Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Diving into North Penn’s Lifeguarding class

Constantine Diatlov
Equipment used in North Penn’s lifeguard course this year.

North Penn offers many courses. From AP Calculus to Photography, the potential to learn about subjects that a student can enjoy are virtually endless. However, one class stands out from the rest with a unique opportunity for students. 

Life-guarding is a year-long elective, two days a six day cycle class that teaches students to become certified lifeguards, by following an American Red cross course. Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year it will be counted as a PE required credit. It is available for all grade levels at the high school. Homework consists of watching training videos, which are filmed and updated regularly. 

“Most of the class is in the pool, half of the sessions are out of the water. Active drowning situations are taught, including head, neck and back injuries,” Health and physical education teacher, David Franek, explained.

Upon successful completion of the course and final test, a student will receive a certificate which will open doors for employment at aquatic facilities. 

“I see it as an opportunity for kids in North Penn High School to provide a service to their community and to receive employment,” Franek proclaimed

Why get certified at North Penn? According to American lifeguard USA, the first-time life-guarding certification costs $385. This is for your first time certification, to get re-certified it would cost $185.

“We require students to purchase an Adult and Infant CPR mask, and a certificate if they pass, which is about $45,” Franek explained.

The North Penn life-guarding certification program is almost eight and a half times cheaper than if you were to get it from ALA (American life-guarding Association). If a student successfully passes the tests, they will receive their certificate at the end of the year, after they pay.

As exciting as the course may seem, it does have its challenges.

For one it’s a physically demanding course with students being required to swim 200 yards (8 laps) during class as a warm up. The course also requires students to pass a prerequisite physical test, which consists of:

  • 300 yard swim: Students have to swim 300 yards without stopping, with a mix of Freestyle and Breaststroke.
  • Retrieve a brick from a pool depth of 7-10 Feet: Students have to retrieve and carry a 5 pound brick from a depth of 7-10 feet back to shore
  • Tread water for two minutes: Students have to tread water for two consecutive minutes without the use of arms.


Life guarding is an exciting and door-opening course that gives students the opportunity to receive certification, and potentially work at aquatic facilities. Underclassmen thinking about summer employment should consider this opportunity. 

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  • W

    Willa MaglandMar 19, 2024 at 8:41 am

    I got my lifeguard certification at the pool I work at now, and I recommend lifeguarding as a summer job to any students looking for a job. It helped strengthen my social skills, it pays alright, and you get to learn life-saving first aid along with it. I haven’t had to make a save yet, but maybe this summer?