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Please note:

This group is specifically designed to teach children with autism how to safely swim in the water. Graduates will be able to swim the length of the 25-yard Watertown High School pool, including the deep end, and tread water for two minutes.  

Start teaching in 3 steps!

1. Apply for the position of Adaptive Swim Instructor

Adaptive Swim Instructors will be employed by the Town of Watertown. Click the APPLY box, below, to access the employment application, and apply for the position of Starfish Swim Club Adaptive Swim Instructor.

Position Requirements:

Recommended for CURRENT SWIM INSTRUCTORS. The Swim Whisperers® 

training and certification, developed by Swim Angelfish, was developed for instructors who want to learn techniques and strategies for working with special needs children.

2. Register and begin training

How to get started:

  1. Check e-mail messages for a Swim Angelfish invoice. The invoice will be for the Swim Whisperers online training course and two-year Special Splash monthly online continuing education. (*Starfish Swim Club will absorb the Special Splash $25/month continuing education training fee, per the AGREEMENT, below.)

  2. Pay the $199 Swim Angelfish invoice. Swim Angelfish will then e-mail a login and password for access to the Swim Whisperers online training module.

  3. Click AGREEMENT box below. Sign and e-mail the Starfish Swim Club Agreement to

  4. Complete the initial 15-hour online training course. 

3. Teach and continue training

Lessons will be scheduled for Saturday mornings at the Watertown High School pool (324 French St., Watertown) for two sessions (2-2:45pm and 3-3:45pm). 


Swim instructors are required to complete the 15-hour Swim Whisperers online training before teaching their first Starfish Swim Club class and are required to continue teaching during the Special Splash monthly certifications. Equipment will be provided by the Starfish Swim Club.


Lesson Schedule for Fall #1 and Fall #2 Sessions

Saturdays - $45/4-week session

Two (2) sessions each day at 2-2:45pm and 3-3:45pm

Fall #1 Sept. 10, 17, 24 & Oct. 1

Fall #2 Oct. 22, 29 & Nov. 5, 12

Lesson Schedule for Fall #3 Session

Saturdays - $45/4-week session

Three (3) sessions each day at 2-2:30pm, 2:45-3:15pm and 3:30-4pm

Fall #3 Nov. 19, 26 & Dec. 10, 17


Lesson Schedule for Winter #1 and Winter #2 Sessions

Saturdays - $45/4-week session

Three (3) sessions each day at 2-2:30pm, 2:45-3:15pm and 3:30-4pm

Winter #1 Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28

Winter #2 Feb. 18, 25 & Mar. 4, 11

Spring #1 Apr. 1, 8, 15, 22

Spring #2 May 13, 20, 27 & June 3

Summer July 8, 15, 22, 29

Fall #1 Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30

Fall #2 Oct. 21, 28 & Nov. 4, 11

Fall #3 Nov. 25 & Dec. 2, 9, 16

2023 Graduate Family Swim Schedule

Saturdays, 2-4pm, free for graduates and their families

February 11

March 25

May 6

June 17

August 26

October 14

All dates are subject to change or cancellation.

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The Starfish Swim Club is sponsored by The Water-Oak Circle of Sportsand is made possible

by Watertown Park & Rec, the Watertown Board of Education and an Autism Speaks grant.

About our partner: Swim Angelfish 

Co-Founders Cindy Freedman & Ailene Tisser's expertise as occupational and physical therapists has allowed them to help thousands of families and swimmers gain life-saving skills and authentic confidence in and out of the pool. Swim Angelfish provides aquatic therapy as well as private- and semi-private adaptive swim lessons at 20 locations in NY, CT, MA and NH. The Swim Angelfish methodology improves swim skills and safety for swimmers with autism spectrum disorder, sensory challenges, anxiety, attention difficulties, coordination problems, physical disabilities, and more. Ms. Freedman and Ms. Tisser have twenty years of experience and have served more than 5,000 children. Learn more at

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