By April Charlton

Contributing Writer

Families in the Santa Ynez Valley hoping to beat the afternoon heat this summer can once again dip into the pool at Dunn School in Los Olivos.

For nearly two decades, the private school has opened its pool to the public during the heat of the summer, for open swims and for lessons, and this year will be no different.

“We offer the pool for two months during the summer,” said Amanda Milholland, Dunn School director of summer programs. The outdoor pool will be open from June 11 through Aug. 12. “It’s a great option for families to stay cool in the summer.”

The cost for a family pool pass is $275, which allows people to enjoy the water between 4 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

“We get close to selling out each summer, but we are usually OK,” Milholland said, because there is a limit to number of summer family swim passes the school sells.

Dunn’s summer aquatics program also offers swim lessons — there will be four sessions this summer — and the popular 45-minute lessons have already begun to fill up. Registration began at the end of March, and Milholland encourages anyone looking to sign their child up for a session or multiple sessions to do so now.

“Lessons are already getting full,” she said. “Get signed up ASAP.”

Additionally, the school’s summer aquatics program, which is also open to the public, is offering a splashball camp throughout June, with sessions blocked out by the week depending on skill level. The camp is open to kids ages 5 to 9, with a maximum of 10 children per session. Cost is $75.

The camp is modeled on the principles of water polo, which is known to be an aggressive and tough sport, and is taught by athletes that compete at high school and college levels.

Swimmers stay in the shallow end of the pool, and arm floats are permitted for kids who may need a little more help in the water, according to organizers.

“It’s not as intimidating,” Milholland said about the splashball camp that is intended to introduce participants to the sport while  providing them with the basic skills of the game and an understanding of water polo in a recreational format.

New this year to Dunn’s summer aquatics program is a drop-in water aerobics class that will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Cost is $5 a class, which will be taught in the deep end of the pool.

For more information about DunnSchool’s summer aquatics program, call Milholland at 805-686-0615, email her at or visit