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September 29, 2013

N.H. schools no longer operating driver's ed programs

Salem High the latest Granite State school to discontinue program

(Continued)

The state Department of Safety also requires students to have 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of driving observation. They also must log 40 hours of additional driving time with an adult, including 10 hours at night.

Only one-third of Pinkerton’s driver’s education students were participating in the school’s program when it was discontinued, he said. It cost $625 for students who registered early and $650 for those who did not.

Grube said Salem, Timberlane and Goffstown are among a “handful” of districts in the state that still offer programs.

Pelham dropped its program three years ago now and brought in Granite State Driving School, which charges $575 per student. Windham High School, which never had its own program, also relies on Granite State Driving School. The rates vary by town.

Windham High School teacher Christine Simmons, a former Pinkerton and Granite State Driving School instructor, has decided to open her own business.

“There is a huge demand for driver’s ed instructors,” she said.

Londonderry High School and Sanborn Regional High School brought in driving schools years ago and are pleased with the service.

“We have been very satisfied with our arrangement,” Sanborn principal Brian Stack said.

Sanborn uses Pro Staff Driving School. The district’s school safety officer, Rick Theriault, works as a company driving instructor, Stack said.

He said Sanborn has relied on a private driving school for the eight years he has been with the district.

“We have had a good relationship and don’t plan to change it,” Stack said.

Londonderry High principal Jason Parent said the district has not offered its own program in the 11 years he has been at the school.

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