The YMCA has come a long way since the very first group lesson back in 1906 and we’re excited to present a new curriculum to you. These lesson upgrades are based on extensive research and we look forward to seeing swimmers advance more quickly through the stages. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The fun fish names we previously used to identify the different levels have been replaced with names that more closely relate to the skills we will be working on in each stage. In stages 1-3, our certified swim instructors facilitate activities that focus on building confidence in the water, instilling good water safety habits and personal growth. In stages 4-6, instructors help swimmers build confidence in deep water as well as work on stroke techniques. And swim stages A and B give our youngest friends, infants and toddlers, an opportunity to get comfortable in the water with a parent or guardian.

    Please see below for more information about these stages or download these documents to learn more. One of the best parts of this new curriculum is the assessment that we’ll do to match our swimmers into the stages that most closely meet their needs. Aquatics Levels
  • We’re also excited to tell you that ALL of our Y swim instructors are nationally certified. Their training includes CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration. We’ve also adjusted our class ratios to meet our needs based on recommendations from Y-USA.
  • This new lesson format will begin with our summer sessions. If your child is currently enrolled in lessons, your swim instructor will assess your child's skills to determine the level that meets their needs for the following session.

This exciting new curriculum helps each participant experience a sense of accomplishment after each lesson and build relationships with other swimmers in their class. We’re looking forward to teaching it!

We understand this is a big change, but we’re confident it will help us create stronger swimmers.


For Those Not Currently Enrolled into Swimming Lessons
On Deck Registration (held week 6 of every session) / Open Registration (held week 8 after session):
  1. In order to sign up for swim lessons, you must have a swim assessment.
  2. During our open assessments we will have sign up sheets on the pool deck, these assessments are first come first serve.
  3. Our upcoming assessments to register for the Fall 1 Session at our East Area YMCA Branch are:

Monday, August 7th: 5pm - 7pm

Tuesday, August 8th: 9am - 10am, 12pm - 2pm

Wednesday, August 9th: 5pm - 7pm

Thursday, August 10th: 9am - 10am, 12pm - 2pm

Since our pool at the Fayetteville location will be shut down for maintenance from August 20th thru September 9th, the following assessment times will be offered at our Camp Iroquois pool at 4795 Sweet Road Manlius, NY 13104:

Sunday, August 20th: 10am - 5pm

  1. If you take a session off, and do not participate in lessons for one session, you will need to come in and be re-assessed before you are able to sign up for swim lessons.
  2. At your swim assessment, you will be given a half sheet of paper with your assessed swim level. You will
    need to attach this to your registration form in order to register for lessons.