Patti’s Swim School

About Us

Our Story

Our founder Patti O’Brien loves children and teaching is her passion. She is the mother of six children and her swim school reflects her insightful parent perspective on what is important to and for children of all ages and their parents.

In 1981, while still in high school, Patti announced the opening of Patti’s Swim School by passing flyer’s around her neighborhood. Her mission was to provide lessons for local children and adults. Her students and their families immediately embraced her gentle, supportive, and effective approach.

Word of mouth spread the news that Patti’s was the best and quickest place to acquire swim safety skills. Since 1981, Patti’s Swim School has taught more than 40,000 children and adults to swim. Adults love the privacy and everyone loves the fun and effective techniques.

Patti O’Brien brings to her swim school a depth of knowledge about how people learn. She has earned a BA in education, and an MA in educational leadership and administration. Patti has been a public school teacher and a faculty member at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, and San Francisco State  instructing in both the general education, and special education credentialing programs.

Patti’s Swim School uses the Red Cross Water Safety curriculum to structure lessons. Tried and true, this curriculum incorporates all levels of instruction, from water adaptation to the skills needed to become lifeguard certified.

Our Staff

All our instructors are screened carefully before being hired. They must possess a genuine enthusiasm for teaching, a zest for life, and a sense of humor.  They use a gentle and supportive approach in their teaching, while maximizing time on task.

All modalities are used to teach lessons so that students are delivered instruction in a way that meets their learning style. Modeling strokes and technique is important to us. All instructors are excellent swimmers themselves.

Many of Patti’s instructors are former students of hers, who have completed her program and returned as adults to seek employment. What a compliment !

Our Facilities

At Patti’s Swim School we are committed to providing an environment where our students feel safe enough to try new things, have fun, and learn in a unique residential setting where parents, grand parents, family and friends can observe lessons and celebrate the new skills gained by our students.

Patti’s swim school supports and encourages parent involvement with their student’s learning process. Management and the student’s instructor are always available to provide feedback and answer any questions about their students’ progress.

To provide an optimal learning environment, lessons take place in a saline pool. This provides our students and our instructors a healthier environment in which to learn and allows instruction to take place without the use of goggles. Studies suggest that regular exposure to highly chlorinated pools can pose long term eye problems and other health risks.  Our pool is kept in the low 90’s for the comfort of students and instructors. We are outdoor May through October and indoor during the winter months.