Driver's Ed Returns To High Schools In DougCo

Four High Schools Now Offering Driver's Education After School

If they don't get to school by bus, students usually get a ride from their parents or drive themselves.

This week, some Douglas County schools are bringing driver's education back into high school classrooms for the first time in several years.

It’s touted by the company offering the program as a first-of-its-kind class which actually helps to pay for extracurricular activities.

The program is already very popular. Classes just started and they're already full at three of the four high schools offering the program including Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge and Chaparral.

Ponderosa High's class is not yet full.

The class is $500 for each student, but the company offering the class, Protect and Serve Driving Academy, is putting $100 of that right back into the schools.

Meaghan Daly is one of those student drivers. "You get a lot of first hand experience because they've been police officers and they've seen the consequences of not driving correctly and safely," said Daly.

All Protect and Serve Driving Academy teachers are current or former law enforcement officers. The classes at schools are taught by the resource officers already at the schools.

"The best way to describe it is mutually beneficial,” said Highlands Ranch school resource officer Robert Griggs with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. “All these guys are current or former law enforcement."

The program is a partnership between DougCo schools and Protect and Serve Driving Academy.

The company donates 20 percent of the money students pay right back to the schools - money earmarked for extracurricular activities.

"Schools are suffering budget cuts. We don't want those after school programs and activities to be cut," said vice president of Protect and Serve Driving Academy Imtiaz Stephen. “That money goes to keeping student activities running because student involvement keeps kids off the streets and out of trouble.”

The program is a bonus for Douglas County schools and a convenience for parents who no longer have to drive their student drivers to their driving classes.

"I'm very excited. I'm glad the schools opened up and accepted us in. The whole concept behind this is to save lives," said Stephen.

7NEWS checked and found that $500 for required driver's education is about average.

AAA coincidentally did a study 6 months ago looking at the cost of driver's education courses.

According to AAA, the basic course includes: 30 hours of class time plus 6 hours behind the wheel.

The cost ranges from $350 - $1,000.

The “behind the wheel” is the expensive part – usually around $50 per hour.