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Park Ridge Park District is an independent authorized provider of Starfish Swimming!

The Starfish Swimming curriculum is designed for students ages 6-months to adult. Benchmarks are established at each stage in the program that combine both swimming and safety skills. Students participate in experiential learning activities that allow them to explore the water in a creative and comfortable environment. Correct swimming techniques are taught from the very beginning, providing an easy transition to swim team.

A Parent's Guide to the Starfish Swimming Curriculum

Current program schedule

Interested in being a lifeguard?

If you are interested in working as a lifeguard at Park Ridge Park District, you need to fill out an application and be invited to go through an interview process. If hired, all lifeguards working at the Park District will get certified through the District as a Starguard Elite Lifeguard. For job postings, click here.

StarBabies™ & StarTots™

Ages 6 months-3 with Adult

The purpose of this course is to develop in very young children a high comfort level in the water while at the same time training the adults who accompany them in water safety and drowning prevention. This course does not teach children to become accomplished swimmers or to survive in the water; it does provide a confidence-building, fun, and loving experience. One adult must be in the water with each child.

Starfish Swim School® for Preschoolers

Ages 3-5 without Adult

Designed to meet the needs of children ages 3 to 5, this course develops a high comfort level in the water and a readiness to swim, and for those children who are developmentally ready, it teaches functional swim skills. This class approaches teaching swimming through creative, fun activities in the water. Students work toward developing the five competencies and progress toward achieving the benchmarks at their own pace in a small-group setting.

Starfish Swim School® for Youth

Ages 5-12

Students work toward development of the five core swimming competencies using age-appropriate learning activities. Learning is self-paced but challenging. Swimmers who are beginners up to those starting rotary breathing should sign up for Swim School.

Starfish® Stroke School

Ages 5-14

This course is for students who have achieved the green Swim School benchmarks. Students refine freestyle and learn stroke technique for backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and develop endurance. Swimmers should sign up for Stroke School if they can swim at least half a lap independently with some rotary breathing.

Riptides Off-Season

Ages 5-16

Past and potential Riptides are invited to participate in Riptides Off-Season. Swimmers can improve their technique and endurance in a non-competitive team environment. As a prerequisite, all swimmers must have freestyle an backstroke skills. Swimmers age 12 & up are required to have butterfly an breaststroke skills. Goggles are required, and swim caps are highly encouraged.

Looking for comeptitive swimming? Check out the Riptides!

Diving (seasonal)

Ages 9-15

This introductory diving class is for anyone who wants to broaden their horizons and learn the basic skills of springboard diving. Speed of progression naturally varies by participant, but goals of the class include learning groundwork skills such as the tuck, pike, and straight positions, front dives, and the basic diving hurdle. We require that all participants are able to swim 25 yards unassisted and each participant take part in a mandatory swim test during their first day of the class.

Please Note: Parents or chaperones who have a child participating in swim lessons will be allowed to wait on the pool deck during swim lessons, without charge. Street clothes will be allowed in this area while waiting for your child.

Private Swim Lessons

Ages 3 & Up
We offer private swim lessons year-round. These classes are set to specific times and days of the week. Just pick the one that works for you. Classes are either one-on-one or in small groups if you choose semi-private (upon request).

Current program schedule

Private Flex Swim Lessons 

We offer private flex swim lessons that caters to your schedule and creates custom times. If you or your child learns better in a small setting, this is the perfect option to learn to swim. Contact Jenna Jezek at 847-292-8921 or to schedule your lessons.

View the seasonal brochure for the current schedule of Private Lessons.

School Break Private Lessons (Seasonal)

Need something to do while the kids are off school? Sign up for school break private lessons! Some of our most in-demand instructors are offering private lessons over winter break. Sign up for just one lesson for a refresher, or sign up for multiple to develop new skills! Have multiple children wanting to swim? Sign up for back-to-back lessons with the same instructor, or select days and times are offered by multiple instructors at the same time!

child swimming in a pool