Swim Levels

Swim Level Explanation

Nearly 2 million people learn to swim each year with American Red Cross programs. Here at the Alpena Plaza Pool we use the American Red Cross swim level criteria to ensure the best training and tips on how to be safe in, on, and around the water!

The American Red Cross has been the leader in swimming and lifeguarding since 1914. Now the  winning tradition continues with an exciting new collection of courses designed to make learning easier and to help you benefit from the latest research on instructional techniques.


The American Red Cross trains more than 170,000 lifeguards each year. Lifeguard training and first aid certificates are valid for two years  from completion date. If more time has passed or you cannot obtain your training records from the local chapter, it is best to take another class to get recertified.

The new American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim classes provide instruction to help swimmers of all ages and abilities develop their swimming and water safety skills. It is designed to give students a positive learning experience.

Learn-to-Swim teaches aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water.

Skills are categorized in the following way:

•Water Entry and Exit

•Breath Control and Underwater Swimming


•Changing Direction and Position


•Swimming on Front, Back and Side

•General and Personal Water Safety

•Helping Others

The eight learn-to-swim levels and the objectives for each level are listed below. (Click the title link for more specific information about each description):

Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1

Introduction to Water Skills: skills are developmentally appropriate for young children. Teaches adults how to correctly support child in the water to further develop swimming skills.

Note: For Level 1, children must be at least 5 years of age.

Note: Parent is in the water with their infant.

Preschool Aquatics Level 1

Helps students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. Children must be 5 years of age to enroll.

Learn-to-Swim Level 1

In Level 1—Introduction to Water Skills, your child is introduced to basic skills as the foundation for future skills.

Learn-to-Swim Level 2

Gives students success with fundamental skills.

Learn-to-Swim Level 3

Builds on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice.

Learn-to-Swim Level 4

Develops confidence in the strokes learned and to improve other aquatic skills.

Learn-to-Swim Level 5

provides further coordination and refinement of strokes.

Learn-to-Swim Level 6

Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances.

If registering for swim level classes 2-6, the participant must be able to complete all of the class content from the previous level (please review the earlier class content prior to registration by clicking on the levels above).