re in the Right Spot!

Program Procedures

  • Payment for the entire month of scheduled lessons is due upon the first lesson.  If full payment is not provided at the first lesson of the month, your child will not be allowed to swim.  Refunds/reschedules/credits are only available if absence is due to illness or emergency and notification was given prior to the lesson.
  • All children must be under the direct supervision of an adult at all times before and after class.
  • Please encourage your child to use the restroom before and after class.
  • Arrive on deck, suited up, at least 5 min. before the lesson.
  • Please have your child wait on deck until their class is called.  Children will enter the pool at the steps in the shallow end.  They MAY NOT enter the water or sit on the steps before the teacher is ready to call them in.
  • No flotation devises, arm floats, or flotation swimsuits.
  • You will need to closely supervise them 100% of the 15 min. play period. No cell phone use during their play period.  WE DO NOT SUPERVISE THE CHILDREN DURING THE 15 MIN. PLAY PERIOD AFTER CLASS.  PARENTS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ON DECK ACTIVELY SUPERVISING CHILDREN.  YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR SAFETY AND WELL BEING DURING THE PLAY TIME.  The teachers have started the next class and are engaged with those children.  Please help your children return toys and equipment they play with, to keep our area tidy and ready for the next class.
  • All lessons are 30 minutes, with the exception of the Stroke Development Class.

General Information

  • Swim Wear
    The popular boys’ suits that hang down low on the leg are not the best for learning to float. They weigh the body down. Choose lightweight fabric and get them as short as possible.
    Swim diapers are required for all children who are not completely potty-trained.
  • Goggles
    All children must learn to open their eyes underwater, even in the salt water, chlorinated pools. This is a HUGE safety skill. If a child falls into a pool unexpectedly and opens their eyes, they can see the wall and reach for it. The majority of children’s pool drownings occur within 2-3’ of the pool edge. Swim America emphasizes underwater eye opening. Once a swimmer consistently opens eyes underwater, goggles (not face masks) are strongly encouraged. Skills will advance more quickly when swimmers can see clearly underwater. Calm Waters Aquatics has quality goggles available for children to wear during their lesson. Children may wear their own goggles.
  • Hair
    Long hair must be tied back or put in a swim cap.
  • Sun Protection
    There is no truly waterproof sunscreen, but one can always try! For the best sun protection swimshirts are recommended. There are short and full sleeved shirts with UV protection. Children can float very well while wearing one.
  • Safety
    The pool deck and the locker rooms are extremely slick. Please have your children WALK at all times.
  • Practice
    It’s a great idea to spend family time at the pool to practice swim skills as they are learning. Whenever possible, practice without flotation equipment, arm floaties, etc. They are convenient for safety, but inhibit the prone position and give children a false sense that they can float vertically, with head out of the water when they are not wearing them. Practice bubble blowing, breath holding, face in while supported on front, and ears in while supported on back, independent swimming skills for the older children.
  • Drinking Water
    Bring a bottle of COLD water for your child to enjoy during class. It does get hot in the pool some days at Healing Waters.
  • Other Calm Waters Programs
    Adult swim lessons are available if 3 or more adults express an interest. Private swim lessons for 3 yrs. and up (availability limited).
  • Cancellations: **No cancellations accepted unless due to illness or emergency. 

Pool Facilities


  • Classes are offered for PLPOA residents or relative sponsored children with a pass or punch card only.
  • All facility rules apply to our swim lesson families.
  • Students swipe their membership card at the front desk.
  • There is no attendance list for parents to check off at the front desk.
  • There is no additional admission fee.

PLPOA Rec Center



  • There is no attendance list for parents to check off at the front desk.

Quality Inn

What is Swim America?

It is a learn-to-swim program developed and franchised by the American Swim Coaches Association. There are four age divisions in the Pagosa Springs Swim America program.

Each has its own curriculum.

  • infant-toddler
  • preschool/kindergarten
  • school age
  • adult
What does Swim America teach?
  • Parenting Water Babies is a parent/child program with classes for 18-36m, babies and toddlers. The classes are designed to teach comfort, confidence, safety, as well as introductory floating and propulsion skills. In these classes, the parent is in the water with their child. Swim America instructors teach parents how to teach these introductory skills to their babies and toddlers. The 18-36m classes are taught in chlorinated pools. Four classes meet once a week for one month. The cost is $56 and includes pool admission for parent and child for each class.
  • Preschool/Kindergarten Program is for children ages 3-5, and most 6-year-olds who have not yet started first grade. Children are in the water without their parent. There are ten levels of skills. Preschool/K students learn floating, safety, and modified techniques for front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke and butterfly. Lots of interactive toys and teaching equipment keeps it fun and exciting.
  • School Age Program is for children ages 6-18. There are ten levels of skills. Progressions start with floating for non-swimming children and move into swim stroke technique for the four competitive strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, as well as two lifetime strokes: sidestroke and elementary backstoke.
  • Adult Lessons are tailored to each individual’s personal goals – overcoming fear, floating, self-rescue, leisure strokes, and/or competitive strokes.
How long are the lessons?

30 minutes for most classes. 

Stroke Development Class is 1 Hour. 

How many lessons will it take for my child to learn to swim?
Each child who joins the program comes in with their own level of comfort, or discomfort in the water. Some children are already floating. Others might be fearful. Swim America is a self-paced program. Each individual enters their respective curriculum of progressions based on their present skill level. Fearful children spend their first lessons adapting to their teacher and the aquatic environment before striving for independent floating skills. Children who are comfortable in the water but have no independent floating skills will progress more rapidly. Every child is unique. Swim America is a goal driven program. Each lesson is designed to help the children achieve the goals in their current Swim America level. Swimming skills are like any other sport skill. The more opportunities to practice the skills, the faster the child will aquire the skills.
How many lessons should I sign my child up for?
This depends on a family’s goals for their child. Most families reserve one lesson per week. Some children swim twice a week. There are a few children who come to as many lessons as possible as swimming is their primary activity. Other families take lessons for a concentrated period of time then pursue other family activities. Keep in mind that physical skill mastery requires repetition.
I have more than one child. They have varying abilities and are different ages. Do they have to be in different classes?
Only the Parenting Water Babies classes have specific times and dates. For all other ages, classes are made up of differing ages and skill levels. Because Swim America is goal oriented, every class is instructed according to the needs of each child. Siblings can come to the same class time yet be learning skills appropriate for their individual readiness level.
What do I do if my child cries?
Stay calm. Just know that your child’s teacher, and every mom there, empathizes with you and your child. Walk or carry your reluctant child to the pool edge. Avoid negotiating. Reassure, encourage, then without hesitation, lower your child to their teacher. Walk away and find a chair as far away from the class as possible. Avoid eye contact. If crying persists more than 5 min., leave the pool area to a location where you can hear your child but they can’t see you. Crying might temporarily escalate when you leave. Above all else, don’t cave! Our teachers would NEVER do anything forceful with your child and will try to keep him/her calm for the duration of the class utilizing trust-building activities. When you hear the crying stop, wait a bit, then return to the pool and sit away from the class. Give your child a big smile and a thumbs up! It’s more than O.K. for a child to cry when uncertain, separating from you, in a new environment, or when fearful. The teachers are very patient and understanding.
How much does a lesson cost?

All prices listed include pool admission for students.

Preschool, School Age, Adult lessons 

Lessons at the hotels cost $14 each.

Family rates at the hotels are as follows per lesson:

     1st child = $14

     2nd child = $12

     3rd child = $10

     4th+ child = $8

June lessons at the PLPOA Recreation Center are exclusively for PLPOA members with a Rec Center monthly pass, punch card, or membership. The cost of lessons is $1 less than prices listed above.


Parenting Water Babies 4-week sessions

one lesson per week

$56 for one baby and one adult


Discounted rate = $8 for the following:

  • children who are differently abled
  • children raised by their grandparents
  • foster children


Little Ripples (Stroke Development Class for School Age Leves 7-10)

per month = $44

Private Lessons

Private lessons are limited…

  • one student = $32
  • two students = $54
How do I pay for lessons?

Phone payment via credit card or debit card will be taken when your reservation has been verified. Susan will call you to process your payment. You will be billed for one month at a time if you are reserving more that one month of lessons. You will be billed the week before a new month for successive months of enrollment.

What is the student:teacher ratio?
The Swim America standard is 5:1. Here in Pagosa Springs, classes are 3:1, sometimes an even lower ratio in order to provide quality instruction and adequate individual practice time.
What qualifications do your teachers have?

Program Director, Susan McKnight, is licensed by ASCA and owns/operates the Swim America franchise in Pagosa Springs. Susan has been an aquatics professional for 40 years as a coach, teacher, instructor trainer, facility operator, swim school owner and director, aquatic exercise instructor, and certified AquaStretch facilitator.

Lead Teachers are Swim America Coaches certified by the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA).

Site Supervisors, Krisha Doocy-Fuchs and Anika Thomas are additionally trained and certified by ASCA to supervise the lessons and teachers at their assigned facilites.

Teaching Aide Volunteers assist our certified staff members with class organization, safety supervision, skill demonstration, and support positions. They are closely directed and mentored by our lead teachers and supervisors. They are interested in pursuing teacher certification at a future date.

How do I sign up my child?

Click here!

About Us

Water is everywhere! In Pagosa Springs, we are blessed with natural hot springs, an abundance of rivers, lakes, streams, and so many opportunities to enjoy time in and around water.

Learn more about our program history, our director and instructors.