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Students learn swim safety at aquatic center

Students learn swim safety at aquatic center
A Haslet Elementary student jumps into the water with the help of a staff member

While competitive swimming and diving is a key aspect of the Northwest ISD Aquatic Center, the facility isn’t just for athletics – younger students are learning the importance of water safety.

At the aquatics center, second-grade students from all 20 district elementary schools will spend two days learning proper swimming technique and ways to stay safe in water. The water safety program begins with lessons about personal safety, followed by lessons about how to respond to those in distress.

Steve Melbourn, director of the aquatics center, said the response from students has been overwhelmingly positive.

“My favorite thing to see is when the bus rolls up, and you see them pile off the bus, is they’re all smiling and excited to come visit the facility,” he said. “Their eyes are all big when they walk inside [and see] the enormity of this facility. They can’t wait to get in and start learning.”

Water safety was a key component of the district’s decision to build an aquatics center, alongside the increasing need for a practice and competition facility for district swimmers. Not all children regularly swim or have an opportunity to enjoy bodies of water, making water safety lessons vital at younger ages so they gain experience and familiarity in the setting.

A boy jumps in the water at the NISD Aquatic Center

The program includes lessons from the Red Cross Water Safety Program, split into one-hour sessions. To ensure every student has a successful start, classes watch “Longfellow’s WHALE Tales” by Red Cross, with introductory pool rules.

After watching the introductory videos, swim instructors assess the skill level of each student before they begin practice. Students are placed in peer groups of similar skill levels to help each child grow and improve.

“They walk out of this facility knowing how to protect themselves and knowing how to help somebody else who’s in distress or need,” Mr. Melbourn said.

For those who enjoy the experience of water safety courses at the aquatic center, several swimming clubs operate out of the facility. The Lakeside Aquatic Club, a third-party provider, offers swimming lessons for students ages 3 to 18. 

Learn more about the NISD Aquatic Center
For more information about the NISD Aquatic Center and its offerings, visit