In School District 218, Driver Education is a course that is a graduation requirement for students, usually taken at the sophomore level. While the course consists of three distinct but related phases -- classroom, behind-the-wheel, and simulation -- it is the classroom portion that is essentially required for graduation. Students will receive one-half credit and one grade upon successful completion of the course.
The state of Illinois requires that students participate in a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training. In our district, behind-the-wheel instruction can take place before school, during school, after school, or on weekends. In every practice drive, at least two students will be in the car with the instructor.
Requirement and prerequisites for this course include:
1. Students in Illinois public schools taking Driver Education must have "a passing grade in at least eight courses during the previous semesters prior to enrolling in Driver Education." Therefore, some students who register for Driver Education may be removed from the course if this requirement is not met by the end of the freshmen year. Summer courses can be considered for this requirement if they fall within a 12-month period immediately preceding the intended Driver Education course.
2. Students must be age 15 before the start of the Driver Education course.
3. In order to be issued a learning permit, students enrolled in Driver Education will be required to take and pass the state's "Rules of the Road" test by the end of the first quarter for first semester students or by the end of the third quarter for second semester students. This test can be re-taken twice, if needed, for a total of three times during a one-year period. Finally, a vision test must be completed and a check for twenty dollars made out to the Secretary of State is required to process the permit.
4. Students must meet the state required hours in classroom and behind-the-wheel to qualify for a license upon successful completion of the course. It's important to remember that students cannot get their license at the DMV until at least nine months has lapsed since getting their permit. The expectation is that parents or guardians help their students practice driving for a minimum of fifty hours during that nine month period.