How do I get a current schedule and register for swimming lessons at Gath Pool, Crystal Lake and Newton North Indoor Recreation Programs and Classes?
Current Schedules of events under the direction of the Recreation Department can be found on other pages with in this document or at www.activityreg.com The on-line registration site for our lessons and other programs can be found at this site and is updated frequently. We also provide Adobe Acrobat files with calendars of events on this page.
What age do you begin swimming lessons at?
The American Red Cross has changed the program back to an age based program. We will offer limited pre-school classes for children ages 3, 4, 5 at the Gath Pool. Crystal Lake will begin the lesson program at age 4 for preschool. In order to participate in the progressive learn to swim program levels 1-6 participants must be a minimum of age 6.
How do I know what level to put my child in?
Lessons are ability and age based and each child learns at different rates. We encourage you to read the course descriptions that can be found at the following link Swim Level Descriptions However, we do want your child to have a postive experience with swimming and encourage you to place your child in a level that will be challenging but still offer success.
When is Swim Registration?
Swim lesson registration for our outdoor facilities Gath Pool and Crystal Lake is scheduled to begin at 3PM the First Tuesday and Thursday in June and will continue daily while the facilites are open until lessons are filled or are underway for a given session. Registration dates for the Newton North Indoor Recreation Center are published on the facility brochure and listed on the calendar for the North Indoor Recreation Center. Summer Swim Permits will also be on sale at the same time as lesson registration.
Why is there no rate for families?
The recreation department made the decision to eliminate family passes at the outdoor swim facilities over fifteen years ago. This decision was based on the ability to track season permits and have them applied to the individuals that purchased them.
Do I need to purchase a pool pass for my children to take swimming lessons?
Yes. The staff at the Park and Recreation Facilities can help you choose the most appropriate option for your situation.
I will have guests visiting me for a week this summer. Can they come to the pool and lake?
Absolutely! Each guest is expected to follow the rules of the pool and lake, including having non-swimmers pass the deep-water test in order to swim in the deep sections of the lake or pool. If you are a Newton resident, and you are present at all times with your guest, you may purchase the resident daily pass for the guests $4.00 for children and $6.00 for adults instead of the $10.00 non-resident daily fee.
Why are children required to take the Deep Water test each year?
Over the winter, many children do not have the opportunity to swim, and therefore, their skills do not progress, and many cases will regress. The test allows them to make sure they have the strength to swim for extended periods of time in deep water, without being able to touch the bottom of the lake, the pool floor, or to hang onto an object.
Water Slide Rules and Regulations:
- Wait at bottom of ladder for your turn
- All Participants must pass deep water test prior to use of the slide.
- Minimum weight limit is 35 lbs.,
- Maximum weight limit is 350 lbs.
- Only one person at a time is permitted to use the slide, no double riding allowed.
- Feet First Only entry into slide Chute
- Wait at bottom of ladder for lifeguard
- instructions on when you can proceed.
- Do not use slide if you are pregnant.
- Do not use if you have history of back
- problems, fainting, fear of heights, heart
- conditions or suffer from seizures
- Standing at top or jumping from slide prohibited
Why are there hourly rest periods?
Rest periods are for both children and staff. Many children are not aware of how tired they become when playing and swimming in the water. The rest period gives each of them the chance to come out of the water, rest and build up oxygen levels, and prepare to go back into the water. For the staff, they have the opportunity to clear their heads and allow their eyes to rest and refocus, get out of the sun for a short period of time, and get fluids into their systems. When they return, they will each sit at a different guarding station, allowing them to be more alert, than if they had stayed in one section for several hours.
Can I wear a t-shirt in the water?
In most instances, t-shirts are not allowed, along with other additional clothing.
This is a situation in which a difficult decision must be made between the swimmer (or guardian) and the staff- the prevention of drowning vs. the prevention of skin cancer. In the event that a "T" shirt is allowed, it must be a white shirt and the person wearing the shirt in the water must remain in the areas of the facility where they can stand.
- Swimsuits are designed to hold very little water, making your body weight as light as possible.
- Other types of clothing can hold on to more water, and create tangling situations, all which can interfere with safe swimming.
- The Supervisor on duty can make an exception to this rule for swimmers who need to minimize their exposure to the sun.
- The Supervisor will alert the guards to the exception, so that extra visual attention can be put towards that swimmer.
Can I swim if I'm wearing a band-aid?
State Sanitary Code does not allow anyone with a communicable disease, sores, or evidence of skin disease to use the pool. Since band-aids rarely stay attached to the skin surface in the water, it is best not to swim when a band-aid is necessary.
- An open wound is an "open door" to bacteria.
Can my 3 year old child, who loves the water but has not had swim lessons, start in the learn to swim program?
Children's success in Level One through Level Six classes is dependent on their having the physical and emotional ability for those levels.
Crystal Lake has made a managment decision to start children at age 4 for lessons due to safety concerns in an open space facility such as the lake so no 3 year old preschool will be offered on this site.
- The American Red Cross, the developer of our learn to swim program, has determined that children should age 6 and over to participate in the levels 1-6 program. We will offer limited pre-school selections for ages 3, 4, & 5 year olds.
- We also have an additional requriement of toilet trained for all class levels.
Can I sign up for two classes during the same session to give my child more practice?
- however we recommend that children should only be registered for one class in order for the classes to be most effective.
- Instruction is only one part of learning to swim, and children should spend time outside of instructional classes practicing and playing, to learn to depend on their own skills.
- Some children are able to develop their abilities through play, and others like to participate in the Newton Swim Team, challenging themselves with others with a variety of abilities.
Who do I go to if I have questions or concerns during swim lessons?
The first person available to help you is your child's instructor.
- He/She has a few minutes between classes before moving to the next class, so if additional time is needed, ask the instructor to contact you later in the day.
- The Head Swimming Instructor responsible for lessons will be on site, and also teaching.
- You can ask to meet with the head instructor with your questions or concerns, or arrange a time outside of swim lesson time if you feel that is more beneficial.
- If you still don't have answers to your questions, please contact the facility director at 627-796-1500.
Are swim classes cancelled when it rains?
In most instances, swim classes are held rain or shine. In the event of thunder or lightning, or when pool/lake water conditions are not appropriate for swimming, classes are cancelled. The decision cannot be made until approximately 8:30 AM, when the morning staff is on duty, and all testing of the pool and lake water and evaluations of the site and weather are completed. Call Gath Pool at 617.552.7129 and Crystal Lake at 617.552.7124.
Can the swim instructors help my child with the Deep Water Test?
Absolutely! Mention it to the instructor on the first day. If your child has a fear of taking the test, the instructor may try to do the test during the lesson.
How can adults learn to swim or strengthen our skills?
- We will offer adult lessons at the beginning of the morning with the Jr. Bluefish program at Gath Pool.
- Private lessons are taught by staff who are certified to teach, and choose to teach private lessons when they are not on duty, those arrangements are made seperately with each instructor then booked through the City accounting system.
How can I register my child if I am not able to be at the Park and Recreation Office during registration times?
There are several options:
- Ask another family to register your child when that family registers their children; only allowed from the second day of registration on
- Ask another family member to do the registration (we get to meet lots of nice grandparents!)
- Register on-line, it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Does the Recreation Department offer Lifeguard Training Courses?
Yes, click on the link below to go to the information page for Lifeguard Training Classes. Click link for information on Lifeguard Training Course***
Does the Recreation Department offer Water Safety Instructor Courses?
Yes, click on the link below to go to the information page for Water Safety Instructor Classes Click for information about our Water Safety Instructor Course*****
Does the Recreation Department offer C.P.R. and First Aid Courses?
Yes, we offer courses in CPR and First Aid to our own staff members, this is by agreement with the American Red Cross. If you are a staff person looking for CPR or First Aid, click on the link register on-line here at the bottom of this page.