Until a few weeks ago, driver’s education courses were not holding in-person classes due to COVID-19. Now, like other businesses, they’re taking every precaution to keep students and instructors safe.
“It was hard to lose most of June, even May,” said Drive My Way Driver’s Education co-owner Ashley Ingraham. “May is usually freaky busy because it’s that last month that people are in school and can get it in before the summer.”
There’s a new routine for driver’s education students when they first walk in the door.
“We take their temperature, give them some sanitizer,” said Ingraham. “They have to have a mask on as their enter, as soon as they enter, they can’t come further than the door without it.”
Their classroom seats 36 students, each with chairs spread six and a half feet apart.
“At first it was a little bit weird because the classroom is really spread out,” said Segement I student Mary Kate Carroll. “All of the chairs are six and a half feet apart so you don’t really have the experience of sitting next to your friends and being able to talk with them, but you’re still learning and you’re still there with them.”
And even during driving lessons, students wear masks and instructors wear face shields.
“I tried it the first week of wearing a mask, and [the students] couldn’t hear me I was muffled,” said Ingraham. “Through the mask it was really hard. We use the face shield to kinda help alleviate it and it works really well.”
Ingraham says it’s been busy since they reopened, and are almost completely book until September.
“I had over 200 people total between Segment I and II waitlists that were just waiting to reopen,” said Ingraham. “Normally we would push through 36 kids, all three of us: my dad, me, and my instructor. We cranked out 86 kids in seven weeks.”
Students have been grateful to be learning to drive during this difficult time.
“They’ve made everything very comfortable,” said Carroll. “I feel good about coming here.”