The Driving Delay

Molly Lavelle, Staff Writer

During sophomore year of high school, many students look forward to taking a drivers education class and learning to get on the roads. Driving by yourself unleashes many freedoms that teenagers have been waiting for during their younger years. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing for almost a year and a half now, Driver’s Ed has changed dramatically at Wilmington Friends in the past couple of years. For the class of 2024, this year has been a massive struggle.

Hypothetically, students would take Driver’s Ed during the day, and then drive during their study halls or free times, starting from the oldest kids. Everyone would be ready to get their license by their 16th birthday. This year, the 10th grade is behind on every step. First, the class started 3 weeks late for the students. Wilmington Friends did not yet have a teacher for these students, so the class curriculum was already nearly a month behind schedule. Then, the students who took drives in the fall were asked to come to school at 7:15 every morning and take a 40-minute class for around 6 or 7 weeks. This is where the first big issue came into play. Administrators would realize that 40 minutes every day was not nearly enough time to fit the class requirement. 

Another issue with the class this year is that many of the students have not driven enough hours to finish by their 16th birthday. Many students are extremely behind on their work and driving hours. There are even students in the class who have been 16 years old for almost 3 months now and have not started driving yet. Ellen Sicuranza ’24 explained, “It has been a rocky start to the year. I am sure all the administrators are trying their best to get everyone driving as much as they can… but the process is extremely slow.” Students want to drive as soon as they turn 16, but it doesn’t seem possible with the way this year’s class is going.

It is common knowledge that at the end of your driver’s ed course you must pass the written test to be able to get your license. Students feel like they were not prepared for the exam very well at all. George Rossi ’24 said, “We had an abundance of notes, but no one really felt ready to take the test.” Students felt like the test came out of the blue, and many felt that they hadn’t properly learned anything, with Rossi stating, “Everyone was super stressed and was cramming in their studying.” Along with that, students were given 20 surprise extra questions that the instructor added to the already existing 100 question test. 

Drivers-Ed is difficult, everyone understands that. This state-mandated class has many more rules and regulations than your average math or history class. The WFS administrators are trying their best to make everything run smoothly, but the first semester has had a few hiccups. The 10th-grade class looks forward to what the second semester will look like, and they hope things will be different.