School Age/Progressive


About School Age/Progressive Swim Program

The Darien YMCA’s School Age and Progressive Swim Program is designed to meet the needs of all it’s participants at each level of the program. Each level is based on specific skills and age guidelines, as described in the Parent’s Guide to the YMCA Swimming Program. Throughout the entire program, participants are taught skills in a progressive manner and build strength and endurance as they master each level. Aquatics instructors are trained in the National YMCA S.K.I.P.P.E.R.S. Program.
If you have any questions regarding the Darien YMCA School Age and Progressive Swim Program, please contact Amy D’Andrea at 655-8228 ext. 1307.


Aquatics Makeup Policy:
Summer ONLY 
Due to the short 4 week sessions, only 1 make up class will be allowed on a space available basis.

The Aquatics Department will provide up to 2 make-up classes per session per participant for any missed classes. This applies to any class missed due to personal reasons or illness. No additional credits will be issued. Make-ups will be provided during our session break week and will not necessarily be offered at the exact day and time as your current class. Participants may attend two of the provided make-ups. Contact Amy D’Andrea to schedule your makeup. Extended illness will require doctor’s note and result in online credit. Pool closure/ weather cancellations will be made up as usual.

Class Descriptions

(Kindergarten and older)

Stage 1 Water Acclimation (Polliwog, ages 5 -13 years)

For the fearful or beginner swimmer. Emphasis is on water adjustment, floating and paddle stroke. A flotation device may be used if needed. Upon completion of this level, the swimmer will be able to swim 1 length of the small pool doing crawl stroke and backstroke and do a front and back float without assistance.

Stage 2 Water Movement (Guppy 1, ages 5 – 13 years; small pool)

Advanced beginner swimmer that is more comfortable in the water. Emphasis is on refining front and back crawl strokes. Swimmers are taught rotary breathing. For completion of this level children must be able to perform two lengths of the small pool doing front and back crawl stroke and be able to float on their front and back for 1 minute.

Stage 3 Water Stamina (Guppy 2, ages 5 – 13 years; large pool)

This level is for the comfortable swimmer, an emphasis is on stroke refinement for front crawl, with rotary breathing and backstroke. This level is designed to work longer distances, utilizing the large pool for exposure to deep water and early diving skills.

Stage 4 (Minnow, ages 5 – 13 years)

Swimmers at this level can swim one length of the large pool doing front crawl with competent rhythmic breathing. Additionally, they can swim one length doing backstroke. Breaststroke and diving are introduced and swimmer continues to build endurance.

Stage 5 Stroke Development (Fish, ages 5 – 13 years)

This level is for the advanced swimmer who can successfully complete 25 yards of front crawl and backstroke, can dive from the starting block, and exhibit a competent breaststroke. Open turns are introduced.

Stage 6 Stroke Mechanics (Flying Fish, ages 5 – 13 years)

Stroke refinement and increased endurance are the main focus during this level. They will be introduced to flip turns as well as butterfly. For completion of this level, swimmers must be able to complete 100 yards front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and 25 yards of butterfly.


Experienced swimmers, review of all 4 strokes, continued endurance swimming, safety skills introduced.

Swim for Fitness

Children ages 9-14 who have completed at least Fish level. Class is geared towards endurance and swimming for exercise. Great for the swimmer who has gone through the Y program, but wants to keep swimming.

Porpoise Club

This level is designed for the swimmer who has completed all levels of the progressive program and wishes to continue to swim for fitness as well as learn other aspects of the Aquatic environment. These skills include water games, synchronized swimming skills, first aid skills and observation of instructors.

Youth/Teen Lessons

Designed for the non-swimmer or beginning swimmer interested in feeling comfortable in the water while learning basic swimming strokes. Held in the small pool. 4 lessons.

Private Swim Lessons

One on One private lessons is offered for children and adults who desire special attention and instruction. Depending on the instructor’s availability, we try to accommodate lessons to individuals schedules.


Fall 2017 School Age/Progressive Schedule
Session Dates: August 28 – November 19

Fee: Members $265; Non-members $365

Days Time
Water Acclimation
Water Movement
Water Stamina
Guppy 2
Stroke Introduction
Stroke Development
Stroke Mechanics
Flying Fish
Swim for Fitness
Mon5:00-5:45 pm
Tues4:45-5:30 pm
Tues5:00-5:45 pm
Wed5:00-5:45 pm
Thurs4:45-5:30 pm
Thurs5:00-5:45 pm
Fri5:00-5:45 pm
Sat9:00-9:45 am
Sat12:30-1:15 pm

Youth/Teen Swim Lessons

Youth Adult Lessons-Ages 9 to 15
This class is designed for the beginner or intermediate youth swimmer ages 9-15 who may be new to swimming or a slightly reluctant swimmer. This class is an alternative to swimming in a typical progressive swim class with significantly younger peers. Introduction to front crawl and backstroke are taught in this class.

Tuesday 6:30-7:00 pm

Fee: Members $245; Non-Members $345

Private Lessons
One-on-one private lessons are offered for children and adults who desire special attention and instruction. Depending upon the instructors availability, we will try to accommodate lessons to individual schedule. Lessons are conducted on site at the YMCA.

6 half hour lessons

Fee: Members $275; Non-Members $380