A swim school that started with a dozen kids in an apartment pool has grown to a regional business that helps kids and adults learn to love the water.

Foss Swim School opened its doors in the Sun Prairie this week at its new 2670 Main St. location. The Minnesota-based company has schools in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota. The Sun Prairie school is the first Wisconsin school.

Jon and Susan Foss started the business in 1993, focusing on teaching kids the lifelong skill of swimming.

The school attracts a wide range of students, from infants as young as six months old, all the way up senior swimmers, with its trademark Swim Path method.

“The goal is not to just teach swimming but to inspire people to love the water, from those who are just learning to swim all the way down the line to the competitive swimmer,” said Patrick Ahrens, Director of Field Operations.

Foss, a Norwegian word for “fast water,” is part of the family’s tradition. Jon, a swim coach, helped create 12 championship swim teams and a dozen national records. Jon also had a mission to keep kids safe in the water after his mother’s brother drowned at age 9. Susan helped the business grow by overseeing the business side of the school.

The Foss program guides swimmers through consistent training methods based on age and ability, with a focus on progression, Ahrens said.

The school also brings in experienced competitive swimmers who want to improve performance. Ahrens said Foss has a lot to offer the strong core of swim athletes in Sun Prairie who want to move to the next level.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting businesses and sports, Foss is taking extra safety precautions to keep students safe. Class sizes and lesson times have been reduced to limit exposure. There’s also extra sanitizing of the facility and equipment, and health screening of staff to prevent the spread of the virus. Ahrens said the safety of students is the No. 1 priority at Foss Swim School.

As the coronavirus has shut down some other sports, Ahrens said the business is seeing a renewed interest in swim lessons, especially for kids who are stuck on the computer all day and need exercise to release energy and stress.

Foss Swim School is located at 2670 W. Main St. Sun Prairie. Find more info at www.fosswimschool.com

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