Local high schoolers to be required to take class for on-campus parking

CHP, Street Smarts course for SRVUSD to focus on safety, laws

Teen drivers in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District will be required to complete a two-hour "CHP Start Smart" class with their parent or guardian in order to be eligible for an on-campus parking permit starting next school year.

The Start Smart class is held by the district in partnership with the Street Smarts program and the California Highway Patrol. The free class will focus on traffic safety, laws of the road and the responsibilities that come with driving a vehicle.

"The CHP Start Smart classes provide an excellent opportunity for students and their parents to engage each other in a conversation about safe driving practices," Superintendent Rick Schmitt said. "We are grateful for our community partners for coming together yet again to promote safety in the San Ramon Valley."

The Start Smart classes will begin being offered this year -- to count toward parking pass eligibility in the 2018-19 school year. All the comprehensive high schools in the district will offer several free classes every year that are open to all, and a student only needs to take the class once during their high school years.

The soonest upcoming classes will take place at California High School in San Ramon on Nov.7 and 8, starting at 7 p.m. Reservations are required, and students and their parent or guardian will need to sign in so as to get credit for attendance.

"Two hours can save a life!" said Brandon Correia, the CHP public information officer who also teaches the class.

For more information and class dates, check the Start Smart webpage.


10 people like this
Posted by Jackie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2017 at 10:54 am

I think the program is a good idea for the students but to require a parent to sit through the 2 hour class as well is ridiculous. As a parent who volunteers my time in the schools, works full time and shuttles kids around after school, the last thing I want to do is sit in a 2 hour driving class. I've probably been driving longer than some of the people associated with the program.

9 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 12, 2017 at 7:41 am

"The CHP Start Smart classes provide an excellent opportunity for students and their parents to engage each other in a conversation about safe driving practices," Superintendent Rick Schmitt said.

19 people like this
Posted by MV Mom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2017 at 7:41 am

As soon as I read this article I knew we'd see parents complaining about being too "busy" to participate. Give me a break.., you don't have two hours to contribute to your child's safety? We all know many high school parking lots are filled with distracted, careless teen drivers. Many of these kids shouldn't be behind the wheel. Let's help educate them (and their parents).

12 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

This is a reply to Jackie's comment. Having attended this class with my daughter a few years ago, I can assure you that it is very important that a parent attends with their child. It was not a class where they only discussed driving skills, but a class where they talked about being a responsible driver and what the consequences are if you are not a responsible driver. Often the stories were heartbreaking and the slide show disturbing... extremely disturbing. This is why it is important for the parent to attend with their child. Not only to be by their side while this tragic information is being shared and shown, but to be able to discuss with your child after the class. The both of you will feel “raw” but more educated. Your soon to be driving teen will have huge responsibilities with possible tragic consequences if he/she doesn’t drive responsibly… and this class is given to explain what those consequences could be and how to avoid making bad and possibly fatal decisions.

13 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 15, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Why can't the schools bring back the mandatory drivers education classes so that all the kids get these valuable life skills over much longer period than a two hour class they will quickly ignore? You remember those classes we all had to take? That included behind the wheel instruction, for free, as part of our public schooling? Where did all that money go when they cut those programs? I know where it went, do you?

As for parents sitting through those classes, I will join all of you with a resounding, "not me, I don't have time! I don't need training" while all along observing that the majority of bad drivers I encounter as I shuttle my kids to and from the high schools are parents.

3 people like this
Posted by L77
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 18, 2017 at 7:03 am

I'm glad to see the majority of comments made understand the importance of attending this class with your child. I read an article recently that said 70% of teenagers admitted that at least 2-3 time per month they are passengers in a car when their parents have been drinking. Parents probably need this education as much if not MORE than the kids!

As for Tom's comment... where does the money from the driver's education classes go?? I'm curious to hear where you THINK it goes. From what I've seen, we have had to cut programs because every time the district tries to get a small tax increase passed it gets voted down. As a more affluent district we do not get as much government funding as other less affluent areas, but our families insist on top-notch teachers, well funded sports, etc. etc. Many of our poor schools are falling apart and some are finally being renovated... that costs a lot of money. You can't expect to have it all without contributing to the cause people!

Next time they ask to raise our taxes to pay for much needed district funding... vote YES! And please stop complaining in the mean time.

4 people like this
Posted by MV
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2017 at 7:16 am

L77: Do you own a home, do you pay property tax? Property tax bills came this month and if you look at it we are currently paying two separate parcel tax bills for our local public schools, not to mention a separate parcel tax for community colleges. This is, of course, in addition to the huge amounts we already pay in normal property tax, a large portion of which already goes to the local schools. I don't know where you live, L77, or if you are just one of these limousine liberals that don't understand fiscal realities, but SRUSD homeowners are already paying huge property tax and separate multiple parcel taxes for education. This does not include the approximately $1,500 per child "voluntary" gifts us parents are basically required to pay every year when we register our kids for classes at the local public schools. This also does not include the non-stop fundraisers and carnivals that we also are basically required to pay every year.

Tom is completely right, where does our money go, since it use to be part of public high school was a free drivers ed-training class that was hands on and did a great job in teaching kids about safety and car issues. The reality is we pay a great amount of money for public education in Danville, and people like "L77" either is a teachers union rep or a clueless parent who buys the propaganda that the schools are broke and need even more money. The schools have plenty of money coming in, thanks to us hard working parents, but has a problem in overspending for administrators and other non-teachers, while always begging for more money.

2 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Gosh, people with such short memories. Do you recall the calif budget crisis(s) of not too long ago? Have a clue why 'early release' Wednesday's came to be (or late start depending on grade). Drivers ed was first to be 'cut'. And why not, better that then something a lot more important.

District budget is available online; strongly recommend the clueless take a look b4 screaming where does the money go. Right there for you to view. No guess work needed.

AND keep in mind what happens if we weren't in a highly rated school districts. Hint, your property values would fall like a rock.

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