Why Foss Swim School Teaches Swimming in Quarters

and why it’s the best approach for your child.

May 25, 2023

Almost 30 years ago, Foss Swim School was founded with the goal of helping kids learn to swim well for safety, fun, and the benefit of a great life skill. Every aspect of our program and schools are purposefully designed to support that mission – including our decision to teach our classes in defined quarters, just like schools, rather than a “continuous enrollment” model with a set monthly fee. 

When parents compare us with other options, they sometimes ask why we choose to operate this way. The answer: We firmly believe this approach is superior in terms of the quality of swimming skills gained. Our experience over the past three decades has only reinforced that belief when we see the confidence and ability of our graduates: Here’s some reasons why: 

Clear progress: By offering many narrowly focused levels with clear goals, we can ensure kids are picking up the right skills in the right order to learn to swim well. Levels focus on “can’t miss” skills on the FOSS Swim Path® that you need to master before moving on, meaning no child moves on too soon for their development as a swimmer. 

Well-matched classes: Can you imagine a second-grade classroom where a teacher would be expected to teach a different group of kids day in and day out? And sometimes with a mix of first and fifth graders? It’s the same in swimming – mixed, open-ended groups may result in teachers holding back strong swimmers or giving too little time to weaker swimmers. By teaching in quarters at FOSS, it helps us match your child with other swimmers of similar age and skill. 

Tangible commitment: Families are busy, and everyone at FOSS understands that. We believe that offering parents a clear commitment to a specific class for a set number of weeks, we encourage regular attendance and progress. We also give families a natural break between quarters to adjust to schedules – our quarters coincide with school and other activities, making it easier for families to balance their time. 

Strong relationships: Instructors and students form bonds. Instructors learn the strengths and needs of their students and adapt accordingly to meet the level’s goals. Students form bonds and learn from consistent peers too. It’s part of why term-based learning is the backbone of our education system. Whereas, in a “continuous enrollment” class, instructors and students move in and out which can compromise continuity and quality connections that are core to learning.

Time for mastery: Learning a skill and making it second nature are two different things. Simply demonstrating an ability isn’t enough to advance a student at FOSS. The quarter system reduces the temptation to advance students too quickly. Instead, the schedule has time for repetition and reinforcement built in, helping promote stronger, more confident swimmers. And, if a student needs to repeat a level to gain mastery (which is not uncommon), they will have time to get it right. 

We hope to see you in Spring Quarter at one of our 11 conveniently located Foss Swim Schools across the Twin Cities! Our commitment to the quarter system isn’t an accident. At FOSS, we’re convinced it’s the best way to teach your child to swim. It’s just as important as the other ways we create a successful learning environment, such as pools purpose-designed for lessons, carefully selected and trained instructors, warm water, and comfortable facilities. 

Want to try swimming lessons out before enrolling? You can meet our teachers, check out the pool, see our program in action, and get a custom level recommendation for your student(s) for free! Sign up for your FREE preview lesson

Enroll today for our Summer Quarter via this link! Our Summer Quarter offers once-a-week classes that run from June 11 – September 2, as well as 4- and 2-week Summer Camps that can fit into any family’s schedule! New families can use promo code “WELCOME35” to waive the New Family fee. We can’t wait to meet all the new FOSS Families!

Foss Swim School in Chanhassen is located at 421 Lake Drive Chanhassen, MN 55317

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