La Petite Baleen swim school Logo

40 Years of Happy Splashing!

On April 15th, La Petite Baleen celebrates 40 years of teaching swimming lessons! 

The original swim school opened in the backyard of Irene Madrid and John Kolbisen's Half Moon Bay home in 1979. With backgrounds in early child development, a belief that children should learn to swim early on, and the help of their local community, La Petite Baleen's child development-focused curriculum came to life. Their approach was unique and ahead of its time. Four decades later, LPB's award-winning curriculum continues to be recognized as a leader in the learn-to-swim industry. 

Eventually La Petite Baleen moved from the backyard to its current downtown Half Moon Bay location. The word began to spread, and for many years folks came from all over the greater Bay Area to the Coastside for their swim lessons. By popular demand, the San Bruno location opened in 1996. LPB found great success in the growing number of loyal swim families and employees - the LPB Pod. In 2008, a third location was opened in the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by the opening of the Redwood City location in 2013. 

With four locations, thousands of students enrolled per week, and over 200 employees, there's no denying that we've come a long way since the backyard swim school days. While so much has changed over the years, the core of LPB remains the same as we strive to be of value to our community. At La Petite Baleen, we aspire to continue doing what we've always been known to do so well: teach swimming lessons in a fun and developmentally appropriate way. The icing on our 40th birthday cake is that the thing we love doing the most is also keeping the children in our community safer. 

Of course, La Petite Baleen wouldn't be here today if it weren't for all the LPB Swim Parents out there who have invested in giving their children a lifelong gift. We know that coming to weekly swim lessons, for years, takes a great deal of devotion and patience. We are thankful for our customers who make the commitment to reinforce their children’s safety and well-being. Thank you for trusting us, for telling your friends and family about us, and helping us reach this celebratory milestone. You rock! 

We are whale-y proud of the LPB Family that has been created over the years. Some of our employees have been here 20 to 30 years, and many 10 to 20 years. We have many former teachers and staff that are back as parents and continue to share their love of swimming. Former students are now teachers… and the LPB Pod continues to flourish and grow year after year, generation after generation.

Happy Splashing!