The “Ins and Outs” of JMSS:

The Jim Montgomery Swim School (JMSS) is a family-owned business here in Dallas, TX. Founded by Olympian Jim Montgomery and his daughter Ellis Raymond, JMSS offers lessons for all ages and abilities. We are built on an Olympian’s knowledge of all things swimming as well as a previous Kindergarten teacher’s knowledge of all things education based. Jim and Ellis have built a unique swim lesson environment that Ellis even jokingly calls her “aquatic classroom”.

We believe that everyone can learn, but we all learn in different ways. If you have ever been in the education field you may have heard the term “differentiated instruction”. Teaching to the student and not in a generalized manner is important to us at JMSS. We follow a system of building blocks through our levels here at JMSS. There is a reason for everything we do, even the way we have the flow of our facility set up. We are a skills based program – meaning when your child consistently can perform a skills based on our guidelines we will check it off as “mastered” and once they meet all skills in their level they will graduate to the next level. Once they graduate they will receive their level ribbon or medal, depending on their current class, and you can move them to the next level at the front desk or through our parent portal on the JMSS website. 

Who Can Swim at JMSS?

Baby Swim:

We start our swimmers at 6 months old and we have the parents join in a group setting where the environment is relaxed and friendly. Those kiddos learn comfort under the water, basic safety skills as well as bond with their parent or caregiver through their love of swim. Once kiddos turn 2 years old they are eligible for a semi-private lesson without a parent in the water or they may remain in our Cuddlefish group lesson. At the age of 3 all swimmers will head into a class led by a coach without their parent or caregiver in the water.

Kids Swim:

Kids ages 3-5 will start in group lessons with a max of 3-4 kiddos with one coach in the water. We really hone in on the building blocks of swimming with our beginning level swimmers. Comfort in and around water, breath control, body position, water safety and propulsive swimming are the main focus to start out. Each level will build upon these skill sets and push kids to be able to get a rollover breath, both for safety and body position, as well as learn the beginning techniques for developmental swimming.

Our swimmers develop, refine and maintain swimming skills in our kids learn-to-swim program ages 6 through 12. Our Stingray 1-3 classes teach the same basic skills as our kid’s levels but at a developmental level that fits their needs. Floats (body position), rollover breathing (safety and body position), propulsion and basic safety skills are some of those things they will start out on. 

Developmental Swim:

From there the program focuses on the basic components of the competitive swimming strokes and turns according to competitive swimming standards. The curriculum is intended to be appropriate for the experience level of the students in the program and meet their developmental needs. Our developmental program begins with Swordfish I, teaching side breathing/ technical freestyle. In Swordfish II backstroke is introduced while refining freestyle technique. Swordfish III teaches the basics of the breaststroke with an emphasis on safety and treading water. Swordfish IV teaches the basics of the butterfly with an emphasis on lengthening each stroke for efficiency. In all four Swordfish classes endurance, safety skills and technique drills are added as we build upon the previous levels.

The last step in our developmental program is Swordfish V. We keep refining technique on all four strokes while introducing drills, building more endurance and teaching competitive skills like flip turns and open turns for all four strokes. This is a great stepping stone to any swim team program as we spend time focusing on skills that are vital to every competitive or recreational swimmer.

Marlins Swim Team:

We also continue on with the Marlins year-round developmental swim team for those who meet the skill requirements. The Develop, Refine, and Maintain teaching methodology is continued at the Marlins Developmental swim team level. The Marlins’ program is designed to teach, build and foster student-swimmers’ competitive swimming skills while having the experience of swimming as a team sport. Our goal is for your swimmer to learn new skills, practice and execute them consistently, and build confidence. The focus is on building endurance, refining proper technique, interval training and learning about the swimming world as a whole. We aim to make this a low stress environment and instead of throwing swimmers in the water while being told sets we have coaches in with them to help maintain the technical need of each stroke and drill. *The requirement to join is to be able to swim 25 yards, the long way of the JMSS big pool, in Freestyle and Backstroke while maintaining proper technique. This is equivalent to a Swordfish 3 level and above at JMSS.

Do you only teach kids?

We teach all levels and abilities here at the Jim Montgomery Swim School. Swimming is a unique sport in which you can learn it at an early age and continue on, or even just start out, as an adult. We offer adult classes for those who are fearful of the water, are a true beginner, need some technique coaching or even those adults who want to swim recreationally on our Masters swim team in the DFW area. We have so much to offer and are happy to help you start your swim journey or turn you into a recreational swimmer. 

Where do I go for more information or to sign up?

For more information you can head over to or call us at 469-345-7946. If you have any questions we are always more than happy to help!