Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PROGRAMS: Swim classes at the Kennedy School

Question/Comment:  A resident expressed frustration with the process for signing children up for swim classes at the Kennedy School, which he finds inconvenient for a family with two working parents.  The sign up times are from 3 to 5 p.m., and then from 6 to 8:30 p.m, which makes it difficult for a parent to sign up on the way home from work (i.e., from 5 to 6 p.m.). If parents aren't there at 3 p.m., they are not guaranteed a spot. During the last registration, he got there right at 6 p.m.and was lucky enough to get one of the last spots.  He also notes that the swimming program itself is wonderful and those who do get spots are fortunate to have access to this resource.

City Update 2/4/10: In addition to signing up for swim classes at the allotted time, partnets can also can contact Rich Cheney, the District Aquatics Director (617-625-6600 x6676 or rcheney@k12.somerville.ma.us) at any time to make alternate arrangements to register your child/family for swim lessons, for example between 5:00-6:00 PM so you can stop on your way home from work.  This option is always open.  There are routinely slots open for popular classes during the weekday evening registration periods, so getting to the registration site at 3:00 on a weekday is not necessary to get a space.  Over the longer term improvements are already underway to expand the number of days/hours for face-to-face swim lesson registration.  Mr. Cheney and his team are striving to balance dates/times that maximize convenience and fairness.   However, the face-to-face registration process is essential to ensure that aquatics staff have accurate information about students’ abilities and they are placed in the best class for them, so lessons can start and proceed smoothly to maximize learning.  Look forward to these improvements for September 2010.

City Update 2/2/10:  This concern has been forwarded to the manager of the pool, Rich Cheney, and Superintendent Pierantozzi.  The City is currently looking at online solutions for registration and/or payment for swim classes, which may obviate these concerns about registration times.

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