Goldfish Swim School Rolls Out Robust National Reopening Strategy as Risk for Childhood Drowning Increases Amid Pandemic
Leading Swim School Works with Local Officials Across the Country to Reopen Safer. Stronger. Together.™ as American Academy of Pediatrics' Warning Drives Home Importance of Learning to Swim
June 09, 2020 // Franchising.com // TROY, Mich. - As the risk for childhood drowning increases amid the pandemic, Goldfish Swim School - the leading premier learn-to-swim franchise concept - is on a mission to safely reopen the doors of its 100-plus schools to provide children the lifesaving skill. While the global pandemic has caused much of the country to shut down and families to stay home, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns of an increased threat in childhood drowning this summer. As many families rely more heavily on unsupervised lakes and beaches, and parents seek to utilize backyard pools while balancing at-home distractions, remote working situations and more, swim lessons and water safety becomes increasingly important.
As Goldfish Swim School starts to welcome communities back to its schools, the safety and wellbeing of students, guests and team members remains the top priority. While the brand has always taken great pride in the cleanliness and safety of its schools, each individually owned and operated facility has been working closely with their local health authorities and in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on reopening plans to ensure the safest environment possible. Protocol found in Goldfish Swim School's Safer. Stronger. Together.™ initiative will help ensure safety-focused and thoughtful reopenings across the country. While protocol varies school-to-school, notable adjustments have been made to class sizes, sanitization procedures and school policies to ensure social distancing and to abide by local health department regulations. Some of the various updates include:
- Health Assessments: Prior to entering, members will be asked to self-asses their health and the health of their children. If anyone is not feeling well, has a fever, shortness of breath or any COVID-19 like symptoms, or has been directly exposed to COVID-19, they are to cancel their lesson and makeup lessons will be credited to their accounts. Team members will also be evaluated with a health assessment upon arrival for each shift.
- Protective Equipment: Face masks are strongly encouraged in all schools - for both members and team members - and will be required for entry where recommended by state and local health authorities.
- Social Distancing: Members are being asked to maintain social distance from one another in the parent viewing area. Chairs in the viewing area will be set up to reflect state and local recommendations. Children will also be seated at a safe social distance from one another in the pool during lessons, where required. Instructors will also maintain social distance from children where applicable, but will absolutely assist swimmers as needed to provide a safe swimming experience.
- Increased Facility Cleaning and Sanitization Stations: There is an increased attention to high traffic areas and commonly touched facility elements. Schools will also continue to provide antibacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizer, with increased availability in key areas of the facility.
- Removal of Commonly Shared Amenities: Shared amenities such as books and toys, hair dryers, hair products, quarter candy and in some cases, retail items, will be temporarily removed to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. If members need something to purchase for lessons, the front desk will be able to assist.
"The last few months have been a challenge, but together we stayed separate, we stayed strong, we stayed safe - and now it's time to reunite and dive back in," shared Goldfish Swim School CEO & Co-Founder, Chris McCuiston. "Our teams are making sure our reopening plans are all-encompassing, so that we can continue to educate and teach water safety. This year has been incredibly challenging for families, businesses and communities alike. And for a while, it seemed as though many aspects of life were on pause, but water safety is one thing that cannot wait - which is why we are grateful to have the opportunity to start safely reopening our schools."
Drowning remains the number one cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-4, taking the lives of three children in the United States every day. Goldfish Swim School is committed to making a positive difference to help lower these staggering statistics and has recently joined forces with a network of swimming partners to work with an Aquatics Coalition via USA Swimming to lobby for the safe reopening of purposeful, instructional aquatics. With the ability to limit capacity with scheduled lessons, enforce social distancing with swim lane protocol, direct traffic flow and provide PPE, these facilities are in a much better position to safely reopen in compliance with government requirements and provide children a lifesaving skill.
With rising concerns of an increase in childhood drownings this summer, Goldfish Swim School remains committed to helping families promote water safety with their children whether it be in the pool or out. Amid the pandemic, the brand launched 'Goldfish At Home' to provide free, virtual dry-land swim lessons to families nationwide, along with a variety of online and interactive water-safety focused initiatives and activities. As Goldfish Swim Schools continue to safely reopen, families can enroll their children, ages four months to 12 years, in a wide range of swim lesson and water safety instruction utilizing a proprietary curriculum, The Science of SwimPlay®, which helps to build life skills both in and out of the water using play-based learning in a fun and safe environment.
Given how quickly COVID-19 continues to evolve, Goldfish Swim School is constantly monitoring for new developments and will continue to reevaluate steps and actions to assure it continues to do the right things, as well as following the guidelines outlined by the CDC and the local public health officials.
About Goldfish Swim School
Founded by husband and wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston, Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years. Classes are offered by specially trained instructors in a safe, child-friendly and fun environment using their research-based philosophy called The Science of SwimPlay®. Goldfish currently teaches more than 138,000 students per week to swim and be safer in and around the water. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Goldfish Swim School was established in Birmingham, Michigan in 2006, and opened its first franchise location in 2009. Recently, the brand was recognized by Entrepreneur in its Franchise 500® ranking, Franchise Times' 2020 Fast & Serious List, and Inc. Magazine's 2019 Top 5000. Goldfish Swim School is currently in the process of expanding franchise opportunities throughout North America, with more than 100 schools open, and an additional 100+ in development in more than 34 states and Canada.
SOURCE Goldfish Swim School
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