• MacArthur HS - Driver Education Program Information Letter


    PHASE I. Classroom Driver Education (Currently a semester-long course)

    • Students are taught laws (rules of the road); safety guidelines (interaction with bicyclists, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, etc.); basic car control; the proper thought process needed to make appropriate decisions to avoid conflict; dangerous behaviors and their impact in the driving world (distracted driving, aggressive driving, DUI); and important information regarding ownership of a car (insurance, costs, maintenance etc.).

    • Students are required to attend a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction by a certified driver education instructor. This state guideline must be met regardless of reason for absences/tardies. No exception. Failure to meet this guideline results in a failing grade for the semester.

    • Knowledge, Attitude, and Responsibility  are the “key” elements to being successful in this class and are emphasized in how the class is structured. (Due dates for assignments, preparedness for class, payment of fees, eligibility requirements for behind the wheel instruction, are all strictly monitored with an expectation that students follow the guidelines set forth). There is a great level of responsibility that comes with owning a driver’s license so there is an expectation that they demonstrate an appropriate level of responsibility in class.

    *REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A PERMIT TO DRIVE >The Instruction Permit will be issued to the student in class approximately 4-5 weeks into the course during the regular school year; summer school students receive permit the last week of the course.

    • Students must be passing the class at the time the permit test (Written License Exam) is given.

    • Passing the Written License Exam with a score of 80% or better. Test is given approximately 2 – 3 weeks into the course (given approximately the second week of the course during summer school). The date is indicated on course outline. The test can only be given one time in class.  If the student does not meet the 80% standard, he/she will have to retake the test at the License Facility. *(See below for information about receiving permit at License Facility.)

    • Pass a vision test with or without glasses. The test is given in class. Dates are on course outline.

    • Pay $20 fee for the permit. Checks made out to “ILL. Sec. of State” or cash can be used. Collection dates on course outline.

    • Have an application signed by you (parent or guardian) and returned to class by specified date on course outline. An access code is provided to the student to allow for the online application process which can easily be done at home.

    • Must be currently enrolled and attending class regularly.

      *If any of the above guidelines are not met by the specified date listed on student’s course outline then the student will need to go to the license facility off of N. Woodford to obtain the permit. Provided the student is passing the class, a letter from the driver education instructor informing the staff at the DMV of his/her eligibility status will be given to the student along with the application for the permit. This letter must accompany the student or the facility will not issue the driving permit. This letter will not be given to the student until the day permits are passed out to students who fulfilled all of the requirements.

    PHASE II. Behind the Wheel Instruction (Students are scheduled based primarily on the order in which they are eligible to receive their driver’s license. This means that older students, provided they have completed all other necessary requirements, are scheduled first. An exception to this would be if a younger student is eligible to receive their license first, based on an earlier issued date listed on the instruction permit.) All information related to specific times/dates, meeting location, and instructor name are included on the schedule passed out to students approximately 2 weeks before the session begins.

    • A behind the wheel scheduling information letter highlighting payment dates/amounts, schedule of sessions, eligibility, etc. is given to the student in class. (Parents are encouraged to review this with their teen.)

    • Students are scheduled for behind the wheel during the school year according to the information provided on a scheduling card that is filled out in class. Before and after school sessions are available. Conflicts and preferred times need to be indicated on these cards. Please remind students to keep their information updated!!

    • Payment does not guarantee a student in a session, it merely guarantees that the student will be scheduled whenever he/she is eligible based on the criteria mentioned above.

    • Behind the Wheel instruction lasts approximately 4-6 weeks. Students are in the car for one hour along with a partner. There are 12 lessons scheduled. If a student is absent they must make up the missed lesson.

    • Lessons will cover the following areas: Instrument panel/devices for control; backing; cornering; highway/interstate; parking (all varieties); basic car control; turnabouts; lane changes; proper ways to handle intersection situations.

    • On the last lesson, the instructor will inform the student as to their status (passing or failing). If a student passes, then they must wait until they are 16 yrs. old and had their permit 9 months before applying for a license and taking the actual drive test for their license at the facility. Most all students will have to take the road test for their license at the facility. We offer road tests for a driver’s license only to students who receive an “A” in class and are considered exceptional drivers during the behind the wheel phase. These are given on the last day of the scheduled behind the wheel lesson.

      Regardless, a student must wait a minimum of 7 business days to apply for a license, to allow for the school to send records to the state verifying the student’s eligibility status.

      If a student fails the behind the wheel phase, they may pay the fee again and be reinstated into a second round of behind the wheel instruction. The school district limits the number of times a student can take behind the wheel to two sessions.

    IMPORTANT NOTES FOR PARENTS: (See the behind the wheel scheduling information letter for more specific information)

    1. Please contact your teen’s driver instructor for any questions you may have. We welcome communication from our parents.

    2. Scheduling for summer driving sessions require students to sign up in the main office. Dates are listed on the behind the wheel information sheet passed out to students in class. It is also posted on the MHS website (click on academics; click on driver education).

    3. Cost of Behind the Wheel instruction is $50. Checks made out to “DPS#61”.

    4. It is extremely important that students be on time for their behind the wheel session.

    5. A student can have a permit but fail the class. The permit only indicates that the student passed the State Written Exam.

      However, the state will not issue a license to a student under age 20 until the student has successfully passed both the classroom(either in high school or in a state sponsored course) and behind the wheel phases of the driver education program.

    6. It is important that parents and students review carefully the restrictions for teen drivers as listed under the Graduated License law section in the Rules of the Road booklet.

    7. Mr. Bryan is the head of driver education. His email address is (ebryan@dps61.org). Please contact him whenever you cannot find the information you are looking for in one of the documents provided you.

    8. Ms. Anderson is the office secretary in charge of many of the clerical issues related to driver education. Please ask to speak to her if you call the school.

      Lastly, our department strongly feels that a student’s attitude and the level of responsibility demonstrated in this class not only determine their success in this course, but it will be an insight to their overall success in the future.


    MacArthur H S

    Behind the Wheel Information sheet


    • COST: $50 >Checks made out to DPS#61.

    • Unless otherwise stated, payment is made to the classroom teacher during the classroom phase. Students with an instruction permit who have completed the classroom phase need to make their payment in the main office to Ms. Anderson.

    • Eligibility: Only enrolled students who have a valid instruction permit and are passing or have passed the classroom phase of driver education are eligible to be scheduled.

    • Must live in MHS district.

    • Students are scheduled based on age; date eligible to receive license (earliest eligible students are scheduled first when possible). Limited spots available for each session. PAYMENTS BEFORE DEADLINES DO NOT GUARANTEE A SPOT FOR THAT SESSION! Students are placed according to their availability and eligibility.