Does Your Teen Driver Know Everything?

Teen Driver Safety Week October 19-25

Dover – Has your teen driver ever rolled their eyes and responded “Yes, I know that” when you are trying to coach them behind the wheel? We know they do not know everything but part of your job as parents and caregivers is to ensure they learn everything about how to be a responsible and safe driver.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. During Teen Driver Safety Week, parents and caregivers of teen drivers are encouraged to have a conversation with their teen drivers and set rules about the responsibility of having the car keys before they hit the road.

In June of 2012, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety coordinated a technical assessment and evaluation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Delaware driver education program. The assessment report has contributed to the State’s efforts to enhance the effectiveness of its driver’s education program in preventing injuries, saving lives and reducing economic costs of young novice driver motor vehicle crashes on Delaware’s roadways. As a result, the Delaware Teen Driver Task Force was re-established in 2013. One of the goals for the task force is to promote education of teen drivers and their parents about safe driving skills, training, and the consequences if ignored. Members of the task force include the Office of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Education, Delaware Driver Safety Education Association, Delaware State Police, and SmartDrive.

Members of the task force have developed or have provided several resources for parents and teens to encourage a dialog of safe driving and rules of the road. These resources are available year round and are being highlighted during Teen Driver Safety Week.

  • The Office of Highway Safety created a Graduated Driver’s License Parent Orientation Program to educate parents of teen drivers about their responsibilities under the GDL law.
  • The DMV coordinated the Parent Supervised Driving Program and RoadReady app for parents and teens. This year theme is It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving. The topic is aligned with the program’s effort to help motivate parents to expand their participation in the supervised driving process.
  • The Delaware Driver and Safety Education Association (DDSEA) is encouraging Delaware high schools to participate in Celebrate My Drive, powered by State Farm Insurance. The program brings added awareness to teen driver safety during National Teen Driver Safety Week. In addition, it offers participating schools the chance to compete for grant money ranging from $25,000-$100,000 by having their schools and communities vote online in recognition of the importance of keeping 2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel when driving.
  • The SmartDrive Foundation is conducting in school education programs such as their Driving With Intention program, PROMise program and Distraction & Reaction program. Each program is designed to educate young drivers to make the right decisions every time they are behind the wheel so they will never put anyone in harm’s way.
  • A subcommittee was created to update the driver’s education curriculum in Delaware high schools. The curriculum is being updated to meet the National Content Standards for driver’s education curriculum, meet the Common Core State Standards initiative and to include new traffic laws. The new curriculum will ensure continuity, measurement, and accountability for educators and novice teen drivers learning in Delaware.

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Lt. Governor Denn Announces “Excellence in Parental Involvement” Award Winners at Press Conference

DOVER, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn announced the two schools honored with the 5th annual “Lt. Governor’s Excellence in Parental Involvement Award” during a press conference in Kent County.

The 2014 winners of the award are Postlethwait Middle and Dover High School. The two winners were picked by a committee of parents, teachers, administrators, and representatives from the business community.

“I created the award in 2010 with the State Chamber of Commerce as a way to enhance parental engagement in our schools,” said Lt. Governor Denn. “Each year, I am encouraged by the ideas that schools continue to create to help get parents more involved. As a parent, it is hard to always know everything that is happening at school, but it is our responsibility to take more active roles in supporting our children and their schools. When we do, everyone succeeds, and I applaud Postlethwait and Dover HS for creating these programs to get more parents in the doors.”

Postlethwait Middle School is doing a variety of things to get parents more involved. Throughout the year, Postlethwait hosts a variety of themed parent nights during which parents and students participate in various content-based activities. Postlethwait hosted a Fifer Fall Fest for the 2013-14 school year had over 800 participants representing 205 Postlethwait families (25% of their total student population).

“Postlethwait Middle School is very honored and proud to have been selected for this prestigious award,” said Principal Derek Prillaman. “This recognition is a true reflection of our entire learning community – many committed groups and individuals worked together to provide special programs and opportunities for our students and families throughout the school year and during the summer months. We’re committed to continuing these efforts and expanding upon our positive relationships with our parents, students and the Postlethwait community.”

Dover High School began the Parent Academy in 2012, which hosts workshops and events offered based on parent feedback. Now district-wide, more than 50 parent workshops and events have been offered district wide since August 2012. Dover High also has PACEParent and Community Engagement Center, the mission of which is to mobilize parents, schools and communities in the Capital School District towards positive change relating to parent involvement, school improvement and community engagement. From January 2013 through today, the parent center has provided services to more than 700 families.

Dover High School Principal Evelyn Edny said, “There is nothing more powerful than families being involved in the education of a student! In high school, parental involvement takes on many forms: It’s a single mom being able to provide a quiet place to study while also providing food and shelter; it’s the grandparent who can make it to a game or awards ceremony; it’s the parent who knows the first and last names of their teen’s friends; it’s the parent who works hand-and- hand communicating and partnering with the school to produce good citizens.”

Lt. Governor Announces Winners of 5th Annual Parental Involvement Award

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 1:00 p.m., Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn will announce this year’s winners of his 5th annual “Excellence in Parental Involvement Award.” He will be joined by staff, parents, students and teachers from both winning schools. The announcement will be held at Postlethwait  Middle School, located at 2841 S. State St., Camden-Wyoming, DE 19934.

The Excellence in Parental Involvement award was created by Lt. Governor Denn as a way to honor schools and parents that have successfully expanded parental involvement through innovative programs. Media will learn more about these programs and their implementation at Wednesday’s press conference.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Postlethwait Middle School
2841 S. State St.
Camden-Wyoming, DE 19934