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Rockdale driver's education set to hold registration

CONYERS - Parents in and around Rockdale County have another chance to register their students for driver education classes this summer if they missed the first registration period in late April.

The Summer 2008 Driver Education program will hold its second registration from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the commons area of the Rockdale Career Academy, 1064 Culpepper Drive, off Parker Road, in Conyers.

Registrants will choose one of two sessions for summer classes: June 9 through 24 or June 25 through July 11.

This week, Charlie Bryant, driver education instructor for Rockdale County Public Schools, said the first session has three spaces open and the second session has 26 spaces.

When registering, parents and students choose two-hour blocks for driving time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 to 3 p.m. or 3 to 5 p.m. Session one has spaces only for the 3 to 5 p.m. block, and session two has a limited number of spaces in each block.

Bryant encourages parents and students to choose the best schedule for their summer plans to avoid absences. Students who are absent from any class risk not being awarded a class completion certificate.

Rockdale summer classes are held daily from 8 to 11 a.m., plus driving time. July 4 is a school holiday.

To register, parents - the only ones allowed to register their children - must bring the student's learner's permit or driver's license or a copy of it, along with the tuition payment.

Rockdale County residents pay $350 and non-Rockdale County residents pay $400. Bryant said this price is subject to change. Tuition must be paid with either cash, a money order or a bank or certified check; personal or business checks or credit cards aren't accepted.

To take the class, students need to have a learner's permit and already have had 10 to 15 hours of practice before the class begins, as the class is not a basic, introductory course.

To practice before the class, Bryant suggested parents or guardians take students to the Rockdale Career Academy after hours and on weekends, the Georgia International Horse Park after hours or any school parking lot.

During class time, students will read out of textbooks, watch videos, hear lectures and take tests.

While driving, students will learn how to park, drive on residential and rural roads, change lanes on Ga. Highway 138 and drive on the expressway and through Olde Town Conyers.

After students successfully complete the class, Bryant will issue them a certificate, which could save money on car insurance and will allow them to take their driver's test for their license. No driver's licenses will be issued through the class.

Georgia residents who are under 17 years old are required to take a driver education course before they can obtain their driver's license. Once they turn 17, they can obtain a license without the course, but must still have a learner's permit and pass the driving test.

Bryant will hold driver education classes at individual Rockdale County high schools next school year for students. Classes will be held first and fourth quarters at Rockdale County High School, second quarter at Salem High School and third quarter at Heritage High School. Students will need to register for those classes with their high school counselor.

Alternatives to Rockdale's driver education include attending a commercial school or taking an online course through the state.

More information about Rockdale County Public Schools' registration and driver education is available at www.rockdale.k12.ga.us or by calling Bryant at 770-388-5677, ext. 3189.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: At a glance

· What: Summer 2008 Driver Education

· When: Classes are June through 24 or June 25 to July 11; registration is 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

· Where: Rockdale Career Academy, 1064 Culpepper Drive, Conyers

· Cost: $350/county, $400/out of county (subject to change)

· More information: www.rockdale.k12.ga.us or 770-388-5677, ext. 3189