Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered below, feel free to contact us!
For those new to our program:
How do I sign up for lessons?
You can fill out our online registration request or you can call us at 503-292-1255.
No sessions—so when can I start?
You can sign up for our lessons or classes at any time! Our schedule is usually full, so we will probably need to put you on our wait-list at first.
How long will I have to wait for a regular weekly lesson?
It depends on what days and times you are available. The greater your availability, the sooner we can place you in a regular lesson. Weekdays after 4pm and weekends are in especially high demand. The average wait-time is 1–2 months, but several months is not uncommon. To get started right away, try our discounted drop-ins!
What’s the age requirement for private/semi-private lessons?
Anyone 3 years and older (including adults) can take our private/semi-private lessons. Children of 30 months can take private lessons, but only with select instructors. All children 4 months–35 months can join Baby & Me classes.
How many lessons does it take to learn to swim?
Swimmers can attend lessons for as long as they like, and every student is different. You should have a goal in mind when the lessons begin. Are you working to overcome a fear? To build confidence and safety skills? To improve technique, or maybe even work toward joining a swim team? Each participant’s lesson is catered to fit their needs and goals.
What’s special about your pools?
Our pools are a nice warm 90 degrees, the air temperature is kept around 88 degrees, and saltwater is gentler on the eyes and skin. This helps create a relaxing and comfortable experience for swimmers (especially little ones). Being comfortable helps students concentrate and perform. The pools are also shorter, which is less intimidating for children and beginner swimmers. A large staircase descends into the shallow end and is a perfect place for kids to sit and get accustomed to the water, pool, and instructor.
Saltwater pools—that means no chlorine, right?
This is a common misconception! Chlorinated water is legally required for all public pools; that’s the only way to keep things safe and sterile. In a saltwater pool like ours, the chlorine is derived organically from the salt as it breaks down, creating a natural and well-balanced chlorine which is much gentler on eyes, skin, and tummies. Most pools will artificially pump straight chlorine into their water, which can be much harsher (especially on young or sensitive skin).
Why do you require cloth swim diapers for babies/toddlers?
Because they are much more reliable than disposable paper ones. We see over 250 baby swimmers per week, so for everybody’s sakes it’s important to do everything we can to avoid accidents in the pool. The cloth suits are also much more comfortable to wear—not to mention cuter!
This swimmer is afraid of the water. How can you help them?
At FSS we offer lessons to all ages and abilities, and have techniques to ensure participants gain more confidence in the water. We believe in coaching swimmers through challenges, not forcing them. Don’t be discouraged if the first few lessons are rough! Remember that fear of water is, at its root, a perfectly logical fear and nothing to be ashamed of. It is very common but also very “treatable”. Patient persistence is the key. Over the years we have successfully helped a great many participants overcome their fear of the water, and nothing makes us more proud!
Can I request a specific instructor?
Absolutely! We cannot guarantee their immediate availability but can wait-list you. We are always happy to work with you to find a good fit with your instructor.
Why is there a 30-minute limit on lessons?
We have found that a 30-minute lesson suits youth and adult participants the best. After 30 minutes, lessons tend to lose productivity due to fatigue and decreased focus. Remember, you will work much harder one-on-one with an instructor than you would in a large group class!
Can I sign up for more than one lesson a week?
Yes! We have several families that come to the center twice a week for lessons. And you are always welcome to supplement your weekly lesson with as many drop-ins as you like.
Can my child take lessons with a sibling or friend?
Yes! You are free to put together your own group of up to four swimmers per lesson. It is best if the children in the lesson are close to the same skill level, but all our instructors are experienced in teaching children of varying abilities.
Why is it so hard to get in touch with you by phone?
Oh, so many reasons! We do our best to answer the many many daily phone calls we receive, but tiny office space + heavy (and noisy!) customer traffic = impossible to answer most phone calls, especially in the mornings when upwards of 20 persons come through our doors every 30 minutes! We can usually answer emails much more promptly. If you must call, try to do so in the afternoon or evening.
For our current swimmers:
How do I change my lesson days and times?
Please contact the office with your new preferred days/times and when you would like to make the change. We’ll do our best to move you as quickly as possible.
What if I need to miss a lesson?
Simply notify our office of the day(s) you’ll miss. If you give us 24 hours notice, you can schedule a make-up lesson (on a different day than your regular lesson). If you give us 48 hours notice, you can schedule a make-up OR receive a credit for the lesson on your next invoice (maximum of two credits per swimmer per month).
Why can’t I get credit for a short-notice cancellation? 48 hours ago I didn’t know my child would come down sick!
We understand! But without advance notice we have no way to try and recoup the cost, yet we still have to pay our instructor, overhead fees, etc. during your lesson time. In fact, if you compare other local swim programs, you’ll find that Farber actually has the most lenient cancellation policy around! (Most schools require you pay ahead of time for several months, and then if you can’t make it, too bad—no credits or make-ups offered at all.)
How do I schedule a make-up lesson?
Make-up lessons can be scheduled into any of our available drop-in lesson times. Check those out here!
How do I make a payment?
We currently accept: check and cash (exact change please), credit/debit cards in person or over the phone, and PayPal.
How do I stop or pause lessons?
Submit an exit form at least two days before the next lesson that you don’t want to attend. Form is available online or in our office.
Why can’t my child stay in Baby & Me Classes after turning 3? What if they are afraid, inexperienced, or have additional needs?
Time and again, we have seen that if a child is still having difficulty with some aspect of swimming at age 3, then it is all the MORE important that they progress to private lessons. To learn to swim, 3-year-olds with fears and additional needs require more professional attention than they can get in a group class where the instructor must divide their time equally between 6 students. If you believe your child truly cannot tolerate being separated from you, or your main goal for them is just to have fun in the water, then consider attending our Open Swims!