About Our Swim School

Menlo Swim School: June 2020 Details

We are extremely excited to start teaching our community again after being closed for such a long time due to COVID-19. There have been a few important changes that you will need to know before registering for classes.

All classes will be taught from the pool deck in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. These guidelines are for both your student’s safety and our staff’s safety while we work through this crisis.

Unfortunately, that means we must require all our new students be independent and water safe swimmers. We would love to have the ability to teach any student of any age and skill, but sadly that currently isn’t possible. We hope you understand this and our reasons behind this decision.

When showing up for a swim lesson, please:
1. Be ready dressed to swim
2. Have all equipment needed for the lesson ready (toys, towels, goggles).
*We cannot provide any equipment, toys, towels, goggles, or changing areas of our own

All registered lessons will have a 1:1 ratio with one student and one teacher.

Our Setting
Menlo Swim School lessons are taught in the Burgess Pools in Menlo Park. Burgess Pool is part of a nine acre public open space and sports facility, and is adjacent to the Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center, Arrillaga Family Gymnasium, Burgess Skate Park, Arrillaga Family Recreation Center and the Menlo Park Library. In the Burgess Park, you will find a public playground, picnic tables with barbecues, soccer field, tennis courts and baseball diamonds.

Levels and Classes at Menlo Swim School

The instructor can take the swimmer through our in-water progression to assess skills and ensure where the lesson will start.

Level Fundamentals: Level Fundamentals continues to focus on water safety as well as learning good body position, flutter kicks and side breathing. Swimmers will develop strong foundation for freestyle.

Freestyle: Swimmers learn freestyle beginning with body position, efficient flutter kicks, freestyle arms, and side breathing.

Backstroke: Swimmers continue to review and improve their freestyle while learning backstroke. They develop body position, rotation, effective kicks and backstroke arms.

Breaststroke: Swimmers will begin to learn the difference between short axis and long axis strokes, with an emphasis on the importance of a proper kick and glide. Each of the four parts of breaststroke will be isolated to yield a successful breaststroke.

Butterfly: Students learn the importance of a full body dolphin kick and undulation, timing of kicks with pull and recovery.

Lessons Advanced: Swimmers continue to refine all four strokes as well as develop more advanced techniques, including starts, turns and finishes.

Schedule for Swim Lessons

Private Lessons
All lessons are 30 minutes in length and are held during the following hours:

Monday – Friday 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm


Our 30 minute lessons will take place in the Instructional Pool with either our Head of Swim School, Jacob Allen, or our Swim Pro, Reza Ojagh.

Private Lessons: $76/lesson

All registered lessons will have a ratio of 1:1 with student and teacher.  All lessons are 30 minutes in length.

*Youth Scholarships available from Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation. For more information and to see if you qualify please fill out this form.

Registration Info

Due to the safety regulations in place for COVID-19 our swim lessons will be given in a private manner (1:1 ratio) with students who are water safe (independent in the water).

Lessons can be booked up to 7 days in advance. The 7th day (in advance) to book is released online at midnight.

2020 Holidays

November 26-29 Thanksgiving Break
December 21st, 2020 – January 3rd, 2021 Holiday Break


Coaches / Instructors

Our Instructors
Each of our instructors completes 40 hours of training with a master instructor trainer before beginning solo instruction. Our Master Instructors have over 5 years of experience teaching swim lessons. New instructors are cross-trained with current instructors, so all instructors are familiar with current teaching techniques and methods. All our instructors attend regular on-going training throughout the year, to develop them as instructors, swimmers and individuals and strengthen our swim lesson program.

Our Deck Coordinators
Our deck coordinator is available on the pool deck to help you get your kids into the pool on time, answers your questions, and provide support for our instructors. We encourage you to talk to the deck coordinator. We welcome your input, so please don’t hesitate to ask questions and make comments. The deck coordinator is there to take your feedback so that your instructor can focus on your child.

Our Head of Swim School

Jacob A

Meet our Swim Instructors!

Jessica V

Jessica has been with Menlo Swim School since November 2015. She joined the team with a variety of experience working with children. She quickly became a very popular instructor here at Burgess pool. She is extremely sweet with the swimmers and enjoys helping kids learn new skills and seeing their enthusiasm when they are able to master a skills. Jessica is sweet, patient and effective in her teaching style.

More about Jessica: She enjoys dancing, movies and rescuing stray animals in her spare time.

Jenna H

Jenna Holden has been with Menlo Swim School since February of 2013. Jenna has a strong love of the water. She swam competitively year round for her local USA swimming league and later at the intercollegiate level. Jenna loves to be able to build the foundation for swimmers to learn to enjoy the sport. Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and is our Recreational Therapist here at Burgess. Jenna has vast experience in aquatics including coaching, and adaptive aquatics. Jenna is mellow and patient with swimmers but able to advance each swimmer, being intentional with each swim.

More about Jenna: Jenna enjoys mountain biking and cooking in her free time. Jenna is also a Select instructor here at Burgess!

Leah T

Leah has been with Menlo Swim School since August of 2012 but has almost a decade of experience teaching aquatics instruction. Leah swam growing up and began swimming competitively in high school. Leah loves to work with swimmers who are nervous or scared around the water and build confidence and comfort in the pool. Leah is structured yet patient and creative in her teaching style.

More about Leah: Leah has her degree in Sociology from San Jose State. She enjoys swimming in the ocean, dancing and cooking for her friends and family.

Polly Berquist

Polly came to swimming late. She did her first Masters swim workout at age 35 and promptly learned  two things.  One, although water safe she didn’t know any of the four strokes; and two, swimming not only provides exercise, but also an hour of calm in the chaos of the day. Almost 20 years later, she still swims a coached workout 3x per week and particularly enjoys IM’s (a medley of all four strokes). Her teaching style is adaptable.  She likes to have fun but can be firm when needed while building confidence and skills in the water. As an active swimmer herself, she often works through student issues in her own workouts to develop different approaches to student needs.

More about Polly:  She loves an active life with her husband and two adult sons.  She swims, skis, golfs, and snorkels whenever she can.

Noel R

Noel has been with Menlo Swim School since August of 2015. Noel quickly became one of the most popular instructor because of his ability to connect with every swimmer. Noel is constantly working to improve his own (already great) strokes. Since starting here, has asked for help from other coaches and instructors and has not only improved his own technique but learned to teach the strokes even better by spending his free time learning himself.  Noel’s favorite part of teaching is interacting with the swimmers and positively impacting each individual swimmer.  Noel is fun yet focused on technique and details in his lessons.

More about Noel: He enjoys cooking and driving in his free time

Mattie T.

Maddie is a swim instructor here at Burgess. She grew up taking lessons here, and swam for Menlo Aquatics. She played water polo for two years and swam for three at Saint Francis High School. Currently, she is in college at the University of Oregon, where She swim for the club swim team. Maddie enjoys working as a swim instructor because swimming is a big part of her life, and she likes working with others and hopes that they have a positive experience with the sport.

Vienna L.

Vienna started swimming right here at Menlo Swim and Sport at about the age of 6, and later moved on to compete for the Menlo Mavericks swim team. Throughout high school, Vienna was quite active, participating in various sports like swimming, dance, and wrestling. She has been working with young kids since she was an 8th grader and has been teaching for about 2 years. Vienna has worked at many different types of kids camps in her years and enjoys working with kids of all ages. Vienna teaches because it is a great way to combine her passion for swimming with desire to teach children. Vienna loves making learning fun for the kids and using her, sometimes silly, personality to do so. She is excited to see you, and who ever is going to walk, or should we say ‘swim’, into her class.

Tom G.

Tom has been with Menlo Swim School since August of 2016. He teaches because he loves swimming (for both his club team and his high school) and he wants to share his love of the sport. Tom likes to teach the swimmers learning any one of the four strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly) because he can apply what he has learned from his coach to his students. Furthermore, in explaining ways to make his students’ strokes better, he finds different ways to improve his own stroke.  He likes to watch football, read, swim, and hang out with his brother in his free time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I schedule a Swim School class for my child?
Lessons can be booked online here.

Q: It is raining! Is my swim school lesson going to be cancelled?
Lessons continue rain or shine!  In the event of lightning or thunder, the pool will be closed for 30 minutes following the last event. If your swimming lessons are cancelled during this period of time you will qualify for a makeup lesson. Makeups must be scheduled within 30 days of the missed class.

Q: Can I choose a specific instructor?
You can choose a specific instructor; however, we cannot guarantee that instructor will remain the same in our group and semi-private lessons. We can guarantee that all of our instructors will provide a safe and fun environment and work to progress the skills of each swimmer in every lesson. While different instructors may have different personalities, different teaching styles, and different strengths, all instructors are well trained on our curriculum and all are great with swimmers of all levels!

Q: Why has my instructor changed?
We offer our instructors an opportunity to change their schedule a few times a year. This happens generally in June, August and January. Many of our instructors are young students whose class schedules change, or they may return home at the end of school. Instructors may also be simply moving on to another phase of their life. Swim Instruction is a great job with many great benefits, but may not be the career goal of all of our instructors.

Menlo Swim School does their best to notify you of any change of instructor as soon as possible.

Q: What days are you closed?
Swim School is closed on some holidays. Check out our Swim School holidays here

Q: What is your diaper policy?
We have a double diaper policy. All non-toilet trained children are required to wear a disposable swim diaper covered by a snug fitting reusable diaper cover. For your convenience, these are available for purchase in the Pro Shop.

Q: What if my child is crying?
Children may cry for many reasons in a swim lesson. They may have some trepidations about the water or about getting in with a new person. The most common cause of crying we see here in swim lessons is usually a form of separation anxiety.

After 3 years, we encourage swimmers to participate in classes without parents. There can often be some crying in the first few lessons. Instructors will work with the new swimmer to calm them and end the lesson in a positive way. It is often very difficult for an upset child to focus on what the instructor is asking if the parent is nearby. The instructor or deck coordinator may ask you to observe from a place where your child cannot see you. This often allows for the child to calm more quickly. This can be a very difficult situation, but with the help of the instructors and deck coordinator, we hope to make your swimmers first few lessons the most positive experience possible.

Q: What is the difference between Pre-Comp and Swim Team?
Our Menlo Aquatics Swim Team is a year-round competitive swim team that is perfect for swimmers that are excited about joining a team atmosphere and committing to the team through meets and team activities. Menlo Aquatics focuses on technique work through drills and skills in a practice atmosphere. Find out more about Menlo Aquatics at www.menloaquatics.com

Pre-Comp is an extension of our Menlo Swim School which gives swimmers an opportunity to get a glimpse into the sport of swimming as well as offering a bridge to our Menlo Swim Team. Our Pre-Comp group is designed for swimmers to continue with proper stroke technique and begin to build their endurance and speed. Goals for this group are to become skillful in the four competitive strokes and become exposed to the rules of the sport of swimming as well as how FUN the sport is. We believe in giving opportunity for young swimmers to succeed in the sport by developing good habits, body position, and skills all while having fun!


You can start lessons at anytime. We schedule lessons up to 1 week in advance. Payment for lessons is due in full at the time of booking.

Registration for a new lesson can be done online or in person or by phone with our Service Center at (650) 781-5525.

Unfortunately, we cannot “hold” a class that has not been paid for.

All lessons need to be booked 48 hours in advance. Any changes must be made 48 hours in advance to avoid charges.

No makeups.

We have great instructors here at Menlo Swim School who go through extensive training. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee specific instructors. Instructor schedules can change at any time.

Double diaper policy for water babies
All non-toilet trained children are required to wear a disposable swim diaper covered by a snug fitting reusable diaper cover. For your convenience, these are available for purchase from our Pro Shop.

15 Minute Sunscreen Rule
Menlo Swim and Sport requires that swimmers apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to getting into the pool, and that they use the restroom prior to our lessons. This allows us to maintain optimal cleanliness to our facilities.