• Children's Programs

  • Children's Swimming Lessons Spring 2018 April 2 - June 9, 2018

    Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center uses the American Red Cross Learn to Swim progression. All instructors are American Red Cross Water Safety instructors and lifeguards.

    Fees (per 8-10-lesson session/per child):
    Parent/Child and Preschool Lessons: $41-$51
    School Age Learn to Swim: $44-$55
    Blended Levels Preschool: $40.50-$45
    Blended Levels School Age: $45-$50
    Teen: $48-$60


    MHCC Aquatic center accepts online and walk-in registration. Spring term registration opens online Thursday, March 15 at 8 a.m. and in person Friday, March 16 at 8 a.m.

    Swimming Lesson Policies

    Refunds and Credits

    Refunds or transfers will be given only to requests made three or more business days prior to the first class period. You must present your receipt to be eligible for a refund. After the lesson session has started only one-half credit toward your next lesson purchase will be granted.

    Waiting Lists

    To provide better service, waiting lists are available for all children’s programs that have reached capacity. This list is used primarily as a courtesy for cancellations in existing classes. Adding classes in addition to those scheduled depends both on pool availability and on instructor availability. If your child is on a wait list, and we can now enroll your child, we will call you. We will not contact you unless a spot becomes available.

    Please note that classes may be combined with a compatible class or cancelled if there are fewer than three children enrolled.

    Students or individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability should contact the Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or dsoweb@mhcc.edu. For additional information, please visit www.mhcc.edu/DSOServices.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Children’s Lessons Session Dates

    Weekday Afternoon and Evening

    These classes are two days a week for a 5 week session, and are offered in two sessions during each college term.

    Spring Session 1
    Day Date Number of Classes
    Mon/Wed Apr. 2 – May 2 10 classes
    Tues/Thurs Apr. 3 – May 3 10 classes
    Spring Session 2
    Day Date Number of Classes
    Mon/Wed May 7 – June 6* 9 classes
    Tues/Thurs May 8 – June 7 10 classes

    *no class May 28

    Saturday Mornings

    These classes are once a week for 10 weeks and are offered in one session during each college term. Spring session consists of 8 lessons over 10 weeks for Saturdays.

    Spring Saturday Jan. 13 – Mar. 17*

    *no class May 5, 26

    Class and Level Descriptions

    Infant/Toddler/Child and Parent Lessons (Learner Pool)

    These are water adjustment classes for infants and young children, accompanied in the water by an adult (age 16 or older). These classes enable children to enjoy the water with someone they trust by playing games, singing songs and having fun!

    Parent/Merbabe - 8-18 months and Parent/Toddler - 19-36 months
    Basic skills and cues are introduced at this level, such as asking permission to enter the water, feeling comfortable in the water and practicing buoyancy and bubble blowing. Adults learn how to safely work with the children in the water, by employing specific holding and support techniques. Safety around all bodies of water is emphasized. Children who are not toilet trained must wear plastic pants or swim diapers.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    8-18 mo


    M/W 5:30-6 p.m. 1 7106 $51

    2 7107 $46

    Sat 10:40-11:10 a.m. Saturday 7108 $41
    19-36 mo


    T/Th 5-5:30 p.m. 1 7110 $51

    2 7111 $51
    Sat 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday 7109 $41

    Parent/Child - 2 ½ to 5 years

    This is a water adjustment and skills class for preschoolers who need more one-on-one time with their parent (or other adult) in the water before joining group lessons. This class is also for children ages 2 ½ to 3 years of age who are ready for more directed skill acquisition, such as floating, gliding, kicking and arm strokes. Additional goals and skills include the need for adult supervision around water, submerging in a rhythmic pattern and wearing a U. S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Preschool Level 1 and 2 skills are taught.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    2 ½-5 years Parent/Child M/W 4:30-5:00 p.m. 1 7101 $51
    2 7102 $46
    T/Th 6:55-7:25 p.m. 1 7104 $51
    2 7105 $51
    Sat 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Saturday 7103 $41

    Preschool Lessons (Learner and 25-yard Pools)

    Preschool lessons are for children who are 3 years of age through 6 years and not yet in first grade. The purpose of these lessons is to facilitate developmentally appropriate learning of fundamental water safety and aquatic skills. Instructor to student ratio is 1:6.

    Preschool 1 (Learner Pool)

    This level orients young preschoolers to the aquatic environment and helps them gain basic aquatic skills, such as entering and exiting the water, blowing bubbles, floating, gliding and kicking on front and back. Skills are performed with the instructor’s assistance.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    3-6 years Preschool 1 M/W 4-4:30 p.m. 1 7112 $51
    2 7114 $46
    5-5:30 p.m. 1 7113 $51
    2 7115 $46
    T/Th 4-4:30 p.m. 1 7118 $51
    2 7119 $51
    Sat 8:55-9:25 a.m. Saturday 7117 $41
    Sat 9:30-10 a.m. Saturday 7116 $41

    Preschool 2 (Learner Pool)

    Preschool 2 objectives include performing the skills learned in Preschool 1 at a slightly more advanced level, such as longer distances or duration, or swimming in deeper water. This level marks the beginning of performing simple kicking and arm skills independently. Skills are performed with assistance as needed, with the goal of fully submerging and having some independence with moving through the water on both the front and back. This ability to swim short distances unaided is vital before children advance to Preschool 3 and enter the bigger 25-yard pool.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    3-6 years Preschool 2 M/W 3:25-3:55 p.m. 1 7122 $51
    2 7125 $46
    M/W 4-4:30 p.m. 1 7120 $51
    2 7123 $46
    M/W 5:00-5:30 p.m. 1 7121 $51
    2 7124 $46
    T/Th 4-4:30 p.m. 1 7131 $51
    2 7132 $51
    T/Th 4:30-5 p.m. 1 7130 $51
    2 7133 $51
    T/Th 5:30-6:00 p.m. 1 7129 $51
    2 7134 $51
    Sat 8:55-9:25 a.m. Saturday 7128 $41
    Sat 9:30-10 a.m. Saturday 7127 $41
    Sat 10:05-10:35 a.m. Saturday 7126 $41

    Preschool 3 (25-yard pool, shallow end, on tables)

    The Preschool 3 objective is increased proficiency and independence with previously learned skills, achieved through lots of guided practice and repetition. Children are learning the basics of front crawl stroke and combined backstroke, as well as treading water. Additional water safety topics are introduced. Emphasis is on swimming independently and the ability to catch a breath unassisted while swimming on the front. Successful completion of this level includes swimming without assistance for five body lengths front and back, rolling over, standing up from a floating position, entering and exiting the water, and treading water or floating for 15 seconds.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    3-6 years Preschool 3 M/W 3:25-3:55 p.m. 1 7135 $51
    2 7138 $46
    M/W 4:30-5 p.m. 1 7136 $51
    2 7137 $46
    T/Th 4:30-5 p.m. 1 7141 $51
    2 7143 $51
    T/Th 5-5:30 p.m. 1 7142 $51
    2 7144 $51
    Sat 10:05-10:35 a.m. Saturday 7140 $41
    Sat 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday 7139 $41

    Preschool 4-Advanced (25-yard pool, middle section)

    Preschool 4 emphasizes refining stokes and swimming further on the front and back, as well as treading water for longer periods of time. Elementary backstroke kick, dolphin kick and sitting dives are introduced. Successful completion of this level includes front crawl with rotary (side) breathing for 10 yards, elementary backstroke 10 yards, combined backstroke 15 yards, treading water up to one minute, changing position and direction and sitting dives.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    3-6 years Preschool 4-Adv T/Th 5:30-6 p.m. 1 7147 $51
    2 7148 $51
    Sat 10:40-11:10 a.m. Saturday 7145 $41
    Sat 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday 7146 $41

    Learn-to-Swim (25-yard pool)

    The Learn-to-Swim courses teach children and young teens to be safe in, on and around the water and to swim well. Swimming skills and personal water safety are taught in a logical progression through 8 levels. The child must be in first grade and 6 years of age through 12 years of age. Instructor to student ratio ranges from 1:8 through Level 3 to 1:10 as a maximum for levels 3.5 through 6.

    Level 1 – Introduction to Water Skills (shallow water)

    Level 1 introduces adjustment to the aquatic environment and basic aquatic skills, which children continue to build on as they progress through the Learn-to-Swim levels. Bubble blowing, breath control and exploring the water on the front and back are introduced. Skills are practiced with assistance. Upon successful completion, children will be able to kick with a pool noodle, perform front and back glides for two body lengths and enter the water independently.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 1 M/W 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7166 $55
    2 7167 $49.50
    Sat 9:50-10:30 a.m. Saturday 7168 $44

    Level 2 – Fundamental Aquatic Skills (shallow water)

    Level 2 marks the beginning of true swimming skills, as well as gliding, floating and standing up from a floating position, with assistance from the instructor. Swimmers are learning the basics of front crawl stroke and combined backstroke, as well as treading water. Upon successful completion, swimmers are able to enter chest-deep water, float front and back and change positions. Swimmers will also swim five body lengths on the front while catching a breath, roll over, then continue to swim five body lengths on the back, with the goal of performing all skills without assistance.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 2 M/W 4-4:40 p.m. 1 7169 $55
    2 7170 $49.50
    T/Th 4-4:40 p.m. 1 7175 $55
    2 7178 $55
    T/Th 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7173 $55
    2 7176 $55
    T/Th 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7174 $55
    2 7177 $55
    Sat 10:35-11:15 p.m. Saturday 7171 $44
    Sat 11:20 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday 7172 $44

    Level 2.5 – Stroke Readiness (travel across the middle of the pool, 5-8 feet of water depth)

    Level 2.5 objectives include expanding proficiency for skills learned in Level 2 as well as becoming comfortable in deeper water. This level introduces rotary breathing for crawl stroke to increase stroke efficiency, as well as introducing dolphin kick, elementary backstroke kick and sitting dives. Treading water duration is increased. Upon successful completion, swimmers will be able to step from the side into deep water, swim front crawl 10-15 yards, front or back float for 20 seconds, swim combined or elementary backstroke 15 yards and tread water for 30-40 seconds.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 2.5 M/W 4-4:40 p.m. 1 7179 $55
    2 7181 $49.50
    M/W 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7180 $55
    2 7182 $49.50
    T/Th 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7186 $55
    2 7187 $55
    T/Th 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7185 $55
    2 7188 $55
    Sat 9:50-10:30 a.m. Saturday 7183 $44
    Sat 10:35-11:15 a.m. Saturday 7184 $44

    Level 3 – Stroke Development (deep end of the pool, water depth 13 feet)

    This level builds on the skills introduced in Level 2.5, with guided practice in deeper water. The focus is on increased proficiency and endurance of front crawl, elementary backstroke kick and treading water. Skills introduced at this level include breaststroke kick, scissor kick and elementary backstroke coordination, as well as kneeling dives. Upon successful completion, swimmers will be able to enter deep water from the side, perform a sitting dive, swim front crawl and elementary backstroke 15-25 yards, change position/direction in the pool and tread water for one minute.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 3 M/W 4-4:40 p.m. 1 7189 $55
    2 7190 $49.50
    T/Th 4-4:40 p.m. 1 7194 $55
    2 7196 $55
    T/Th 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7193 $55
    2 7195 $55
    Sat 9:50-10:30 a.m. Saturday 7191 $44
    Sat 11:20 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday 7192 $44

    Level 3.5 – Stroke Practice (deep end of the pool, water depth 13 feet; instructor teaches from the deck)

    The goal of Level 3.5 is increased proficiency and endurance of front crawl and elementary backstroke, and coordination of breaststroke, butterfly and sidestroke. This level introduces back crawl, breaststroke arms, butterfly arms, underwater swimming, feet first surface dives and standing dives. Upon successful completion, swimmers will swim crawl stroke for 15 yards, demonstrating efficient rotary breathing, kicking and arm strokes; elementary backstroke for 15 yards with correct whip kick and glide; demonstrate back crawl, butterfly and breaststroke for 15 yards; perform standing dives; tread water for two minutes demonstrating two different kicks, and swim 3-5 body lengths underwater.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 3.5 M/W 4:40-5:20 p.m. 1 7197 $55
    2 7198 $49.50
    T/Th 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7200 $55
    2 7201 $55
    Sat 10:35-11:15 a.m. Saturday 7199 $44

    Level 4 – Stroke Improvement (swimming the length of the pool, 25 yards; instructor teaches from the deck)

    This is the first level where swimmers regularly swim the length of the pool (25 yards) rather than the width (15 yards). The focus is increased proficiency and endurance of front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, elementary backstroke, breaststroke, sidestroke and treading water. In addition, level 4 introduces rotary kick, sculling, open turns and survival float. Successful completion of this level is swimming all strokes in accordance with the passing requirements of each stroke, as well as performing the exit skills assessments. If swimmers are interested in competition, they are often ready to try out for competitive swim teams at this level.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 4 M/W 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7202 $55
    2 7203 $49.50
    Sat 9:05-9:45 a.m. Saturday 7204 $44

    Level 5 – Stroke Refinement (swimming the length of the pool, 25 yards; instructor teaches from the deck)

    Level 5 introduces flip turns, sidestroke, survival swimming, long shallow dives and tuck and pike surface dives. Swimmers at this level are becoming proficient in all six strokes, listed above in Level 4, and the focus is on stroke refinement and endurance of these strokes. Successful completion of this level is swimming all strokes in accordance with the passing requirements of each stroke, as well as performing the exit skills assessments.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 5 M/W 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7205 $55
    2 7206 $49.50
    Sat 9:05-9:45 a.m. Saturday 7207 $44

    Level 6 – Swimming and Skill Proficiency (swimming the length of the pool, 25 yards; instructor teaches from the deck)

    This is the most advanced swimming class offered. At this level swimmers are competent in six strokes and are proficient swimmers. They are capable of swimming 500-1000 yards during each lesson.

    This level offers two tracts: Personal Water Safety or Fitness Swimmer. These tracts are alternated throughout the year so that swimmers have the opportunity to experience both.

    In addition to the specialized tracts listed above, the intent of this level is to refine strokes so swimmers swim them with ease. The following competitive strokes will be worked on to increase efficiency: freestyle (crawl stroke), back crawl, breaststroke and butterfly. Personal Water Safety: This tract includes the use of lifejacket skills, swimming and self-rescue techniques, and basic safety rules for boating and open water. Fitness Swimmer: Swimmers will learn to use a pace clock, pull buoys, fins and hand paddles, and also learn training principles. Successful completion of this level is swimming all strokes in accordance with the passing requirements of each stroke, as well as performing the exit skills assessments.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    6-12 years School Age 6
    Fitness Swimmer
    M/W 5:20-6 p.m. 1 7208 $55
    Personal Water Safety 2 7209 $49.50
    Personal Water Safety Sat 9:05-9:45 a.m. Saturday 7210 $44

    Family Blended Levels

    These classes offer an early-afternoon alternative to the Learn-to-Swim levels in which classes are combined by age and by compatible skill level. This lesson set offers a range of age-appropriate choices for both preschool and school age students. Skill completion cards are not issued, but American Red Cross cards and passing information are provided. For specific swim level information, see the descriptions above under the individual level. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday early afternoons, perfect for families with flexible schedules.

    Age Class Days Times Session Activity # Fee
    3-6 years Preschool 1-2 M/W 2:00-2:30 p.m. 1 7089 $45
    2 7090 $40.50
    3-6 years Preschool 3-4 M/W 2:30-3 p.m. 1 7091 $45
    2 7092 $40.50
    6-12 years School Age 1-2 M/W 1:40-2:20 p.m. 1 7093 $50
    2 7094 $45
    6-12 years School Age 2.5-3 M/W 2:20-3 p.m. 1 7095 $50
    2 7096 $45
    6 years + School Age 3.5-4 M/W 2:20-3 p.m. 1 7097 $50
    2 7098 $45
    6 years + School Age 5-6 M/W 1-1:40 p.m. 1 7099 $50
    2 7100 $45

    Teen Swimming Lessons

    Teen Class – Stroke Improvement
    This class is open to individuals ages 13 and up. Each swimmer is tested for level placement and is then coached through the specific skills and strokes they need. Skills taught in this class include water safety, treading water and gaining proficiency in all six strokes. Students will also learn how to dive, swim underwater, perform open turns and flip turns, and learn the basics of interval training and using a pace clock.

    Age Class Days Times Session Fee
    13-18 years Teen Lessons T/Th 7:30-8:15 p.m. 1 7220 $60
    2 7221 $60

    Private Swim Lessons

    Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center offers private swim lessons. This program is intended to provide a service to individuals who may have needs beyond the scope of group swim lessons. These services may include working in a one-on-one environment, focusing on a specific set of skills, or accommodating special needs that limit the student’s ability to participate in a group. Lessons are offered in 30-minute sessions. Prices range from $22.50 to $35.00 per lesson per person. Please inquire at the Front Desk for registration information. All requests are booked by the aquatics coordinator in 4-week sessions.

    Private Lessons Spring Sessions

    Dates Number of Lessons Fees (based on $22.50 per lesson)**
    Apr. 9 – May 5 8 classes 2x/week -or- 4 classes 1x/ week $180 $90
    May 14 – June 9* 8 classes 2x/week -or- 4 classes 1x/ week $180 $90
    *this session may have fewer lessons due to holidays, depending on the day(s) that lessons are booked.
    **Semi-private lessons are $30/lesson ($15 per student)

    Children’s Swim Lessons Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I know in what level to place my child?

    If children have no experience with swim lessons and little to no experience with pools in general, children ages 3-6 years should enroll in Preschool 1 and children 6-12 years (first grade and up) should register for Learn-to-Swim (School Age) Level 1.

    If your child has some experience but requires shallow water, then Preschool 2 or School Age 2 would be the class they need.

    For children who have swim lesson experience at other facilities and you’re not sure which level to register for, we will do a swimming evaluation and then recommend a class.  Please call the front desk at 503-491-7243 and request a swim lesson evaluation.

    If my child needs accommodations due to a disability or delay, who should I notify?

    When you register your child for a lesson, check “yes” for the box that asks if your child requires accommodations.  At the top of the Children’s Programs page on our website, there is a link to the MHCC Disability Services Office.  Contact the office, obtain an application to fill out, and then return it to the DSO.  Both of our departments are working on a link to the actual form from both of our web pages.  The DSO will then work with you directly to determine what your child needs while attending swim lessons.

    What if I can no longer bring my child to lessons after I’ve registered?

    If you need to withdraw from lessons, you will receive a full refund if you request it three or more business days before the lesson session begins.  Once the session has started, you will receive ½ refund.  If there is a medical reason for withdrawing from lessons, please contact the Program Coordinator, Program Assistant or Aquatics Manager.

    What should we bring to lessons each day?

    Bring a swimsuit and a towel.  Goggles are allowed and recommended for all levels except parent/child classes and Preschool 1.  Please do not bring face masks to swim lessons, as they block the nose and make it more difficult for children to learn breathing patterns.

    How do we know where to find our class on the first day?

    On the first day, the Program Coordinator and/or the Program Assistant will give a brief introduction to the lessons at the red barriers on the 25-yard deck. Check in at the attendance books in the lobby, then change and shower. Instructors will take attendance at the barriers and then take the children to the pool.  For all lessons in the session, the instructors will pick up and return children to the red barriers.

    What should I expect to see on the first day?

    The instructors will check each child’s skill level as they move through their lesson plan and will report to the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant.  This is usually a combination of having each child swim the previous level’s exit skills and also performing the current level’s skills.

    What if my child is not in the appropriate class?

    If a child is not in the appropriate class, the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant will check with you about possibly transferring the child to a class that better suits their current skills.  If the new class is not offered at the same time, we will attempt to find a day and time that works for you and transfer your child, as long as there is still availability in the class they need.

    What is the water temperature of the pools?

    The 25-yard pool is 83-84 degrees and the Learner pool is 89-92 degrees.

    May I (or my family) watch every lesson every day?

    Yes for any parent/child class and all classes held in the 25-yard pool.  For Preschool 1 and 2, which are held in the Learner pool, we limit watching on deck to the first and last day.  The deck is quite small, so the children tend to focus intently on their parents or other family members and not focus as much on their instructor.

    We do ask that you stay in the facility, preferably the bleachers for the 25-yard pool, for the duration of your child’s lesson.

    What if my child cries on the first day or cries when I leave the deck?

    Stay near your child on the pool deck and remain positive.  If you can get them to at least sit with the class and observe, it will give them time to get used to the idea.  This is often more about the new situation than it is about liking or disliking the water.  It can take a few days for some children to get used to the idea of participating in group swim lessons.

    Why are safety topics included each day of the swim lesson set?

    The American Red Cross emphasizes safety in, on and around all bodies of water. By introducing or reinforcing safety topics in short periods of time at each class, children are more likely to retain the information.

    I like my child’s instructor.  May I request the same instructor for the next session?

    You are welcome to request a specific instructor, or check with the Program Coordinator or Program Assistant to see if the instructor assignments are done for the next session.  It is not always possible to have the same instructor for your child. Children often benefit by experiencing a variety of teaching styles.

    How should I get a message to my child’s instructor or ask a question?

    The instructors often have little time between classes.  You are welcome to ask a quick question between classes, but please understand that they are required to start their next class as soon as possible.  If you have a more detailed question, please ask the Program Coordinator or the Program Assistant.  You may also leave messages at the front desk.

    Should I expect that my child will advance to the next level after every session?

    Children will progress at different rates and will often “plateau” at certain levels for a period of time.  Our primary goal in placing children in certain levels is that they have ample opportunity to practice the skills they need.  Swimming is learned by repetition, and children will master the skills at different rates.  It is normal for children to repeat some levels as many as four or five times.  It just means they need the practice time to master the skills.

    Open recreation swims are a good way to have your child practice what they have learned.  This can make a difference in how they proceed through the swim levels.

    Why are some classes combined?

    Classes may be combined with compatible classes or cancelled if fewer than three children are enrolled.  This helps to prevent classes from being cancelled.  The instructors continue to work with each child at his/her level or pace.

    What if a class cancels after the session starts?

    If your child’s class cancels after the session starts, and we cannot find another suitable class to transfer, we will give you a full refund back to your method of payment.