Ford Driving Skills For Life Teen Driver Safety Events

Dover-  Do you have a young driver in your house? Do they think they are a safe driver? Through a Ford Motor Company Driving Skills for Life Grant, The Office of Highway Safety, along with the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners, will be hosting two teen driver safety events this month for parents and teens. Parents and teens will participate in several interactive stations together to build their driving relationship in a positive way. The event is open to students from all Delaware high schools regardless of event location. In addition, students will be entered into a drawing for a scholarship if they attend one of the events and complete all of the activities. A total of 6 scholarships will be randomly awarded. Three scholarships will be given away following each event. First place will be awarded $1,500, second place will be awarded $1,000 and third place will be awarded $500.

The events are scheduled for:
Saturday Sept. 19, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sussex Technical High School
17099 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE 19947

Saturday Sept. 26, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
St. Marks High School
2501 Pike Creek Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19808

Each event will include two guest speakers on teen driving issues, Tim Hollister and Jennifer Macauley. Tim Hollister is a fellow parent and has become a national authority and spokesperson for safer teen driving since he lost his 17 year old son Reid in a car crash in 2006. He served on the Connecticut state taskforce that overhauled the state’s teen driver laws. He has also written a book Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving, an informative and vital guide for parents to help them understand the causes of teen crashes and head them off before their teen gets behind the wheel. Copies of Hollister’s book will be distributed to parents at both events. (http://www.nsfteendriving.com/).

The second speaker, Jennifer Macauley, was hit at an intersection in August 2004 when a large truck ran a red light (unknown cause) and struck her car on the driver’s side. She was 20 years old at the time and had just graduated from Cecil County Community College three months prior. Jen was admitted to Christiana Care’s trauma ICU for a traumatic brain injury. She was eventually transferred to Bryn Mawr rehabilitation hospital to learn to walk, talk and take care of herself again.

Additional event activities include Christiana Care’s distracted driving simulator, Smart Drive’s SIDNE Driving Simulators and Distraction and Reaction, Delaware State Police’s No Zone Truck Display, Delaware State Police’s Rollover seat belt convincer, Safe Driving Pledge Display, and information tables with Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), State Farm, and AAA.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. There are over 33,000 licensed teen drivers in Delaware. Teen drivers account for five percent of all drivers in Delaware yet are involved in approximately 15 percent of all reportable crashes in Delaware.

The events are funded through a grant from Ford Motor Company’s teen safe driving program and supported by the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners including Smart Drive, DMV, DSP, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Christiana Care, State Farm, Delaware Safety Council and Delaware Safety Driver’s Education Association of driver’s education teachers.

For more information and resources for teen drivers and the Graduated Driver License visit OHS website at www.ohs.delaware.gov/TeenDriving.shtml or visit www.teendriving.dmv.de.gov.


Task Force to Improve Planning for Students With Disabilities Prepares to Begin Work

Task Force Is Seeking Three Parents to Complete Membership

WILMINGTON, Del.– Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, chair of the state’s newly-formed IEP Improvement Task Force, announced today that the task force membership was near completion and that the state is seeking three more parents to serve on the task force.

The task force was created by the General Assembly (Senate Concurrent Resolution 63) at the end of June to make recommendations to improve the process by which the state creates Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities. Lieutenant Governor Denn, who has authored legislation in prior years to address deficiencies in the IEP process, was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins to chair the task force.

The task force already has three parents with students on IEPs as members, all of whom were appointed by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Exceptional Citizens (the state council that represents the interests of children with disabilities in schools). However, the resolution creating the task force allows for three additional parents to be appointed to the task force. Those parents will be appointed by the four state legislators who are task force members.

Parents of students who are currently on IEPs – or parents of individuals who were on IEPs in the past – who are interested in serving on this task force can contact Michele Rush at the Department of Education at 302-735-4210 or michele.rush@doe.k12.de.us by Friday, August 1, 2014. The Department of Education will communicate the names of interested parents to the four legislators, who will in turn pick the three parent members.

The task force will meet once or twice a month beginning in August for a report that is due to Governor Markell and the General Assembly by January 1, 2015. Meetings will alternate between Dover and Wilmington with videoconferencing available at both sites. All meetings will be open to the public; audio and materials from all meetings will be posted on the Lt. Governor’s website.


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


New Online Tool For Parents of New Teen Drivers

Dover – The Graduated Driver License (GDL) Parent Orientation Program  (POP)  is now available online at www.ohs.delaware.gov/OHSGDL/story.html for all parents and sponsors of new teen drivers in Delaware.  This program is intended for parents and sponsors and explains why the GDL law was implemented in Delaware, gives them teaching and educational resources to help educate and teach their new drivers how to drive safely, and what responsibilities and liabilities the parent/sponsor assumes with a newly licensed driver.

Between 2004 and 2010 the POP program was presented after school at numerous high schools in Delaware by speakers from Delaware State Police, Bayhealth Trauma Service, Christiana Care Trauma Program, Office of Highway Safety, State Farm Insurance, and Delaware Division of Motor Vehicle. As the demand increased for more education and outreach to new drivers and resources to expand the program were dwindling, the OHS began the process to bring the program online and make it available to all parents/sponsors where they could view it anytime at their convenience.

It is not mandatory that parents/sponsors complete the POP program in order for their teens to get their driver’s license permit.  It is a great source of information for parents/sponsors about what new drivers’ lack of experience when they are learning to drive and how the parent/sponsor can support and help them along the way to help them earn their full driving privileges.

The GDL law was implemented in Delaware in 1999 and was designed to give 16 year olds who are applying for their drivers’ license for the first time additional behind the wheel supervision beyond Drivers Education classes.  The intent of the GDL law is to improve driving skills, instill a sense of responsibility, sharpen judgment, promote strict observance of the rules of the road and put an emphasis of parental/sponsor supervision and involvement in the teen’s driving education.  After 10 years of GDL implementation16 year old teen driver crashes have reduced by 30% in Delaware.

For more information and resources for first time drivers and on the Graduated Driver License visit OHS website at www.ohs.delaware.gov and click on “Teen Driving” or visit www.teendriving.dmv.de.gov.