Swim Lessons

The Mount Rainier Pool strives to offer quality swim instruction by following the American Red Cross curriculum, managing good instructor-to-student ratios, and striving to have certified swim instructors to teach lessons. We also believe in a culture of safety, which includes instructors never turning their backs on participants and a lifeguard always monitoring swim lessons to provide a second set of eyes at all times. Finally, we believe practice and play are important elements in learning, so we offer free weekly practice times and affordable rates for passes. Please read the sections below to better understand our swim lessons, or contact us if you have any questions. (November 30 Update): The updated information includes Winter class offerings and registration dates. 

NEW STUDENTS: Please check out the New Student box under Registration Information. Swim Tests/Evaluations are required for some levels.

Philosophy and Instructor/Parent Relationship


The Mount Rainier Pool strives to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for swim lessons for all ages and members of our community. We believe swimming is an essential life skill and a healthy recreational activity. We are committed to training our staff and community about the importance of water safety.

To enhance the quality of our lessons, we follow the American Red Cross standards and work to ensure most instructors are certified. Finally, we work to keep our classes affordable and have scholarship options of up to 90 percent off for residents of Des Moines and Normandy Park. Finally, we believe practicing with your children is paramount, so we have added free practice times. See below for more information.

Instructor/Parent Relationship

Please keep in mind the instructor is only with your child for a short amount of time. We need your assistance with their lesson performance. The same holds true for effective discipline. If there is a method that works effectively for you with your child, and the instructor is not having success, they would welcome your input. If so, please communicate at the front desk and do not disturb the class.

If you have questions or concerns, please leave your name and phone number at the front desk and our staff will contact you before the next set of lessons.

Management staff are available to assist you with your concerns and can serve as a liaison between you and instructors regarding communication. Please email us at info@mtrainierpool.com or call and ask to speak with a manager at (206) 824-4722.

Class Schedule

Class Schedule Details

Winter classes will only be held on Saturdays between 8:30 am and 11:30 am. Youth classes, levels Preschool 1-Learn-to-Swim 2, will be 25 minutes, with Learn-to-Swim 3-6 being 30 minutes and held between 8:30- 11:30 am. (Adult classes were moved to weekdays starting in February.)  Click here for a listing of the exact class times. (12/12/23 Update: Additional classes added including new earlier start at 8:30am.)

*No class 2/17 (President’s Day Weekend).

Day Times Class Dates
Saturday 8:30-11:30 am 1/13-3/9 (8 classes)*

Weekday Classes: Weekday class offerings will be starting in February. More information including registration dates, class dates and times, and other information will be available in early in January. An email notification will be sent out through the email notification system.

Adult Class(es): (15 & Older) Adult classes will be on weekdays this Winter. We will advertise these classes in January. 

Swim Evaluations (Required for New Students Requesting Levels other Than Pre-1 or Level 1 Classes)

Our goal is to give all participants the best experience in our swim lessons! The most important part is ensuring participants are in the right level. This not only helps the individual but also ensures other class participants get the most of their lesson time. We suggest having a swim evaluation before registration deadlines. This gives your child the best chance to get into lessons. (Note – People applying for Parent and Child, Preschool 1, Level 1, and Adult classes do not need to take a swim test.)

Swim Evaluations are available by appointment during Family Swim Times. Please schedule one business day before by emailing frontdesk@desmoinespool.org .

Class Levels Overview

Below is a breakdown of class levels. For more detailed information, click here. Please work with pool staff to ensure you are in the right lessons.

Parent & Child
(Ages 6 months to 3 years)
(Ages 4-6 Years)
(Ages 7-14 Years)
(Ages 15 Years)


Class Levels


P & C 1, P & C 2


Pre-1, Pre-2, Pre-3

Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5, Level 6


Adult I, Adult II

SWIM LESSON LEVELS OVERVIEW: Click here to view more information on swim lesson levels.

SWIM LESSON LEVEL SELECTION GUIDE: Click here to use this guide to better find the right swim lesson level for you or your child(ren).

EXACT CLASS TIMES FOR WINTER 2024: Click here to see the exact class times for Saturday Winter classes.

Registration Information

Registration Dates & Times

Registration will follow the 1,2,3 system to ensure residents are being given priority for registration. Please register promptly on the dates listed below as there is strong demand for swim lessons in the area.


Resident Non-Resident

(1) All current student registration*:
Friday 11/28, Starting at  4pm

Non-Current (2) New Non-Current Student, Resident Registration:
Saturday 12/16, Starting at 10am
(3) New Non-Current Student, Non-Resident Registration:
Saturday 12/16, Starting at Noon


Classes will start in February. More information coming in January 2024.

*Current students are participants of classes in September-December 2023. Waitlist participants are not considered new students at next registration dates and times. Must register as non-current students.

Phone, In-person & Online* Registration

Ability determines class placement, not an age level. (Online registration shifts responsibility for assessing ability to the parent rather than our instructors and can lead to an improper class placement that can affect the quality of lessons.) Please see the exact registration dates and times below. To register over the phone, please call us at (206) 824-4722.

Phone: To avoid confusion in assigning class placements, only one person will handle calls at the start of registration. This may result in longer wait times. Our call tree will queue users, and we will answer calls in the order received. Any messages left will be answered after we have responded to all current calls. (If we are overly busy, this may be the next day.)

In-person registration: People can wait in line as early as 45 minutes before registration opens. Numbers will be issued, and staff will call out numbers as registrars are available. Anyone who comes in early to get a number and then leaves will lose their turn and must get a new number.

*Online registration: Online registration is available for current swim lessons students. If your child participated in any of these swim lessons sessions, you will be considered a current student:

  • Saturday Mornings (9/30-12/2)

As classes have limited capacity, it is essential to register students into the correct classes. To be able to register online, you must sign into your account through our website signing in using your email and password. You will only be able to sign up the participant for the level they are eligible for. If there are any questions about what level they are eligible for, please contact the front desk (206) 824-4722

Create own account: Please help us speed up registration by creating an account. See below for more information.

Create Own (Civic Rec) Account

Please help us by setting up an account on our registration software (CivicRec). Please click here to setup an account. This will help speed up the registration process and ensure your contact information is correct for communications including waitlists.

Setting Up A CivicRec Account:

  1. Click here to setup a new account at com
  2. Click login/create account button in upper right corner and follow
  3. Please make sure that you list a good contact phone number and email to ensure we are able to contact you.
  4. Once complete, you should receive a confirmation Please use this email to double-check your account to make sure the contact information is correct.
  5. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (206) 824-4722.

Online Registration Directions will be available only to Current Students. See Registration Process below for more information. Just a heads up that online spots will fill fast, so please be ready to register with your account setup and payment information already in the system.

Current Students

Current students can register online (NEW) by phone or in-person. See more detailed information below. Current students are participants that participated in swim lessons this Fall eligible classes.

Fall eligible classes* include:

  • Saturdays (9/30-12/2),

Participants that have two ore more unexcused absences are not considered Current students, and will have to register as NEW students. This is to ensure lessons are made available to those that utilize the service. 

Detailed information on how to register online will be sent to your home email address.

New Students (Please Read Before Attempting to Register)

New/Non-current students can only by phone or in-person (no online registration**). See more detailed information below.


If you are a new student who wants to get involved with swim lessons at our facility, you will either be placed in our lowest class available for the age of the student

  • Age 6 months-3 years 11 months: Parent and Child 1
  • Age 4 years-6 years 11 months: Preschool Aquatics 1
  • Age 7 years-14 years 11 months: Learn-to-Swim 1

OR you can take a swim placement test to try and try to start in a higher level.

You can come into the facility at any time we are open to the public, no appointment is necessary. Here is our schedule.

A lessons instructor will run though our evaluation and place them in the appropriate level.


Class Capacity

Classes are capped at five (5) for Pre and Level classes, and ten (10) for Parent and Child and Adult classes.

Overfilling of classes takes away from the experience for all participants. (Note-this is the reason we have strict registration processes to ensure people are in the right class.)


Waitlists will now be limited to the first five (5) participants for most classes. Participants will only be contacted if a spot becomes available. If you are contacted, please follow the steps below. All steps are taken to ensure we maximize the number of people we can serve.

  • If a spot becomes available, we will call participants in order they are on the list.
  • Participants have three hours to claim their spot by returning a call to (206) 824-4277. (NO EMAILS WILL BE ACCEPTED!)
  • If a spot is NOT claimed within the time frame, we will move to the next person on the list.
  • Participants that do not return calls twice for waitlists may be skipped for future spots. (Please make sure your contact number and email are accurate for communications by registering for your own account, or obtaining login information to check it.)

Class Pricing

Class Pricing Details

There are no grants for free swim lessons available, but there are scholarships available for residents of Des Moines and Normandy Park of 90% of the class price. Below prices are for an 8 class-session.



Parent & Child
(6 months to 3 years)
(4-6 Years)
(7-14 Years)
(15 Years and Older)
Resident $47 $66 $66 $66
Non-Resident $60 $80 $80 $80


We have updated our scholarship program including a simplified process, resident focus, and 90% coverage for all programs! The scholarship program is for residents only (Des Moines and Normandy Park). Click here to view our scholarship page for more information.

Scholarship Pre-Approval Event

Due to low turnout for these events, we have elected to not offer them. Please check out our scholarship page, and please allow 10 business days before registration deadlines. Staff cannot register participants for scholarships without pre-approval. Click here to visit our scholarship page.


Class Refund Policy

People dropping out of swim lessons takes open spots away from others and effects the quality of lessons. For swim lessons, a $10 service fee (plus pro-rated first class, if needed) will be added for refunds, and no refunds will be processed after the first class. Again, this is to improve the quality of programming and maximize attendance in classes.

Click here to view the Admissions and Refund Policy. Click here to complete an online refund request.

“No Show” Current Student Loss of Eligibility

If a participant misses two classes in a session (and does not call to excuse their absences), they will be removed from lessons and will have to re-register as a NEW (NON-CURRENT) STUDENT.

Management has the right to remove participants from lessons that are not respecting the process and barring others from participating.

WHY? Our goal is to serve the maximum number of people from our community with swim lessons and water safety. ”No shows” take lifesaving opportunities away from other members of the community.

If you need to communicate an absence, please call us at 206.824.4722 or email info@mtrainierpool.com.

Free Practice Times

The district is dedicated to help youth become better swimmers and more comfortable in the water. We realize that swim lessons alone are not enough, and that practice is key to your child’s success. This summer we will allow current youth swim participants and one parent* free entry during the following times.


  • Saturday, 11:30am-12:30pm


PLAY: Playing in the water with your children will help them apply their skills in a fun manner.

COMFORT: Swimming with your child will help them be more comfortable around the water.

BONDING: For teaching younger children, helping support them and perform the skills is a great activity to do together.

SUCCESS: Moving up levels in swim lessons takes not only learning, but mastering swim skills.

SUPPORT: Practicing with your child shows that you are willing to help them succeed.

Private Swim Lessons

The Mount Rainier Pool updated its Private Swim Lessons but has placed them on hold to focus on group lessons. The goal of the updated process is to give working families more options to take lessons around their busy schedules. We hope to have this program updated by Winter 2024 as we are focusing on community programming and free lessons before adding these services back.

More Information

For more information, email us at frontdesk@desmoinespool.org or call us at (206) 824-4722.

Future Updates

Our next set of classes will start in the Winter of 2024, and information will be sent out a couple of weeks before registration on our email notification system, social media, and website. For updates, please sign up for our email notification system at www.mtrainierpool.com or email us at info@mtrainierpool.com.

  • Website News Link: Click here to view our website’s news
  • Facebook Page: Click here to view our Facebook page, which includes events
  • Twitter Page: Click here to view our Twitter page
  • Email Notification* Signup Page: Click here to subscribe to our Email Notification Signup

*Email notifications are sent out before social media posts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming Soon. If you would like to have a question answered, email us at info@mtrainierpool.com.


Do you have more questions or would like to speak to someone in person? Our front desk is here to help. You can call them directly at (206) 824-4722 or email them at FrontDesk@mtrainierpool.com. Office hours are:

Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-1:00 pm & 4:00-7:00 pm

Saturday, 9:00 am-2:00 pm


Winter Closure Project Schedule (February 20 - March 3). Click here for more info including partial days. Still Open on Saturdays.