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COVID Safety Procedures

We took the COVID-19 Learn to Swim Safety Pledge!

  • We pledge to make COVID-19 safety our number one priority.
  • We recognize we are all in this together fighting this pandemic and will do our part as members of our community.
  • We recognize our responsibility and take seriously the critical role we play in the health and safety of our swimmers, families, staff and communities.
  • We pledge to follow CDC and health department guidelines in the operation of our learn-to-swim facility.
  • We pledge to communicate, educate, implement and enforce safety standards that meet and may even exceed what is recommended.
  • We know that learning to swim is a life-saving skill and an essential layer of protection against drowning and will do our part to provide this training as safely as possible.

What does this look like at Wisconsin Swim Academy?

We Have Also Put Into Place Several Additional Protocols To Ensure Everyone’s Comfort And Safety.

  • Limited Occupancy: One caregiver per child, please. We usually love to have all our swim buddies here, but we ask all non-swimming siblings to stay at home whenever possible to help us keep within our capacity limits.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: We miss your faces, but for now we are requiring all members to wear face masks in our facility, unless in the pool area.          
  • Safe Exit: Showers will be temporarily closed in regulation with local and state authorities. While we encourage families to exit our facility as quickly and safely as possible, changing huts will be available to use after lessons if needed. We know fall is coming! Brrrrr. 
  • Symptom Checklist: Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms must stay home. We look forward to seeing you again when you are healthy!
  • Super Clean: We always pride ourselves on a sparkling facility and have increased our cleaning regimen and pool sanitization schedule. In addition to professional deep cleaning and sanitation throughout the week, we have a dedicated cleaner during every shift to disinfect high touch surfaces. 
  • Social Distancing: We’ve limited the number of chairs available in our viewing area with markers to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Keep a safe bubble. 
  • Sanitized Air Circulation: Our pool and HVAC systems have been programmed to bring fresh air into the facility at a higher rate than traditional systems. Breathe easy.
  • Smaller Class Sizes: We always love the personal interactions we have with our swim buddies. We will continue to keep our 2:1 student to teacher ratio for group lessons. 
  • Adjusted Traffic Flow:  Parents or guardians can drop children off at the door once they are called for lessons. After lessons, parents or guardians will be permitted onto the pool deck to pick up their children.

If you have any questions or concerns, please ask anytime and enjoy a short video from Susie. Just keep swimming! 

Some reminders about safety precautions and protocols!

Posted by Wisconsin Swim Academy on Sunday, August 2, 2020
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Join us to Celebrate our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony June 18, 2020!

Wisconsin Swim Academy and Bayland Buildings, Inc. are excited to announce the official ribbon cutting for their new swim facility located at 3411 E Evergreen Drive, Appleton, Wisconsin. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 2:30 pm and is open to the public. 

The new 6,000 square-foot aquatic center features an 88 degree warm temperature-controlled pool, observation area, spacious men’s and women’s restrooms with showers and an office area. The facility has equipped itself with state of the art filtration systems that ensure safety for swimmers and their families. 

Bayland Buildings, Inc. completed construction at the end of May and Wisconsin Swim Academy is currently holding classes for both adults and children seven days a week! They have partnered with the Hope Floats Foundation to bring an opportunity to those in the community who cannot afford the level of instruction that Wisconsin Swim Academy provides. For more information on classes and times, please call Wisconsin Swim Academy at (920) 427-8286.

About Wisconsin Swim Academy

Wisconsin Swim Academy is a professional swim school owned and operated by Susie Van Ekeren, since 2010. With an estimated 48 swim instructors and over 1,000 families, WSA’s philosophy is to take a loving, gentle approach to teaching by earning your child’s trust and building their confidence so they can become smart, strong swimmers thus giving you peace of mind. 

About Bayland Buildings Inc.
Bayland Buildings, Inc. is a 100% employee-owned, Commercial and Agricultural General Contractor founded in 1991. Built on a simple principle of providing customers with a seamless experience, without compromising overall quality. Bayland is recognized as one of the most competitive and respected building firms in Wisconsin and currently employs over 200 dedicated people.

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Infant and Toddler Swim Lessons

As a swim instructor, I am often asked, “What age should I sign my child up for swim lessons?” My answer? Infant and toddler swim lessons are the first step in drowning prevention. So, the earlier the better. Often times, there is an assumption that starting lessons at such a young age is unnecessary. I’m often asked why start them in lessons so young? There are so many benefits to starting your infant or toddler in lessons. Let’s break it down:

Drowning prevention

Infant practicing a water submerging technique during an infant and toddler swim class.
Infant practicing submerging

The American Association of Pediatrics now recommends swimming lessons for kiddos starting at age 1. After years of stating that swim lessons not be started until 4 years of age or older, they are now finding that starting swimming lessons earlier is one of the most important layers of protection against accidental drownings.

  • Drowning is the single leading cause of injury related death among children ages 1 to 4
  • Babies aged 6 months and older can learn to survive in the water.
  • Swimming lessons aren’t just for kids! It’s a great way for parents to become informed about water safety and drowning prevention.
  • Children who start swimming lessons earlier tend to be less fearful and negative about swimming.
  • Enrolling your young children in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%!
  • Need more information about drowning facts and prevention? Read our post here.

Cognitive and Social Benefits

Swimming also helps improve cognitive functioning for infants and toddlers. For instance, this includes (but is not limited to):

-Academic learning
-language development
-reading skills
-spatial awareness

A 4 year study of 7,000 children by Griffith University in Australia suggests that kids that swim have advances in physical and mental development compared to kids that don’t swim. When looking at the study, they found that 3 to 5 year old children who swam were 11 months ahead of the normal population in verbal skills. Even more, those children were 6 months ahead in math, 2 months ahead in story recall and 20 months ahead in understanding directions.

Furthermore, a 2010 study suggests that 4 year old kids who had taken lessons between 2 months and 4 years of age were better at handling new situations. These kids also had higher levels of self confidence and were more independent. How cool is that!?

We Can Help!

Want to know more about swim lessons for your infant or toddler?Interested in registering your child for lessons? Wisconsin Swim Academy can help! Send us an email at swim@wiswimacademy.com or give us a call at 920-427-8286 to get registered for lessons today!

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How Do We Measure Success?

We often measure success in what we accomplish. Getting an A on a test, hitting a home run, or mastering a new skill. Most of us want to forget about our failures, right?  What if we changed what the word failure means?  The exact definition of failure is “the lack of success.” At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we want to change that.  You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  That is exactly how we approach each lesson. Your child my not figure out each skill right away, and that’s OK. With continued patience and perseverance, your child will succeed.

Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  This leads us to an awesome story about an exceptional young man named Gerald, who decided to not be afraid of failure.  Instead, he choose to face the fear of not being good at something and use that to define what success means to him.  You can watch that video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0tjVEncJyg. “If I couldn’t handle not being good at something, how could I consider myself a successful person?” Those are powerful words! When your child tries something new, do they give up if they don’t get it right the first time?  As parents, we can teach our kids how to handle failure from a young age.  Thomas Edison, when trying to invent the light bulb, failed 10,000 times! It was attempt 10,001 that he finally succeeded.

Defining Success
At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we measure success by showing up, working hard and having fun!  We don’t have levels or pass/fail classes because we feel each child’s individual strengths and needs are important.  One child’s success might be wearing goggles for the first time, while another’s success might be treading water for 30 seconds.  What is important is to keep at it and to keep trying.  Repetition is the key to success when it comes to swimming.  It takes time, patience, understanding and trust.  And most importantly, learning to swim and learning how to be safe around water by taking swim lessons saves lives.  Need a reminder about water safety?  You can read about it here.



If you’re interested in registering your child for lessons or want to learn more about Wisconsin Swim Academy, please give us a call at 920-427-8286 or send us an email at swim@wiswimacademy.com and we will be happy to help!









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Swimming Lessons for Older Kids and Teens: Why it’s Important

Swimming is a High School Gym Requirement

We often don’t think that our older children or teens need swimming lessons, but did you know that when your child starts high school as a freshman, they will have to take swimming as part of their gym requirement?  Perhaps your preteen or teen has never had formal swimming lessons. Maybe it’s been years since their last lesson. Is high school gym class where you want to find out that your child can’t swim. Is that where you want to find out they don’t feel comfortable or safe in the water?

Often as kids reach a certain age, they think they are too old for swimming lessons.  However, the facts are too important to ignore.

  • Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
  • As kids get older, they tend to take more risks in and around water and might not want to tell someone they can’t swim.
  •  In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children enrolled in formal swimming lessons had an 88% reduced risk of drowning.

Swimming for Sports Conditioning                                                                                

Older kids and teens everywhere are involved in school sports. Being involved in extra curricular activities is a wonderful way for your kids to stay active, learn about teamwork as well as build relationships with coaches and team mates. Did you know that in many high school sports programs, swimming is part of the conditioning program? That’s right! Swimming is a full body workout that many land based sports programs incorporate into their training program because:

  • It’s great for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Swimming is low impact and therefore offers an injured athlete the ability to continue to train while minimizing pain and it enables a healthy athlete a high intensity workout that is low impact. This will prevent injuries to muscles and joints.
  • Swimming is great for cardiovascular fitness. Many high school athletes who are not accustomed to swimming will gain strength and an increased lung capacity.

Swimming lessons can help!

Swimming can help your child become a better athlete but will your child feel comfortable in the water?  When was the last time they had a swimming lesson? If your older child or teen is not a strong swimmer, sign them up for swim lessons. Knowing how to float, tread water and swim to safety are critical survival skills.

We understand your growing kids might be embarrassed at the thought of having to take lessons with kids who are younger than they are.  At Wisconsin Swim Academy we tailor our classes to fit your child’s individual needs. We can make sure your older child or teen is paired with someone who is the same age and similar skill level (we even offer private lessons!). Most importantly, we will make sure they have the skills necessary to be safe and comfortable while in the pool.

Want to learn more about how Wisconsin Swim Academy can help?  Give us a call at (920) 427-8286 or email us at swim@wiswimacademy.com today!


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Wisconsin Swim Academy: The best swim school for children with special abilities

 Wisconsin Swim Academy is the best swim school for children with special abilities.

Teaching kids with special abilities how to swim is not only a good idea, it is essential!  For kids with Down Syndrome, attention deficit disorders, sensory issues, motor skill delays, Autism and other special abilities, swimming can help improve muscle tone and strength, balance, coordination, behavior, self control, communication, self esteem…..the list goes on and on.  The truth is, the benefits of swimming for all of us are tremendous.  For kids with special needs, swimming helps foster courage, confidence, trust, friendships and most importantly, can save a life.  At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we can (and do!) teach kids with special abilities a necessary life skill that can help improve many aspects of their life.


Why we’re the best!

  • Consistency
    Our highly trained instructors all go through the same rigorous training program. That means that each class will have the same high quality instruction with a swim program that is proven to help your child become a strong, confident swimmer.
  • Unique lesson plans
    Every child is different and unique in their own special way. At Wisconsin Swim Academy, your child will have a lesson plan written specifically for them and their individual needs and abilities.
  • Patience
    We know that not all kids learn the same way.  That is why our instructors use patience and understanding to help your kiddos achieve their goals. We celebrate all accomplishments, big and small.
  • Small Class Sizes
    At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we believe that  one on one attention will provide children with special abilities the focused instruction that will help them become strong swimmers.  We offer only semi-private or private lessons.  That means your child will get the individualized attention he or she deserves and will not be distracted by large class sizes.
  • Progress Reports/Communication
    At the end of each session, you will receive a progress report, giving you detailed information on how your child is doing, goals they have achieved and skills they can work on in the pool and at home.
  • New Facility (in the works!)
    As many of you know we are in the process of planning our new facility.  We are just as excited as you are, but what is even more awesome, is that our new pool will be wheelchair/handicapped accessible!  We will be the only warm water pool in the City of Appleton and surrounding areas that will have this feature.

Benefits of Swimming for Children with Special Abilities

We told you why we know Wisconsin Swim Academy is the best swim school for kiddos with special abilities. Now we’re going to tell you the awesome benefits swimming offers for these unique and wonderful children:


Here is a startling fact–Drowning is the leading cause of death for kids with Autism.  Across the board, children with special needs have a higher risk of drowning.  Taking swimming lessons at Wisconsin Swim Academy will help teach kids with special abilities the skills required to be safe in and around water.  It will provide them with an increased spatial awareness and help improve balance, which can help prevent accidents.


The emotional benefits of learning to swim for kids with special abilities are so many, that we can’t fit all of them in this post!  Here are just a few:

  • Improved behavior and increased focus:
    Swimming has been named one of the best sports for children with ADHD.  It helps release excess energy and it allows children to compete as individuals while still being part of a larger team. Swimming aids in relaxation, improves mood and helps release excess energy.
  • Increase confidence and socialization:
    One of the benefits for special abilities children is exposure to others including students, parents and instructors.  Socialization skills are being addressed and worked on in a setting that is not obvious or forced. And as the child learns new skills and reaches new goals, they will have a profound sense of accomplishment, thus increasing their confidence.


When is comes to a sport or activity, water is one of the great equalizers. Water provides 30 times more deep pressure to the body than air and provides and full contact output to the body.  What does this all mean? Swimming provides:

  • Increased aerobic fitness
  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased muscle endurance, tone and strength
  • Increased flexibility, balance and coordination
  • Improved communication skills


Have questions or want to hear more?  Give us a call at 920-427-8286 or send us an email at swim@wiswimacademy.com. We look forward to hearing from you!




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Is your child Swim Team Ready?


Is Your Child Swim Team Ready?


We often get asked by parents of students who are older or more advanced, “what’s next?”, “where does my child go from here?” Here at Wisconsin Swim Academy, we offer a class called Swim Team Readiness.  This is a class that helps prepare your child for swim team by focusing on endurance, advanced stroke technique, flip turns, diving, and swim team drills.  It is a fun and challenging class that will give your child the skills and confidence to join swim team. How do you know if your child is ready?  We are going walk you through what skills we require for swim team readiness and what types of skills they will work when when they are ready to join.


What is Swim Team Readiness?


Swim team readiness is a class we offer at Wisconsin Swim Academy to help prepare your child for competitive swimming.  Before your child can join swim team readiness, we want to be sure they become proficient in these skills:


  1. Advanced Front Crawl: Each child must be able to swim this stroke for 25 yards. This is approximately two lengths of the AmericInn Pool. The student should be able to swim WITHOUT STOPPING down and back at the AmericInn and/or the Calumet pools.
  2. Back Stroke: This includes having a strong consistent kick
  3. Breast stroke: This is arms and legs in combination and must be proficient with timing
  4. Butterfly kick: The coaches feel this skill is needed and helpful for the students to know before they reach Swim Team Readiness
  5. MATURITY: This is very important. We need to make sure your child is fully capable of handling the advanced nature of this class. Swim Team Readiness is typically taught at the Appleton North pool or the Lawrence University pool.  The water is cooler than our other locations and we want to make sure this is something each child in the class can handle.


What Will They Learn in Swim Team Readiness?


Swim team readiness is taught by our fantastic instructors who swim for the local swim clubs or on the local high school teams.  They have the knowledge and skills to help your child build confidence and strength and start them on the path to swimming competitively.  


Once enrolled in swim team readiness, your child will learn swim team drills, flip turns, stand dives, and the butterfly. They will build strength and endurance as well as refine and improve swimming techniques.  We want to make sure your child


When Your Swimmer is Ready For Competitive Swim


So your child has been taking Swim Team Readiness at Wisconsin Swim Academy and is now ready for the next level.  What do you do? Do some research and find a local swim club that best fits the needs of your child and family.  Be prepared to practice, practice, practice!  When it comes to swimming competitively, repetition is best–and remember to have fun!


As always, we are here to help. If you have questions or think your child is ready for swim team readiness contact us at swim@wiswimacademy.com or 920-427-8286.


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Continuous Lessons

Continuous Lessons: Why You Shouldn’t Take a Break During Winter

“It’s just too cold”, “We are so busy”, “We don’t swim much in the winter so we’ll just wait until summer to start lessons again.”  Any of these sound familiar?  These are just a few of the reasons given why some families put swimming lessons on hold during the winter months.  I know what you’re thinking.  What’s the big deal?  So they take a few months off…they’ll just pick up where they left off…right?  The truth is, taking breaks between lessons can negatively impact your child’s progression.  There are several reasons why having your child take continuous swim lessons are so important:


  1. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Did we mention consistency?  This is the most important aspect of continuous lessons.  Once kids start the process of learning to swim, consistency is key. At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we know that taking long breaks can mean loss of skill, loss of muscle memory and will slow down your child’s progress. Most importantly, taking long breaks will set back the learning process and will most likely result in your child having to acclimate to the water again or relearn previously learned skills upon resuming lessons.

  1. Taking a break can mean quitting

We know it’s not intentional, but sometimes taking a break from an activity can mean never going back. There are many reasons as to why parents don’t continue with lessons: funding, time, or a lack of interest from the child. But it’s important to have your child continue lessons.  Learning to swim takes time and repetition.  

  1. Confidence=Safety

Taking an extended break from swimming lessons can mean a loss of confidence from your child.  And a child who is not confident in their swimming abilities may not be able to stay calm or remember what to do when an emergency situation arises.  Staying current in lessons, will help your child keep those safety skills at the forefront, thus giving you peace of mind.  Remember that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children aged 1 to 4.

At Wisconsin Swim Academy, we recommend scheduling for as many sessions as possible to secure your spot.  You are never required to keep that spot as long as you cancel before the start of a session. We offer multiple child discounts, referral discounts and free payment plans. To schedule your child for lessons, please email us at swim@wiswimacademy.com or call 920-427-8286. We can’t wait to hear from you and remember…Just Keep Swimming!