Personalized Swim Instruction©
© 1987 - 2019 Jeff Kelly inc. All Rights Reserved. Personalized Swim Instruction is a Trademark of Jeff Kelly inc.
This page was last updated on 3/13/2019 at 2:45 AM.

Classes are limited to only 4 students!


Curriculum Overview

Personalized Swim Instruction© is a curriculum designed for ages four* to adult, and offers a spectrum of aquatic education from survival to swim team preparation. One of the most unique aspects of our curriculum is that even while teaching our young students the basic techniques needed for survival, we are integrating the correct techniques for competitive swimming. Our curriculum objectives are: 1) Equip students with the skills to survive in a water-related emergency; and 2) Develop and refine practical safety and swimming skills, which will provide students with the self-confidence needed to safely enjoy the aquatic environment.

* Information for Parents with Children Ages 3 and Under:
From 1987 to 2006, our minimum age requirement was three-years-old. During the enrollment process, we forewarned parents that our class environment was very structured and therefore best suited for children age four and above. However, we provided our customers with a choice to enroll their three-year-olds if they felt those children were prepared for our structured class environment and well suited for the behavior expectations. When possible, we enrolled the three-year-olds in classes with other three-year-olds. However, due to scheduling complexities, we very often enrolled three-year-olds in classes with four-year-olds, and sometimes even with five-year-olds. The maturity differential of these age groups presented the students and instructors with a variety of challenges.

In 2007, we implemented special "Survival Classes" for children ages two and three with the objective of improving the experience for the students in these age groups and for our instructors. These classes were offered in a “Parent-Child Interaction” format. One parent was required to participate in the actual class. While these classes were designed to begin providing a foundation for correct technique (as detailed in the section below for Ability 1 and Ability 2), the class focus was modified to spend more time on survival-related objectives. Furthermore, the instructors modified the expectations for each student according to his\her age-related cognitive and neuromuscular abilities. The instructors taught the parents how to teach their children. By participating in these Parent-Child Interaction classes with their children, the parents were then equipped to continue this education with their children outside of class, thus continuing the preparation process. Through this entire process, our ultimate goals were to begin equipping the children with the ability to save themselves while transitioning them to work autonomously with the instructor; thus preparing them for our formal class environment (in which they could participate autonomously at age four).

From 2007 to 2010, we offered the aforementioned Survival \ Parent-Child Interaction classes. We experimented with a variety of curriculum adjustments as well as session-duration formats. Most of the customers who enrolled in these classes informed us that the classes met or exceeded their expectations. While the interest in classes for ages two and three was sufficient, enrollment was insufficient. Many parents informed us that they were simply unable to be in the water with their child because they would have other children with them at the pool. We had allocated pool time\space and instructor resources for classes that could have been allocated to our autonomous classes for which we nearly always had students on waiting lists. Therefore, we have decided to allocate all of our available pool time\space and instructor resources to classes for students who are able to participate autonomously.

Curriculum Details

Our Personalized Swim Instruction© curriculum contains six “Ability Levels, each referred to as an “Ability”. Each Ability is defined by specific criteria and a specific focus, and contains five “Levels”, A-E. Each of these levels represents a progressive performance and\or integration of “Thematic Movements.” Thematic Movements are a series of individual criteria that, together, make one theme. There are four foundational Thematic Movements to swimming: “Buoyancy Control”, “Breathing Control”, “Kicking” and “Pulling”. As an example, the Thematic Movement of “Kicking” is comprised of numerous, individual muscle movements from the hips to the toes.

The curriculum for our Abilities 1, 2 and 3 focuses on Water Safety and the correct competitive swimming techniques for Freestyle, sometimes called the crawl stroke. The curriculum for our Abilities 4, 5 and 6 is specific to the competitive swimming strokes of Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. However, we had offered classes for these strokes only at our indoor facility during the Spring. As detailed in a section below, we will not be offering classes at the indoor facility in 2018. Therefore, we are only offering Ability Level 1-3 classes this season.

We teach Freestyle first because
it is the most efficient method of swimming. This is not only the observation of today’s experts. An “over arm” method of swimming was observed as early as 2000 B.C. on artwork in an Egyptian tomb. In 1902, an Australian set a world record for 100 yards with this “over arm” method combined with an “up and down kick” used by natives in the Solomon Islands. This combination of leg and arm movements became known as the “Australian Crawl.” Athletes and coaches made huge improvements to this methodology which became known simply as the “crawl.” In addition to competing in individual strokes, early Olympic events included the “Freestyle”, in which the competitors were allowed to swim the stroke of their preference. This “crawl” stroke proved to be the fastest. Consequently, all competitors chose the crawl stroke for the “Freestyle” event and thus it became known simply as the “Freestyle” stroke. Because this is the most efficient method of swimming and our goal is to teach safe swimming as a safety skill and a life skill, we have chosen to focus significant time in establishing it as the foundation for a total swimming program.

Each numerically designated “Ability” described below indicates a student’s level of autonomy. For example, the fact that a student has achieved “Ability” 3 does not necessarily indicate that the student is demonstrating proficient technique. It simply indicates that the student, regardless of technique, can autonomously “move through the water” for a specified distance. A student’s Freestyle “Ability Level” is determined by assessing a student’s autonomy and proficiency. While “Ability” (numerals) indicates a student’s degree of autonomy (measured in distance), “Level” (letters) indicates a student’s degree of proficiency (technique while traversing the distance, measured by detailed analysis provided to each student of the final day of each session):





















(Technique while Traversing the Distance.)

Ability: Degree of Autonomy (Measured in Distance.)





Criteria: The student is cautious or has a fear of the water. The student will not move through the water to the instructor without “Buoyancy Support” from the instructor. Buoyancy Support means that the instructor holds the student’s abdomen, providing buoyancy assistance, as the student attempts to perform \ assimilate multiple Thematic Movements. Thus, the student’s ability of autonomy, as measured in distance, is 0 feet.

Focus: The focus of Ability 1 is to instruct students in basic safety; and in the proper motor skill coordination for swimming Freestyle and floating on the back. For Ability 1 students, all activities are done with total Buoyancy Support from the instructor.

The students are introduced to Freestyle: Buoyancy Control, Breathing Control, Kicking (leg movements) and Pulling (arm movements). Throughout each session of lessons, the students learn to assimilate these Thematic Movements together to perform the Freestyle stroke with Buoyancy Support from the instructor
. Each student also learns and recites safety rules.

The goal is to enable students to perform these skills with minimal Buoyancy Support and eventually without the Buoyancy Support of the instructor.

Criteria: The student can move through the water at least 10 feet without Buoyancy Support from the instructor.

Focus: In addition to the skills listed for Ability 1, the students perform “Gliding” without Buoyancy Support. This Frontglide (Buoyancy Control + Breathing Control) eventually develops into an attempt at Freestyle as students assimilate Kicking (leg movements) and Pulling (arm movements). The end goal for Ability 2 is that the students swim Freestyle for 25 feet (8+ yards) with good technique. Good technique is defined by specific criteria on the Student Ability Report, which each student receives on the final day of class for each session.

Students are introduced to very practical safety skills. These include Backfloat (floating on the back without Buoyancy Support from the instructor) and our Self-Rescue Plan for Short Distance. This self-rescue plan has two phases. Students jump into deep water, in which they fully submerge. They learn to take a quick breath and exhale from their nose as they enter the water. They learn to pull themselves back up to the surface and take a quick breath. In the first phase, students attempt to arch into an autonomous Backfloat. While attempting to Backfloat, they call for help. In the second phase, students search for the wall, take a breath and swim Freestyle back to the wall. Many parents have told us that these skills have made a critical difference when their child(ren) have ventured too far from the edge of the pool. The students are also introduced to practical and basic Peer Rescue Skills.

Criteria: The student can move through the water at least 30 feet without Buoyancy Support from the instructor. 

Focus: The focus for Ability 3 is that the students refine Freestyle for the purpose of aquatic enjoyment. The end goal for Ability 3 is that the students swim Freestyle for 75 feet (25 yards) with excellent technique. Excellent technique is defined by specific criteria on the Student Ability Report, which each student receives on the final day of class for each session. To accomplish this, students learn to extend the shoulder and back, thereby causing a “body roll” that permits lateral breathing and enables them to swim longer distances.

We continue to emphasize safety via our Self-Rescue Plan for Long Distance, in which the students learn how to transition between Freestyle and Backfloat. The students learn to roll over from Freestyle to a Backfloat. While backfloating, they learn to stay calm and control their breathing rate. When they have had sufficient rest, they roll back over and continue swimming. Successful implementation of this safety plan allows the students to swim longer distances by resting in a Backfloat as necessary. Many parents have told us that this safety plan has given their child(ren) the self confidence needed to feel comfortable in the water and enjoy going to the pool or swimming in supervised open-water settings.


Performance of Individual Thematic Movements: “Buoyancy Control,” “Breathing Control,” “Kicking” and “Pulling” are the four Thematic Movements that comprise the essential components of every stroke. A “Level A” student is working toward performing, or may successfully perform, individual Thematic Movements in isolation but cannot yet successfully assimilate multiple Thematic Movements.


Simultaneous Assimilation of Two Thematic Movements: Before the student can assimilate all of the Thematic Movements itemized in Level A above, he/she must first begin simultaneously assimilating different combinations of two Thematic Movements. A “Level B” student is 80% successful in performing all individual Thematic Movements in isolation (thus has graduated from Level A) but cannot yet successfully assimilate the various combinations of two Thematic Movements. Thus, they are working on Level B criteria.


Simultaneous Assimilation of Three Thematic Movements. A “Level C” student is 80% successful in assimilating two Thematic Movements (thus has graduated from Level B) but cannot yet successfully assimilate the various combinations of three Thematic Movements. Thus, they are working on Level C criteria.


Simultaneous Assimilation of Four Thematic Movements: At this level, the student is now assimilating all of the information learned into one focus – Swimming! A “Level D” student is 80% successful in assimilating three Thematic Movements (thus has graduated from Level C) but cannot yet successfully assimilate the four Thematic Movements with a demonstration of excellent technique. Thus, they are working on Level D criteria.


Student demonstrates 90% proficiency of a given stroke (Freestyle as related to this specific table). A “Level E” student is 90% successful in assimilating the four Thematic Movements and thus has graduated from Level D.

A student with an Ability Level of 1D has demonstrated the ability to assimilate all four Thematic Movements for Freestyle (proficiency Level D), but is not yet able\willing to do so without Buoyancy Support from the instructor (autonomy Ability 1). In other words, even though the student cannot yet swim autonomously, he/she is basically doing a “stationary” Freestyle stroke. This is an excellent foundation and when the student develops the courage and confidence to push away from the edge of the pool autonomously, he\she will have the “muscle memory” necessary to swim with a good level of proficiency! Conversely, a student with an Ability Level of 3A has demonstrated an ability\willingness to “swim” (move through the water) at least 30 feet autonomously (autonomy Ability 3) but has not yet demonstrated the successful assimilation of multiple thematic movements while traversing 75 feet (proficiency Level A). In other words, he\she can “cover the distance” but has yet to do so using a proficient Freestyle stroke.

Instructional Methodologies

Our teaching methodologies engage visual, auditory and kinetic learning styles. Our use of repetition\review is critical for the students to achieve retention and establish the kinesthetic muscle memory necessary for them to gain comfort\confidence\proficiency as swimmers. As is true with any athletic endeavor, once the body’s muscles understand the movements necessary for successful performance, such performance becomes the body’s natural response to the applicable conditions (such as in one’s learning to ride a bicycle). From that point forward, the student goes from “learning” to “skill refinement” as the body becomes increasingly adept through increased strength and enhanced coordination. Remember, water is not our native element. Very few individuals “feel at home” and immediately comfortable in an aquatic environment. Swimming may not come easily, even to those who excel in land-based athletics.

Our instructors are trained to follow a very specific daily routine for each day of each session. This routine is designed to reinforce, through repetition, the very specific physical criteria that must be performed successfully within each Thematic Movement. Without repeated practice, we can’t expect our students to improve as swimmers. For students returning to our program for multiple sessions, this may seem unnecessarily repetitive. Please understand: our goal is that every student of our program learns to swim as efficiently as possible. We establish such rigorous expectations because we know that efficient swimming saves lives, and it provides the foundation for enjoyable recreational swimming and successful competition swimming. That is why we insist on systematic assimilation of Thematic Movements until a student is able to comfortably and confidently swim for extended distances. This method of systematic and incremental assimilation of skills is practiced in nearly every academic\athletic discipline. Just as we can’t expect a kindergarten student to successfully complete a doctoral thesis while he is still learning his ABCs; or a six-year-old to qualify for Olympic competition in a sport to which she’s only just been introduced; it would be unfair to expect a student to achieve a mastery of efficient swimming technique during a single session of eight 35-minute classes. Repeated skills practice is a method of mastery that is tried and true.

As a provider of aquatic education, we are continually faced with the challenge of balancing what is best for the education of our students with what is most practical in terms of offering realistic “sessions” for our customers. We realize that Day 1 of a new session may not be Day 1 of your child’s progression through our curriculum. It may, however, be Day 1 for one or more of your child’s classmates. This is impossible for us to prevent because we continue to be blessed with enrollment from returning as well as new customers. As a result, our curriculum is designed to challenge each student according to the student’s age and ability, even within a class of various ages and abilities. We teach all of the fundamentals of swimming in each student’s first session, and therefore each subsequent session is a repeat of the routine \ progression through the skills with an “increase” in the expectation for the student. Liken it to the study of mathematics: an 11th grader taking honors pre-calculus must still utilize her knowledge of numerals and the basic functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; though she is expected to use them in increasingly challenging ways as her study of mathematics continues. If your child happens to express a sentiment similar to “I know this stuff already” or “We are doing the same thing… I’m bored…,” please encourage him\her to show us the best skills they can during class. Then we’ll know they’re ready for those increased expectations and even greater challenges as they become better swimmers! Again, the instructor will “increase” the expectations with regard to autonomy (distance) and proficiency (technique while traversing the distance). To accomplish this, however, the instructor must still work with your child on each of the individual Thematic Movements in isolation to ensure that he/she is executing the movements with precision as he/she assimilates those Thematic Movements together to perform the Freestyle stroke.

As previously mentioned, our instructors follow a very specific routine for each session of lessons. Our standard session consists of eight 35-minute classes (lessons). The instructors follow a detailed “Daily Guide” specific to various combinations of age and ability. Within each day’s planned routine, the instructor will implement the following sequence of teaching methodology:

1. Explanation: The teaching of each Thematic Movement or combination of Thematic Movements begins with an introduction\explanation.

2. Demonstration: That introduction is followed by the instructor’s demonstration of the skill.

3. Group Practice: The instructor’s demonstration of the skill is followed by an explanation and demonstration of what we expect the students to practice while they await their turn to work individually with the instructor. We refer to this as the group activity.

4. Individual Assistance: As students begin independently working on the group activity at the steps, the instructor will provide hands-on, one-on-one individual assistance to each student in turn. This allows the instructor to provide each student with assistance to appropriately challenge them according to their age and ability level; even in a class with students of various ages and ability levels.

5. Critique & Correct: During and following the instructor’s hands-on, one-on-one time with each student, the instructor will provide that student with immediate feedback before moving on to the next student or to the next skill.

Teen \ Adult

These classes are available for students age 13 and older. The information detailed in the previous section is applicable here. We follow the same curriculum when teaching teens and adults. Our curriculum is uniquely designed to provide superior-quality swim instruction to every student, regardless of age. Our instructors are trained to personalize our methodical curriculum to the individual needs of each student. The major difference between our classes for children and our classes for teens and adults is that the instructors will communicate with you as adults. However, the basic process of learning to swim is the same for every human being.

As detailed in the subsequent section for Class Times, a “session” for adults consists of four 70-min classes, offered once per week; whereas a “session” for children consists of eight 35-minute classes (offered twice per week during the spring and four times per week during the summer). A “session” is simply a means of defining a date range for scheduling purposes. You may enroll in as many sessions as needed to attain your goal. Some adults find that one session of four lessons (classes) is sufficient to accomplish their objectives. Most adults need multiple sessions to become proficient swimmers. However, you are not required to enroll in multiple sessions.

Determine Student Ability Level

Please review our curriculum to better understand our Ability Level system. We have designed this section to expedite the enrollment process. While you are welcome to review this with one of our Enrollment Counselors via telephone; we understand how difficult it is to speak on the phone with little ones tugging at your legs. Therefore, you can follow the questions below at your convenience to determine your children's Ability Levels, which we refer to simply as "Abilities". After determining your children's Abilities and determining the sessions in which you are interested; please Enroll Online. However, if you have questions or need clarification, please use our Contact Us feature to send us an online inquiry. Of course, you may also call 816-942-SWIM (7946) and speak with one of our Enrollment Counselors.

Does Student have a fear of the water if it is above his/her head and he/she has NO FLOATATION DEVICE?

Yes = Ability Level 1a!  No = continue…

Can Student lay his/her face in the water, push away from the edge of the pool to a full extension of his/her body and remain floating in this extended position for 3 seconds?

No = still Ability Level 1a!

Yes = continue…


Can Student swim 3 times the length of his/her body? Correct technique is not considered here. This question is designed to determine if he/she can make it this distance when attempting to move his/her legs and arms.

No = Ability Level 2a!

Yes = continue…


Can Student swim “Freestyle” (sometimes referred to as the “crawl”) moving his/her legs from the hips with minimal bend in the knees?

No = still Ability Level 2a!

Yes = continue…

Can Student swim Freestyle at least 3 times the length of his/her body with minimal bend in the knees as just described AND with his/her elbows elevated above the hands, as opposed to the hands swinging high like a windmill?

No = Ability Level 2b!

Yes = continue…

Can Student swim Freestyle 10 times the length of his/her body with the coordination just described in the previous question? Breathing to the side is not considered here – just the ability to continue this coordination for a longer distance than the previous question.

No = Ability Level 2c!  Yes = continue…

Can Student breathe by rolling his/her head and body to the side? This is done as an individual skill with the instructor’s assistance. We are not yet asking if he/she can breathe to the side while swimming.

No = Ability Level 3a!

Yes = continue…


Can Student swim Freestyle 10 times the length of his/her body with minimal bend in the knees, AND with his/her elbows elevated above the hands; AND is able to consistently breathe to the side with correct timing? Breathing is performed with correct timing when the student begins to breathe as his/her arm is pulling through the water. Incorrect timing is when the arm is adjacent to the swimmer’s mouth when a breath is taken. In this case, the student is not getting sufficient air or is even pushing the water into his/her mouth. This would result in the student having to stop and pull his/her head up to breathe. (See photos below). No = Ability Level 3b! Yes = Ability Level 3d!

Correct Timing for Lateral Breathing:

Incorrect Timing for Lateral Breathing:

Preparing Children for Instruction

1. The Fun Connection: The most important thing you can do to prepare your children for a life of aquatic enjoyment is to create a solid psychological and experiential connection between water and fun. As soon as possible after birth, expose your children to water as frequently as possible via the bathtub and swimming pools. Of course, please consult your pediatrician with regard to any necessary precautions you need to take concerning the particular health status of your children. If you have any concerns about the water conditions of a particular swimming pool, do not hesitate to ask the management to show you the daily water chemistry log and/or local health department inspections. When playing with your children in the bathtub or swimming pool, have fun! We do not need to advise you to be cautious because we know that parents are innately cautious with their children, especially new parents. Without realizing it, you may be instilling an unhealthy fear of the water in your children by being overly tense when at the swimming pool. As long as you have implemented every necessary precaution to ensure your children's safety in and around the water, relax and enjoy that time with them. That joy will transfer to the child, even on a subliminal level.

2. Minimize Time with Floatation Devices: The use of reliable, secure floatation devices is critical if you are in any situation in or around water in which you are unable to devote 100% attention to your children. That being stated, we recommend that you minimize and eventually eliminate the use of floatation devices when playing with your children in a 1:1 ratio. Specifically, if you have only one child, do not use a floatation device when you are able to dedicate 100% of your attention to playing with that child in the swimming pool. If you have more than one child for whom you are responsible at the swimming pool, alternate the children's non-floatation device time to ensure the safety of all children.

3. Children's Book: An excellent resource for those children experiencing anxiety or fear, is a picture book titled, "Amanda Panda Discovers the Wonderful World of Water." This fun, educational, multi-lingual picture book was written by Jeff Kelly and published by Jeff Kelly inc. It was specifically written to help children deal with anxiety or fear of water. For detailed information and purchasing, follow this link to Amanda Panda Discovers the Wonderful World of Water.

4. Establish Expectations: Please prepare your children for our formal class environment. Specifically, prepare them for our class rules, which are listed below under Behavior Expectations.

5. Class Observation: If your children are experiencing any anxiety or fear, bring them to observe our classes at one of our facilities or your community pool (if we are teaching there). We have found that this, in combination with Jeff's children's book, is the best method for addressing anxiety and/or fear. Please call and speak with one of our Enrollment Counselors (816-942-7946) to obtain current class times for the appropriate Ability Levels of your children. Of course, this option is at no cost to you. It is extremely helpful for them to see that, though we facilitate a strict class environment, the instructors are gentle and nurturing in doing so. Furthermore, the children will observe that this strict class environment actually serves to protect them. Specifically, they will see that our behavior expectations and discipline procedures are designed to ensure their safety. Of course, as you observe the classes, you will need to dialogue with them about these points to help them establish this connection. During that dialogue, emphasize that the teacher is there to help them learn to enjoy the water.

6. Practice with Your Children: Reinforce the basic skills your children are learning in our classes by practicing these skills outside of class. As you observe the first two lessons, you will learn specific "thematic movements" and a specific routine of assimilating these movements. Please practice these thematic movements and routine with your children as often as possible. To assist you in this process, we have provided a simplified, basic list of these movements and the assimilation order. Without observing our classes, the information below will not make much sense to you. Thus, the following information is designed as a basic guide for parents who have observed our lessons. To avoid awkward sentences, we will use the feminine pronouns of she and her to represent the grammatically correct he/she and him/her pronoun combination.
This section is still under construction. We will be adding photographs, and eventually streaming video for each step.

Practice the following basic neuromuscular conditioning exercises. These exercises are described when working with your child in a swimming pool. You will need to improvise in the bathtub as applicable.

Breathing Control: First, teach your child how to take a big breath in through her mouth, holding it for one second. Blow the air slowly from the nose. Demonstrate this many times before expecting your child to do it. As you demonstrate, exaggerate every step. Most children are only afraid to put their face in the water because it hurts when they get water in their nose. Therefore, it is very important that they blow air out of their nose instead of their mouth. Repeat this several times. Check for air by placing your finger under your child’s nose. Be sure the air is not coming from her mouth. When you are comfortable that she is doing this correctly, put your face in the water and blow air from your nose to show her how to do it with her face in the water.

Leg Movements (Kicking):
Dip your body into the water shoulder deep and have your child put her arms around your neck. Reach under her with your arms to hold the knees. As your child attempts to kick, try to keep her knees straight. It is better not to hold your child out to your side.

Arm Movements (Pulling): Practicing on steps or at poolside: Place your child’s feet on the ground. Lean her forward at the waist. Physically assist her by taking one hand down into the water. Push the hand all the way back past the waist (as far as the arm can extend). Lift the arm out of the water with the elbow elevated higher than the hand. Finally, pull the arm forward so it is extended beyond her head. Practicing with your assistance in the pool: Place your child’s arms on your shoulders, while you hold her stomach with one hand. Use your other hand (alternating hands of course) to move her arms through the motion described above.

Assimilating (Coordinating) the Breathing Control, Leg Movements and Arm Movements:
Progressively assimilate each of these "thematic movements" together in a specific and consistent order. Place your child’s hands on your shoulders while you  provide "buoyancy support" with one hand holding her stomach. Begin with Breathing Control. Add the leg movements (Kicking) followed by the arm movements (Pulling). You will verbally and physically guide your child through this process.

Backfloat: Lay your child’s head on your shoulder while your body is in the water shoulder deep. Place your hand under her back or hips to give her support. Gradually, you can assist less. Do not hold her out to your side. This method does not provide the child with the feeling of security that she needs.

Professional Teaching Environment & Parental Involvement Guidelines

We encourage you to sit close enough to your child’s class to hear the instructor. In fact, at the end of the session, we will ask you to evaluate the instructor. However, please respect our knowledge and experience as professionals. We have specific requests regarding your participation:

Please do not interrupt the instructor during class. We do encourage your input. However, if you need to speak with the instructor, please approach him/her at the end of class. If you have a quick question, the instructor can answer it then. If you need to speak with the instructor at length, please ask him/her to call you. The instructor will obtain your phone number from the office and follow up with you before the next class.

Please do not approach the class and attempt to assist your child with a specific skill. If the instructor needs your assistance or would like to show you how to help your child at home with a particular skill, he/she will ask you to come to the side of the pool.

Please do not approach the class and reprimand your child. This is distracting for the instructor and other students. Please allow the instructor to handle all discipline issues during class.
As you will see in our “Behavior Expectations and Discipline Procedures,” the instructor will involve you in the discipline process as appropriate. In fact, you can be most helpful by thoroughly reviewing this information with your child(ren) and providing us with your full support of the discipline procedures.

Behavior Expectations
for Personalized Swim Instruction© Students

From Jeff: How do children most effectively learn? I have been studying this topic since 1985. There are many schools of thought on the subject. The theories range from extremely rigid learning environments to unstructured and undisciplined environments. Like so many things in life, theories are just that - theories. Therefore, the best we can do as parents and educators is to create and select environments that we believe to be the most effective for our children and students.

When I began designing the Personalized Swim Instruction© curriculum in 1987, I knew very little about educational theories. I simply created the learning environment that came naturally to me. I asked myself how I best learned information and skills. I knew that I could not function in chaotic, disorganized and unstructured class settings. I liked a quiet, organized, disciplined and structured class environment. I liked consistent rules for everyone. I felt confident when I clearly understood the expectations of the teacher. I was already biased to this type of environment because it was the only environment that I had known.

I was raised in an Irish-Italian-German-English family of nine. Before having a family, my father spent five years in the seminary studying to become a Catholic priest, followed by several years in the military during the Korean War. Those years in stoic, disciplined and structured settings set the precedent for raising his children. I never questioned my father’s authority. He established it absolutely. Though he was a very loving and gentle father, he had zero tolerance for misbehavior or disrespect. We only had to misbehave or be disrespectful once and we never made that mistake again.

You can imagine how difficult it is for me to adjust to some of the parenting concepts of this latest generation. I have observed some parents allowing their children to show disrespect by interrupting their conversations, "talking back" to them, and even yelling at them. Some parents believe that it is important to allow children to express themselves in this way. I disagree. Many parents are afraid that if they are too strict, their children will not like them. I loved and respected my parents. We had a great relationship. (They died in 2011 and 2012). In fact, they both worked for my corporation from 1996-97 to 2006. My father and mother never had to tell us anything twice. They only had to look at us with "that look" and we sat up straight. We had strict rules and strict and consistent consequences if we broke the rules. There were no "second warnings" or "if I have to tell you again…"

I understand that you have a choice when selecting a swim lesson program for your child(ren). I hope that you choose to enroll in our program. We would love the opportunity to serve you. Before you make that decision, however, I feel that it is only fair that you are aware of our behavior expectations. You have probably already surmised by now that they are like my father’s expectations. You are correct, but don't worry; my instructors are much more gentle and patient than was my father. :) I understand that few people were raised as I was. Some of our students just need an adjustment period with us in which they gain an understanding and appreciation for our behavior expectations and discipline procedures.

Our behavior expectations and discipline procedures have been established to ensure the safety of our students and to create an optimal learning environment for all. We have identified specific behaviors that jeopardize these goals. Therefore, we have itemized each expectation and its rationale. One of the many benefits of our program is to prepare or reinforce the structure students must follow in school.

Should learning always be fun?
I believe that the process of learning is fun and exciting. However, that does not mean it is easy, nor does it mean that we need to play games to "entertain" students into learning. We have all been to school, whether public or private. Was school always fun? Did our teachers allow us to talk while they were talking? Did they allow us to disrupt other students just so that we could have fun? Was it a legitimate excuse that we were disruptive in class because we had a hard time paying attention? I think we would all agree that the answer to these questions is no. School is not always fun and games. Structure and discipline are necessary components for learning to take place. We hope to show the students that it is "fun" to make improvements to their swimming skills and that they can feel good about working hard to do so.
We consider aquatic education as important as any other subject your children will learn in school.

Our expectations are as follows:

Expectation: Students are not allowed near the water until the instructor has called their names.
Rationale: Safety.

Expectation: Students are not allowed in the water until the instructor has entered the water. This is not applicable at home pools and homes associations, etc. when the pool is open to all members and the students may already be in the pool prior to their lesson time.
Rationale: Safety.

Expectation: On the first day, the instructor will assign each student a specific "seat" for the entire session. Except when performing a skill with the instructor or swimming to the instructor, the students are required to remain in their assigned seats. During the part of the lesson in which the students are required to practice techniques individually, they must stay within the area near their assigned seats.
Rationale: Safety. In addition, having an assigned seat provides the class with consistency and establishes organization. By setting a simple but feasible expectation for the child, the instructor can initiate the process of immediate, positive critique.

Expectation: While the instructor is talking or demonstrating, students are required to sit still with their hands in their lap.
Rationale: This enforces the importance of concentration and respect for authority, and prevents students from disrupting each other.

Expectation: Students are not allowed to touch other students.
Rationale: Safety. In addition, this emphasizes the importance of respect for others.

Expectation: Students are not allowed to speak to the instructor or to other students without first gaining permission from the instructor.
Rationale: This emphasizes the importance of respect for others and allows the instructor to listen to the needs of each student.

Expectation: Students are not allowed to splash or spit water.
Rationale: Safety and of course, this emphasizes the importance of respect for others.

Expectation: During the part of the lesson in which the students are required to practice techniques individually, they are not allowed to talk with other students. We realize that many of our younger students may need short breaks during this independent practice time. They will not be allowed, however, to prevent the other students from practicing.
Rationale: Justice. Each parent is paying tuition and each child has the right to have the best possible opportunity to learn.

Discipline Procedures
for Personalized Swim Instruction© Students

Our discipline procedures are very straightforward. We expect that students will adhere to the behavior expectations listed above. On the first day of class, the instructor will inform the students of these behavior expectations. On the second day of class, the instructor will review these expectations. If a student does not adhere to these expectations, we will consistently enforce the discipline procedures below. The instructors are trained to be gentle, but firm. We understand that children are excited to be in the water and this excitement can make it difficult to concentrate. We also understand that some children have special needs. However, we cannot allow any student for any reason to compromise his/her own safety and the safety of the other students. We also cannot allow any student to disrupt the other students’ opportunities to learn.

To avoid awkward sentences, we will use the feminine pronouns of she and her to represent the grammatically correct he/she and him/her pronoun combination.

1.      We educate the student that she has not adhered to the behavior expectation by reviewing the expectation with her.

2.      We provide one kind, but firm warning that if this happens again, she will have to sit out of the pool for two minutes.

3.      If the student violates the expectation again, the instructor will follow through with the warning by sitting her out of the pool for two minutes. The instructor will also inform the student that if she fails to adhere to the expectation a third time, she will be removed from the water for five minutes.

4.      If the student violates the expectation a third time, the instructor will ask that you come to the poolside. The instructor will inform you of the situation. The instructor will inform you and your child that if this happens again, the student will not be allowed to continue with that day's class. You will be asked to escort your child to your seat and review the behavior expectations with her. She may return to the class after five minutes.

5.      Finally, after all the above attempts have been made to nurture the child into cooperation with the behavior expectations, we will follow through with removing her from the class for the remainder of the day. The instructor will ask you to come to the poolside. She will inform you of the situation and you will be asked to escort your child to your seat or you may sit poolside with your child while she observes the class. We understand that children have bad days and we hope that the next class day will bring better cooperation.

6.      We will not use valuable class time continuing to discipline the student. Please review the behavior expectations with her. Please inform your child that she will not receive any warnings during the next class. If she does not adhere to the expectations, she will not be allowed to continue with that day's class or the remainder of the session. You will be given a refund for the remaining classes in the session. The instructor will ask you to call the office (816-942-7946) and speak with an enrollment counselor regarding the situation. We hope that you will reschedule for a later session when you feel that your child would be prepared to follow the behavior expectations.

Our Facility

We have a NEW Indoor Facility for 2019!

"Our facility" is Town Village of Leawood Senior Living Community. Of course, we do not own the community or the swimming pool. The reference to "our facility" simply means that it is where we will offer classes to our customers. It is located just off of I-435 East\West & Roe, near 115th & Roe in Leawood. The address is 4400 West 115th Street, Leawood, KS 66211. [Click here for a map and directions.]

The pool has a heater and the water temperature is kept at about 90º.

You can enjoy the patio on warm days. Each restroom has a shower.

We have two options for accessing the pool area during the spring session, depending on the outside temperature:

Administrative Details

Class Structure & Dates

We define any group of classes as a "session". Our standard session consists of eight (8) 35-minute "lessons" or "classes". Each session consists of four 35-minute classes per week for two weeks. Fridays are reserved for pool-maintenance related make-ups.

It is important to note that a
“session” of eight 35-minute classes is simply a means of defining a date range for scheduling purposes. You may enroll in as many sessions as needed to obtain your goals. For some students, one session of eight classes is sufficient to accomplish those objectives. Most students, however, need multiple sessions to become proficient swimmers. Of course you are not required to enroll in multiple sessions. You may enroll in one session at a time.

2019 Schedule

Spring Session* Mondays & Wednesdays or Tuesdays & Thursdays for 4 Weeks
Session 3 MWs April 22 - May 15
Session 3 TThs April 23 - May 16

This spring, we will start with "Session 3" instead of "Session 2" as we have traditionally done through the years. Since we had begun offering spring classes in 1995, our summer sessions have always begun with "Session 4" and we want to retain this historical consistency regarding the naming system for the sessions. In 2020, we may resume offering a "Session 2" which is traditionally from the end of March through the third week in April. Although we have only offered a "Session 1" a few times in our history, we reserve that name for a possible future session from the last week of February through the third week of March.

Summer Sessions Mondays through Thursdays for 2 Weeks
Session 4 June 03 - June 13
Session 5 June 17 - June 27
Session 6 July 08 - July 18
Session 7^ July 22 - August 01
Session 8^ August 05 - August 15

^ Sessions 7 and 8 will be “tentative”. We will offer one or both sessions only if we have sufficient interest AND instructor availability. Because our swim instructors are primarily professional educators and therefore have to return to their school district responsibilities as early as the first week in August; their availability to teach these sessions varies from year to year. Therefore, we will only take requests for Sessions 7 & 8; and we will make decisions about them in mid-July.

Class Times

We create each session's classes with a blank slate of 35-minute class times. Enrollment is done on a “first come - first served” basis. Specifically, the first student added to a particular class time for a given session determines the age-ability-profile for that class. Because we are very particular about matching students according to a combination of age and ability, each student added thereafter must fall within the age-ability-profile of the first student added. In this way, the class schedules are dynamic and can change daily based on enrollment. When we communicate with you, we will need to gather age and ability specific information about your child(ren) in order to provide you with the age-ability-compatible classes for your child(ren). You can help expedite this process by determining the ability level(s) (which we refer to simply as "ability" \ "abilities") of your child(ren) using our Determine Student Ability questionnaire. Via our online enrollment system, you can provide that ability related information, as well as your preferences for class times. We will then reply via email as detailed in the section below for "Enroll Online".

Spring classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening. Children's classes start as early as 4:35 PM and as late as 7:40 PM. Each class is 35 minutes in duration. A "session" consists of eight (8) 35-minute lessons; two lessons per week for four weeks. Teen\Adult classes are available after the last children's classes; and therefore typically begin at 8:05 PM or 8:15 PM. Each Teen\Adult class is 70 minutes in duration. A "session" consists of four (4) 70-minute lessons; one lesson per week for four weeks. When you click on the "Enroll Online" link below, you will be linked to our customized online enrollment system, where you will be guided through the enrollment process via "tabs". In the tab titled, "Sessions", you will be presented with "pick-lists" of the exact sessions (date ranges) and class times available. That is where you will select your desired sessions and class times.

Summer classes are offered from 12:00 PM through 9:15 PM! The first children's classes will start at 12:00 PM. We offer classes nearly every 35 minutes throughout the entire afternoon and evening, with the final children's classes starting at 7:40 PM. Each class is 35 minutes in duration. A "session" consists of eight (8) 35-minute lessons; four lessons per week for two weeks. Teen\Adult classes are available after the last children's classes; and therefore typically begin at 8:05 PM or 8:15 PM. Each Teen\Adult class is 70 minutes in duration. A "session" consists of four (4) 70-minute lessons; one lesson per week for four weeks. When you click on the "Enroll Online" link below, you will be linked to our customized online enrollment system, where you will be guided through the enrollment process via "tabs". In the tab titled, "Sessions", you will be presented with "pick-lists" of the exact sessions (date ranges) and class times available. That is where you will select your desired sessions and class times.

(If we have a contract to offer swim lessons to your community, information will be disseminated to you via your community's website and/or newsletter and/or email blasts. Lessons at homes associations are offered in the mornings, with start-times from 8:00 AM through 10:30 AM. Each community will have an individualized schedule based on pool availability, instructor availability and customer demand.)


Tuition for our standard group sessions of 4 students per class for eight (8) 35-minute lessons is $99.60 per student. Tuition for our standard Teen \ Adult group sessions of 4 students per class for four (4) 70-minute lessons is also $99.60 per student.

We limit our class size to four students.
If you want the option of having fewer than four students in a class, your tuition will be directly proportional to our standard group class of four students, as detailed in this tuition chart:

Group Class: 4 Students Group Class: 3 Students Semi-Private: 2 Students Private: 1 Student
Per Student Per Student Per Student  
$99.60 $132.80 $199.20 $398.40

Enrollment Procedure and Policies

Enroll Online. Please read the details below:

Our "online enrollment" system allows you to easily and efficiently perform all of the steps that lead up to the actual placement of each student into a specific class. This will allow you to provide us with all of the necessary information about the students (ages, abilities, goals for each student, etc.); as well as your preferences for sessions (date ranges) and class times. You will be able to provide us with all of this information at your convenience. Of course, this will prevent the frustration of phone-tag that too often occurs with telephone communication. The data you submit to us through our online enrollment system will be imported into our custom software. All "online enrollments" will be completed by our Enrollment Counselors*. They will manually make the final determination with regard to the classes most compatible for each student. As a final step, you will receive an email from us with all of the details of your enrollment.

*The dynamics involved in building compatible classes are complex and best accomplished by those with experience teaching our curriculum. Specifically, all Enrollment Counselors must first serve as Swim Instructors. Therefore, they have been thoroughly trained with regard to our curriculum, teaching methodologies and instruction techniques. Because they have actually taught all of the various class compositions (different age\ability combinations), they can best determine which classes are most compatible for each student.

Of course, you are always welcome to contact us via telephone at 816-942-SWIM (7946).
Hours for enrollment vary throughout the season. Thus, please call whenever it is convenient for you. If you reach our voicemail system, please leave a message spelling your first and last name, and the best times you may be reached. One of our Enrollment Counselors will return your call as soon as possible. To assist us in reaching you at your preferred time, please provide your cell phone number. Thank you.

Enrollment Policies

When you enroll in our program, you are making a class reservation. Therefore, your confirmation to us is a payment of the total dollar amount of the classes reserved. Because we limit our group class size to only 4 students and overall availability is limited, we do require this tuition immediately. We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Prior to your financial confirmation via the online enrollment system or via telephone with an Enrollment Counselor; we need you to agree to the following policies:

We do not offer make-ups or refunds for classes missed due to personal conflicts, cancellations or students who refuse to participate.
We do not offer special arrangements if you are unable to attend Friday make-up classes.

We will adhere to these polices because your payment is reserving a position(s) in a class(es) that we can no longer offer to anyone else from that point forward. Your payment will confirm your agreement to these policies and it will confirm your reservation(s).

Goggles: We require that each student bring a reliable pair of goggles to class each day. Swim Quik in Leawood is offering a 20% discount to our customers. If you choose to purchase goggles at their 135th & Roe store, simply inform the sales clerk that you are a customer of Jeff Kelly inc.


Rescheduling Policies for Weather & Pool Maintenance

  • All outdoor swim lessons, unless otherwise specified, run Monday through Thursday of each week.
  • Fridays are reserved for weather and pool problem related make-ups only.
  • We do not offer special arrangements if you are unable to attend the Friday make-up lessons.

Our Procedures for Class Cancellation and Rescheduling are as follows:

The instructor will clear the students from the water immediately. The instructor will not allow the class to resume until 20 minutes have passed from the last sound of thunder or sight of lightning. The instructor will return on Friday to provide make-ups for the time missed. We know from experience that Kansas City weather can change quickly. Therefore, it will be your responsibility to go to the pool every day regardless of the weather. Our instructor will be there or somewhere nearby. If the weather clears, even for just 10 minutes, the instructor will proceed with your lesson. Please do not assume that your lessons are cancelled because there was lightning one hour previous to your lessons. In addition, rain itself is not grounds for cancellation. As long as there is no lightning or thunder, rain is quite irrelevant unless it is a cold rain. In this case, refer to the next section regarding cold weather. Because rain is just water and your children are in the water anyway, we will not cancel lessons due to rain. Again, it is your responsibility to go to the pool to see if the instructor is providing the lessons. The same procedure will be followed for the make-up lessons on Friday. However, if we are unable to have or complete the lessons on Friday, we will not provide an additional make-up lesson.

Severe Cold Air or Water:
The swim instructors and you, the parents of those students in the current lessons, shall determine if the air or water temperature before or during the lessons is too cold for the lesson to begin or continue. Because it is your child(ren) who will be in that water, you (as the parents) will vote. On these cold days (either air or water temperature), our instructors will be present for all classes. Each 35-minute class will be decided separately. If more than 50 percent of the parents elect to proceed with lessons that day, the instructor will provide class that day and will not provide a make-up lesson for that class on Friday. In case of a 50-50 vote or if more than 50 percent of the parents vote to reschedule the lesson for Friday, the instructor will provide both a lesson that day and a make-up lesson on Friday. This way, if you are unable to attend the make-up lesson on Friday, you will still have the opportunity to do it that day if you choose for your child to brave the conditions. However, please keep in mind that severe cold conditions impede the children’s ability to focus. You must determine if having your child chill through the lesson is really worth the price of that day’s lesson.

Unsafe Environment for the Students and Instructors:
If blood, vomit or fecal material is found in the pool, the instructor will immediately clear the students from the pool. Remaining time in the current class and all classes for the remainder of that day will be rescheduled for Friday at the regularly scheduled class times. If the contamination results in the facility being closed for multiple days, we will still provide no more make-up lessons than the two Friday classes. If this situation impedes our ability to provide a make-up on Friday, we will not provide an additional make-up lesson.

Instructor Evaluation

This detailed evaluation form provides an overview of the superior-quality standards to which we hold our swim instructors.

Personalized Swim Instruction -- Instructor Evaluation by Customer

 Thank you for entrusting your children’s aquatic education to us. To ensure that we provide you with the best service, I have designed an excellent compensation incentive program for our instructors. Please complete the following evaluation. I have designed the 20 criteria to evaluate the instructor based on Attitude, Personality, Professionalism, Communication, Safety, Discipline, Organization and Efficiency. Please return it directly to the instructor or mail it to the address above. To ensure the integrity of the evaluations, we do request that you provide your name. Please complete one evaluation form per student. Again, Thank you. Jeff



Session Dates:

Your first and last Name:

Student’s first and last Name:

Each criteria is worth a total of 5 points, with 0 = Never to 5 = Consistently.

Instructor is Pleasant.


Instructor is Enthusiastic / Energetic. The instructor makes the class fun through his/her energy and excitement of the learning process, while still maintaining discipline and organization.


Instructor is Passionate / Motivational / Inspirational. The instructor truly desires the students to excel. It is apparent that the instructor is trying to improve the students rather than “just going through the motions.”


Instructor is Patient / Nurturing. He/she provides praise and encouragement, while constructively critiquing performance.


Instructor conducts himself/herself in a Professional Manner.


Instructor Articulates his/her words. He/she provides Clear and Concise Instructions to the students regarding class expectations and exercises.


Instructor uses Age-appropriate Language with the students.


Instructor is Aware of the Location of all of the Students in his/her immediate class. He/she positions his/her body to be able to see all of the students, even while providing individual assistance to one student.


Instructor Maintains Organization by establishing and enforcing the behavior expectation that the students remain in their “class seat” during verbal instructions and demonstrations.


Instructor Maintains Organization and Safety by establishing and enforcing the behavior expectation that the students practice specific techniques in or near their “class seat” while awaiting their turn for individual assistance.


Instructor Maintains Organization, Safety and Efficiency by establishing and enforcing the behavior expectation that the students are not allowed to verbally or physically disrupt other students.


Instructor is Punctual. He/she begins and ends the classes on time.


Instructor is Prepared for and Structures the Class Exercises.  He/she has an established lesson plan for each day. (We have a very specific lesson plan for each ability level range for each day. Though the instructors are well trained, the information they are required to know is voluminous. Therefore, I have outlined the lesson plans in a laminated daily guide. It is OK for the instructor to quickly consult this guide as needed. However, if he/she spends valuable class time constantly checking it, he/she has not properly prepared for the class).


Instructor is Efficient in Making Full Use of Class Time by keeping an energetic pace throughout the daily routine.


Instructor Demonstrates ALL Skills and Strokes before expecting the student to perform them.


Instructor Provides Specific Critique and Correction of the students’ performance. He/she provides clear explanations regarding the movement or skill in need of improvement and provides specific exercises or drills to correct the problem.


Instructor Provides the Students with Specific Exercises or Drills to Practice while awaiting their turn for individual assistance.


Instructor Tailors the Class to Meet the Specific Needs of Each Student. The instructor is able to recognize and adapt his/her teaching to provide each student with the appropriate amount of assistance and autonomy.


Instructor generally Provides an Equal Amount of Individual Assistance for Each Student. (The instructor does not spend disproportionate time with a student or students who are struggling with a particular technique.)


Instructor Appropriately Challenges the student to his or her full potential. The instructor is gentle, but firm in commanding the most from each student. He/she provides the student with specific objectives, rather than choices for participation.


Total Points Possible = 100 (20 criteria at a maximum of 5 points per criteria). If you prefer, the office staff will calculate the score.


Please use the back of this paper to elaborate on your scores if you desire or for general comments.

Lifeguard Certification

This course is not a part of the Jeff Kelly inc. Personalized Swim Instruction© curriculum. Rather, it is a component of our Aquatic Facility Management services. Our Lifeguard Instructors teach the American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification curriculum. Successful completion of this course will result in a two-year American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification with a two-year CPR \ AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) Certification.

This course is available to students 15 years of age and older, who meet specific swimming ability requirements. Employment with Jeff Kelly inc. is a requirement to enroll in this course. For more information about our Lifeguard employment opportunities, please refer to the Employment Opportunities section of this website.

816-942-SWIM (7946) | 800-641-SWIM (7946) | Contact us | 10540 Washington, Suite 302, Kansas City, Missouri 64114