FAQs

Do you have make up lessons if my child has to miss a class?

Because of the close relationship between the Shepard teachers and their students, make-up lessons with another instructor are not as effective in swim lessons. However, Shepard does not want our students to fall behind in their daily goals. Therefore the Deck Manager is available to observe students who have missed lessons. If a student has fallen behind in skills, the Deck Manager will assist with catching that student back up with the rest of the class.  Also, we do provide 12 make up lessons per calendar year only if there is a class opening.  Make up lessons can be requested on the parent portal or scheduled on the ipads at Shepard.  We also offer a free family swim in place of a make-up lesson.  Make up lessons are not guarenteed and can scheduled 1 week prior to the make up class.

What is the class ratio?

Shepard swim classes are small, our ratio is 4:1.  Our waterbabies and waterbabies + classes have 6:1 ratio because they are parent participation classes.  We excute small class sizes to maximize the students swim instruction and minimize student wait time between turns. 

What do parents do during a typical swim lesson?

  • Check in at the front desk for your instructors name and to fill out any paperwork.
  • Encourage your child to use the toilet before lessons.
  • Get your child changed into a swim suit and/or swim diapers.
  • Wait in the observation room for your child's teacher to hold up a card with instructors name.
  • Encourage your child to independently walk to class. Pick up fins and belt if needed, deck managers and assistants will help your child if needed.
  • Rinse off in warm shower before lesson, we don't allow dirty feet in the pool from flip flops in the summer.
  • Wait in the observation room during lessons, you can view your child through the glass.   Please do not leave the facility during lessons.
  • Watch for a wave from your child's teacher near the end of the lesson to come out on deck for a demonstration of today's goal and update.
  • Allow your child to rinse off under the shower on deck. Wrap your child up with his/her towel.
  • Use a changing room to allow your child to change back into clothes.
  • Stop by the front desk so your child can get a stamp on his hand to celebrate his/her developing swim skills.

What are swim pants/diapers and why does my child have to wear them?

If an effort to protect all swimmers from Water Born Illnesses (WBI) we require that children who are not potty trained or age 2 and under wear reusable swim pants made by iplay ony (even if fully potty-trained and 2).  The disposable diapers alone do not contain solid accidents in 92 degree water.  Wearing a disposable diaper covered by an iplay brand reusable diaper will help protect everyone from WBI.  You may purchase swim pants/diapers in our swim shop.

What is the registration fee for annually?

The registration fee helps with the cost of administrative expenses. We also pay for insurance on each student with this annual registration fee.  In return we offer currently registered families only discounts on photography, family swims, and birthday parties.

How long is each class?

All classes except for swim team and water aerobics are 30 minutes long.  Swim team and water aerobics classes are 1 hour.

When will my child be able to swim?

Most students learn to swim alone quickly while they are enrolled at Shepard.  The award winning curriculum along with nurturing, professional teachers account for such a high success rate.  Our managers watch and identify and assist those students who struggle reaching their swim goals.  Each Shepard students is evaluated for progress by a manager every four lessons (once a month).  Students typically pass a level every 16 weeks.

What if my child cries?

If your child cries, it doesn’t mean they are not ready for swim lessons.  They may be adjusting to the separation from mom and/or dad, getting accustomed to a new environment and instructor, or just having an off day.  This is very normal behavior.  As lessons continue the anxieties become less evident and the fun begins.  If your child shows excessive fear it is important to not stop lessons and vital to continue until they conquer the battle.  Always reassure your child they are in a safe environment and give them praise to help them feel comfortable.  Your child will be rewarded after the fear has been overcome if you as the parent are persistent.   

What age is my child ready to learn to swim?

The earlier you start your child the more likely they are to accept the water and will learn to swim sooner.  Also, when starting swim lessons early less fear is proven in students.  We have a free bathtime babies class from Birth-5 months of age which prepares babies for swim lessons at 6 months.  Many Bathtime babies choose to move up to our waterbabies class sooner than 6 months. 

What can I do to help my child learn?

Be involved and understand why we are working on certain skills and provide time for practice.  Get excited about your child’s progress no matter how small it is.  The more positive reinforcement the child has the more self confident they will be.  You can be their greatest motivator!  Talk to you child often about how proud you are and what a good job they are doing.  You can also come to family swim to practice every friday evening 6-8 pm. 

What do you do to make sure the water is clean and safe?

Shepard Swim School is one of the few facilities in town that have invested in the Ultraviolet Light System which is the only proven method to kill all dangerous germs such as Cryptosporidium.  We also use salt water helping those with allergies and sensitive skin.  Salt water is not extreme like the ocean, it is a settle salt that feels like soft water and doesn’t fade swim suits and tarnish hair.  We also test our water 3 times a day and submit weekly bacteria samples to ensure the best quality water for our students.

Who will be in my child’s class?

The fellow students in your child's class will have been selected on the basis of their similar ability in the water and their close age to your child. Occasionally the Deck Manager will move a child to another class that is better suited for him/her. Do not hesitate to talk with your Deck Manager if you feel your child will benefit by changing classes.

Can we enroll at any time?

Yes, you can enroll at any time.  Monthly billing will be prorated for the remaining classes that month.

Why does my child wear fins during lessons?

Shepard incorporates fins during swim lessons because they impove body position and enhance propulsion through the water.  The younger the swimmer is, the more important the kick is.

Why does my child wear two fins, one fin then no fins during swim lessons?

Beginning swimmers start with fins.  We gradually take the fins away as they progress.  Fins will give extra propulsion so the students can accomplish new strokes and longer distances. As the students become more proficient in swimming, we remove one fin and eventually both fins.

Why are Shepard prices higher?

Shepard Swim School is one of the premiere swim schools in the nation.  We use a curriculum that has a 99% success rate in which gives you the highest return on your investment and the BEST swim lessons in town! Other swim programs may be less expensive, but they require enrollment in the same class several times before your child is swimming at goal. In the long run, you may spend less money on swim lessons by enrolling with Shepard rather than paying for other programs for several classes.  

Our curriculum is licensed allowing Shepard Swim School to be the only place in our area to use this top notch program.  Other Swim Schools in Michigan and Texas using the same Curriculum pay double what we charge and all have multiple locations with over 2,000 students at each location.

Because teaching swimming is our passion, everything we do is first class and costly. From training every instructor for many hours, and heating our pools to 92 degrees, to installing expensive ultraviolet light systems to keep our water pristine; you'll see the value of your tuition immediately.  Swim lessons can prevent your child from drowning which is our main goal, we have been told by customers that swim lessons are priceless!  

Does Shepard give refunds?

In cases of medical emergencies, with doctors note, Shepard Swim School will give a credit for future swim lessons.

Shepard doesn't issue refunds.  If you cancel your lessons by submitting a withdrawl form 30 days before your last day your billing will stop.
 

Does Shepard have payment plans?

We only bill monthly.  If you choose private lessons, those are paid at time of booking.  If you don't want your card charged you can put money on your account to use for your monthly fees.  Grandparents etc. can also put money on your account for classes.  Credits always pull from your account before your credit card. 

Choose your location

Fort Wayne Elkhart

Choose your location

Fort Wayne Elkhart

Choose your location

Fort Wayne Elkhart

Choose your location

Fort Wayne Elkhart