Good morning and welcome to Tuesday! Or as parents around town like to say, the first day of school! Yes, the little darlings who’ve haunted our lives for the past 10 weeks are finally back to a regimented schedule of learning and after school activities. No more ridiculously late bedtimes and way too much screen time; instead, it’s time for early risings and homework. Now, honestly, I love the looseness of summer as much as the kids, but 10 weeks is about as much as I can take. And while I hate to see the summer warmth fade, I am very happy to see the arrival of that big yellow bus. So to kids and parents alike, I say “Welcome to the new school year!”
Now that everyone is back in the mindset of learning, I thought I would help out those with teens ready to learn how to drive by outlining the different options for doing so. If you’ve got a kid who is at least 15 years and 9 months, this is important information to have. And if your child is planning to get their license before they turn 18 — and what kid isn’t? — the state of Massachusetts requires the following: 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of behind the wheel driving, six hours observing fellow student drivers with an instructor, and, yes, 40 hours of driving with their parents. So it just makes sense to sign up with one of the local driving schools.
Here’s what they all have in common: all offer the instructional time outlined above, as well as the required two-hour class for parents — oh yes, parents need a little refresher on the rules of the road, in order to be good role models for their impressionable teens. They also offer the option of taking your teen for the final license exam, so you don’t have to do that dirty work. It’s mostly the costs and times offered that vary, so check their websites.
Concord-Carlisle Adult Education: The benefit to this program is that it’s right at the high school, and it seems to be the least expensive of the options, at $650 for the classroom and road instruction, and $20 for the parent class — waived if your child signs up with them. Plus you can buy the driving manual for just $3, versus the $5 the registry charges. They offer an after school program two days a week, a Saturday program, and a weeklong program over February break.
Christo’s Driving School: Located on Middle Street, Christo’s charges $790, with mostly evening classes, though they also offer a week-long program over the winter break. Their parent class is $30.
MinuteMan Driver’s Ed: Minuteman offers a program also connected to Christo’s. It’s $760, and runs Monday and Wednesday evenings this fall at Minuteman High School on Marrett Road, in Lexington. Their parent class is also $30.
Chelmsford Auto School: Located behind the Dunkin Donuts on Thoreau Street, Chelmsford Driving School breaks their pricing down a little differently. The 30 classroom hours are $100, their driving lessons — eight 90-minute sessions — are $80 each, and the final certificate is $25, for a total of $765. They offer the parent class for free.
I hope that helps, and safe driving!