Lesson FAQs and Policies


 Prospective Swimmers | Current Swimmers | Policies

For Prospective Swimmers:

How does registration work? 

You must register online. When you register, you will see a list of all available Lesson day/time slots. (If you do not see one of the offered day/time slots in the listing, then that particular spot or class is already full.) You do not pay until you have chosen the time slot that best fits your schedule.

Do you offer flexible scheduling so that I can come on a different day/at a different time each week?

Sorry, we are unable to accommodate flexible scheduling. You must sign up for one of the specific day/time slots being offered (much like registering for an academic class or setting a doctor’s appointment).

Can my child do a “trial Lesson” first to see if s/he likes it?
No. For liability reasons, prospective Swim School students cannot get in the water until they have registered and signed a waiver. 

Do I need to be a RiverWinds member?

No, you do not need to be a member of RiverWinds to participate in Tide Water Swim School.

Do RiverWinds members receive a discount on TWAC Lessons?
No, our Lesson prices are the same for both RiverWinds members and non-members.

How young do you take swimmers?
Baby class (Squirts) participants can be as young as 6 months. Children must be at least 2 years old to start Private Lessons. Leveled Group Lessons start at age 3, provided that the child is water-safe.

Can my child wear a flotation device?
Swimmers Flotation devices (floaties, swimmies, water wings, puddle jumpers, life vests, etc.) are NOT allowed. They are counterproductive to the learning process as they inhibit proper technique/mechanics.  Your child’s instructor will ensure that your child stays afloat until s/he can do it independently.

What if my child is upset?
If you have a beginner—of any age, but especially under 6 years old—then expect reluctance. We have been effectively dealing with all levels of resistance for many years. The younger the child is, the more he or she depends on fussing to get a point across. We’ll work with that. Your child may fuss about being away from you, being with a stranger, or just not wanting to do what he or she is being told—even before the natural fear level kicks in. For most children, this is when they’ll learn that you sometimes do things even if you don’t want to. And they’ll come out of it stronger, more self-confident, and—most importantly—safer than when they began.

What if my child doesn’t want to come back?
We encourage your child to stick it out. Drowning is the second leading cause of childhood accidental death for children under the age of 14. Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. Whether or not you plan to head to the pool, water is all around us—in rivers, lakes, drainage ditches, and even large puddles. Equip your child with this life skill, and you’ll also be giving him/her access to all the fun and fitness the water can provide! It is absolutely normal for this to be harder on a parent than the children that we’re empowering. But know that it won’t be easier next year; every year older without becoming water-safe increases the resistance and fear level. So stick with it! You’ll be glad you did—and possibly prevent an unspeakable loss.

For Current Swimmers:

Want to know if Lessons are cancelled due to inclement weather?

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/tidewaterswimschool to view all Lesson cancellations/updates in the event of inclement weather. You will also receive an email communication with details for weather cancellations.

Can you get a refund/credit or make up a Lesson if there’s an emergency or weather-related pool closing?

Unfortunately, TWAC is unable to provide Makeups, refunds, or credits for Lessons missed due to these kinds of emergency pool closings. We apologize for any inconvenience. For full information, please see our Pool Closing/Cancelled Lessons Policy in the TWAC Policies section below.

Forget what day/time slot you signed up for or need to check on a payment?

You can check the status of your Active orders—including verifying Lesson day/time, instructor name, payments, etc.—via Active’s Swim Portal: https://swimportal.active.com?a=284065624. To log in, you will need the email address you used when you registered and your Active password.

Does your spot carry over from one Set to the next?

No. Everyone must register anew because our schedule of Lesson offerings changes from one Set to another.

What happens if you miss a Lesson due to illness, emergency, etc.?
We cannot provide a refund or credit for missed Lessons. However, Makeup Lessons are available in some situations. For complete details, please see our Pool Closing/Cancelled Lessons Policy in the TWAC Policies section below.

My child can’t make his/her Lesson due to illness, vacation, etc. Can I make up the missed Lesson?
It depends on the type of Lesson your child is taking. Please see our Missed Lessons and Makeup Policy for details.

If we can’t make it on our regular Lesson day one week, can we come on a different day that week?
No. We do not allow swimmers to come on a different day because then they would be taking other swimmers’ spots. But we do allow scheduled Makeup Lessons in some situations. (Please see our Missed Lessons and Makeup Policy for more information.)

Will my Lesson time be extended if I arrive late?
No. All Lessons start and end on time. Otherwise, you would be cutting into another swimmer’s Lesson time.

What if you want to cancel or will not be returning?

Our swimmers are required to register for each new Set, no cancellation notice is required if you will not be returning for an upcoming Set, example: If you swam in the Fall Set but will not be coming back for the Winter Set, then you do not need to submit a cancellation notice. All other cancellations—after the start of a Session (e.g., you came to the first week of Fall One but do not want to return) and between Sessions (e.g., you are finishing Winter Two but not returning for Winter Three)—require a cancellation notice in writing. For full details, please see our Cancellation Policy in the TWAC Policies section below.



TWAC Policies

Cancellation Policy

You do not need to provide a cancellation notice between Sets.

If you choose to cancel between Sessions (e.g., between Winter One and Winter Two), then you are required to give written notice at least 1 week prior to the end of your Session by emailing twaclessons@gmail.com.

Please note: If we do not receive your written cancellation prior to the start of the next Session, then you will be held financially responsible for your spot and it will be released to other swimmers.

No refunds or credits of any kind will be given if you chose to quit in the middle of a Session (e.g., in week 2 of Winter One), and your spot will be released.

Pool Closing/Cancelled Lessons Policy

TWAC makes every effort to give all Lessons as scheduled. However, from time to time, RiverWinds unexpectedly closes their facility due to circumstances beyond TWAC’s control. Examples of this include (but are not limited to) inclement weather (snow, thunderstorms*, etc.); power failure; health/safety risk; emergency repair; etc.

Unfortunately, TWAC is unable to provide Makeups, refunds, or credits for Lessons missed due to these kinds of emergency pool closings. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We try our best to send an email when Lessons need to be cancelled due to snow or other pool closing. However, that isn’t always possible. Similarly, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a timely answer if you email us to ask if Lessons are cancelled. Therefore, please do not email or call TWAC (or RiverWinds) to see if Lessons are cancelled. Instead, please check TWAC’s Facebook page**, https://www.facebook.com/tidewaterswimschool, for TWAC Lessons cancellation information.

*RiverWinds is required by law to close their aquatic facility during thunder/lightning storms because the pool is not grounded. (In the event that the facility was struck by lightning, anyone in the pool would be a conduit to the ground and could be seriously, or even fatally, injured.)

**TWAC’s page is public, so you can still access it even if you are not on Facebook.


Missed Lessons and Makeup Policy

We understand that absences cannot always be avoided. Please be considerate of your child(ren)’s instructor’s time by emailing twaclessons@gmail.com to inform us in advance when you are unable to make your child(ren)’s scheduled Lesson due to accident/illness, family emergency, vacation, one-time schedule conflict, etc. Thank you!

We cannot provide a refund or credit for missed Lessons. However, Makeup Lessons are given on the following basis:

Group Lessons: For our swimmers’ safety, we maintain specific instructor-to-swimmer ratios in our Group classes. Allowing Group Lesson Makeups (in which a swimmer attends a class on a different day) would upset those ratios. Therefore, we are unable to provide Group Lesson Makeups for any reason. Sorry! Thank you for your understanding and your contribution to keeping our swimmers safe!

Private Lessons: We offer several designated Private Lesson Makeup Days at the end of each Set. A Private Lesson Makeup on one of those days is available by request only once the Set is underway. Please email twaclessons@gmail.com to request the Private Lesson Makeups signup link.

  • Regardless of the number of Private Lessons a swimmer misses, s/he may sign up for only ONE Private Lesson Makeup for the entire Set. If a swimmer signs up for more than 1 spot, then s/he will not get the Makeup.
  • We cannot give you a specific instructor for your Private Lesson Makeup or guarantee that a Private Lesson Makeup spot will be available on the same day/at the same time as your regularly-scheduled Lessons.
  • You cannot sign up for a Private Lesson Makeup for a day missed due to inclement weather/emergency pool closing.(Please see our Pool Closing/Cancelled Lessons Policy.)