Swim Lessons
Welcome to Bulldog Swim School!

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The Bulldog Swim School offers year-round swim lessons for all ages and stages. Classes are available to both members and non-members of San Mateo Athletic Club. Although we specialize in small group classes, we also offer semi-private and private classes to meet your needs. Our comprehensive collection of programs will satisfy every level of swimmer.
We have a brand new state-of-the-art instructional pool which is kept at 88° F. It is perfectly designed for swim lessons with an abundance of space, crystal clear water and entry steps covering the full length of the pool.

Swim Lesson Registration Process

Registering at Bulldog Aquatics is easy and convenient!
You can join at any time – we will pro rate the cost if you join in the middle of a session.

You can call us at (650) 378-7383, email us at smac.aquatics@smccd.edu or stop by to talk with one of our Aquatics Coordinators.  We will answer your questions and place your child in the most appropriate class for their ability.

You can also download our registration packet by clicking here or picking one up at our courtesy desk.  Once you have completed the forms and submitted your information, one of our Aquatics Coordinators will call you within 48 hours to complete the registration process.

Swim Information and Registration Days

Come visit us, tour our facility, meet our instructors, schedule an evaluation for your child and speak with our Aquatics Coordinators.  All your questions answered timely and efficiently.

Swim Assessments:

A 10 minute swim assessment is encouraged for all new students wishing to register for levels other than Family Tot and Level 1. This will help us place your swimmer in the group that his best for him or her.  The swim assessment will take place in the water with an experienced swim instructor.  Please arrive 10 minutes early and have your child ready to swim.

Reservations are required for swim assessments.  Please call at least 24 hours in advance to make your reservations.


Swim Lesson Hours: Weekdays 2:00 – 7:00pm, Weekends 9:00am – 2:00pm

Instructional Staff

Our professional and nurturing staff is certified by the American Red Cross. We believe positive early experiences will leave to a life-long love of the water. Your Kids will enjoy playing, learning, and exercising with our service-oriented staff.

Katie Elgaaen, Aquatics Director
Katie has been teaching and coaching swimming since 1990. Her passion for swimming and love of children can be seen in the quality of staff, programs and facilities she has developed for San Mateo Athletic Club & Aquatic Center. Katie is also proud to me a mother of three young children who love the water. Katie is a career swimmer, having swum competitively since 1980. Katie was a finalist in the 1988 US Olympic Trials and won Gold and Silver Medals in the 1987 Pan American Games. She was also an All American swimmer at the University of California Berkeley and was one of the top California women in open water swim competitions.

Giulia Ferraris
Giulia has been teaching swimming for 20 years and has been fortunate to learn a number of methods and philosophies. She has taught all ages and levels from beginner to triathlete. She customizes her lessons to suit her students' needs and makes sure that they are safe, comfortable and are having fun!      

Bulldog Aquatics Swim Lesson Curriculum

Family Tot Classes (6 months – 2 years)
Parent & tot to teacher ratio is 8:1 - Class time is 30 minutes

Family Tot: This interactive class is designed for little ones to become comfortable in and around the water. Emphasis is placed on learning through fun. By using songs, games and colorful equipment we introduce: floating skills, breath control, gentle submersions, and survival skills.  This class is not offered during the winter.

Pre-school Classes (3-4 Years)
Student to teacher ratio is 4:1 - Class time is 30 minutes

Level 1: This introductory class is for children who are new to swimming or nervous in the water. Our goal is to develop confidence, breath control and proper body position. Positive reinforcement is critical to help the child build trust and confidence. Graduates will be able to do 10 relaxed bobs, front float for 5 seconds, get in the ready position, jump to teacher from the wall and relax in an assisted back float.

Level 2: This class is for children who are comfortable in the pool and will go underwater willingly and happily. In this level the focus is on learning proper breathing techniques, improving floating skills, kicking strength and survival skills. Graduates will be able to do back float for 10 seconds, streamline with straight leg kicks, propulsive kicks on back, rollovers and turnarounds.

Level 3: This level is for children who are able to swim independently and are ready to learn the basics of all 4 competitive strokes. In this advanced level graduates will be able to swim front crawl with rollovers for 10 yards, side swimming, elementary backstroke, dolphin kicks, breaststroke kicks, and safe dives.

Grade School Classes (5-9 Years)
Student to teacher ratio is 4:1 - Class time is 30 minutes

Level 1: The focus of this level is to build confidence and learn basic water safety skills through fun and games. Graduates will be able to do small fast kick for 25 yards, jump in the water and recover safely, elementary backstroke, front crawl, and swim underwater for 10 seconds or more.

Level 2: This class focuses on introducing all 4 competitive strokes. Graduates will be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle with side breathing, backstroke, breaststroke kick and dolphin kick.

Level 3: The goal of this class is to prepare swimmers for participation on our swim team. Emphasis will be placed on refining technique in all 4 competitive strokes, introduce racing turns including flips turns, perfect racing dives and pace clock usage. Graduates will be able to swim a continuous 100 IM.

Tweens (10+ Years)
Student to teacher ratio is 6:1 - Class time is 30 minutes

Stroke Development: The focus of each class is to build an environment for youth to practice swimming skills in a supportive, inspiring and non competitive atmosphere while maintain a healthy exercise routine.

Intro to Water Polo: Calling all sports fans! This class is for athletes who are competent swimmers. Focus will be on improving swim skills and endurance while learning the basics of water polo.  This class is offered in the summer only.