Welcome to 2018!
Happy New Year!
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Our schools were closed for two weeks to give our staff some much-needed time off and to give our facilities a little cosmetic love.
Our staff reconvened for our annual all-staff meeting the day before we opened back up for classes. This meeting is a time for staff to hear “State of the Whale” messages from LPB owners John Kolbisen and Irene Madrid and to learn about upcoming changes to our curriculum and other company policies.
On the curriculum front, we have made a few changes to our upper level requirements. For the past few years, Sidestroke has been an optional skill for students to learn at LPB. However, after giving it great thought and discussing the skill with other swim professionals, we have decided to bring it back and for one very good reason: Sidestroke is a safety skill, one that - once learned - children and adults alike can do for a long period of time with very little exertion. If a swimmer has a distressing situation or simply becomes tired in the water, it is in their best interest to have a recovery stroke that they can fall back on until they regain their strength/composure or until help arrives.
We have safety built into every Level we teach:
- Turn-around sit jumps in baby and toddler classes as well as monkey walks
- Climbing out of the pool in Level 1
- Back swims, back floats and turn-around sit jumps (all without fins) in Level 2
- Treading and no-goggle jumps in Level 3
But we realized that by making Sidestroke optional in our Level 4 classes, we were doing a disservice to our students, especially our older learners (teens and adults). So, Sidestroke has returned. To earn a Level 4 ribbon, students must be able to swim with a Sidestroke scissor kick (with equipment) for 38 feet. A Sidestroke mini-ribbon is now part of our Gold Plus curriculum where students will learn the basic arm movements for a Skill sticker and put the whole stroke together for 38 feet to earn the ribbon.
We’ve also rearranged the way we teach butterfly. The dolphin kick (wiggle butt) foundation and skill stickers have been removed from Level 4 entirely and now Level 4 ends with the basic requirement of 38 feet of dolphin kick with seal arms and a sneaky breath. The more advanced skill for butterfly - wiggle butts with railroad arms - is now the skill sticker for the Gold Plus Butterfly mini ribbon (38 feet of dolphin kick with alternate breathing).
These changes will begin on February 1st. Our teachers will begin implementing sidestroke layers in the pool this month, but stickers and ribbons will not be awarded until after February 1st.
Our Deck Support staff and Directors on Duty are are happy to answer any questions about these changes.