Driver Education is offered to all students enrolled in high school (9-12) within Jackson County and between 14 ½ and 18 years of age. Class dates are part of the morning announcements a few days prior to the beginning of the class. A driver education fee will be required at the time of registration. Jackson County Public Schools has a process for student fee waivers. If a student is in need of a fee waiver, the parent/guardian is requested to contact the school principal and make a fee waiver request.
Students must satisfactorily complete a 30-hour course and six hours of behind the wheel driving to obtain a Driver Education Completion Certificate. The 30-hour course is offered periodically throughout the year at Smoky Mountain High School and Blue Ridge Early College. In lieu of the 30 hour course a 200 question proficiency test is available throughout the school year. To prepare for the proficiency test a Driver Education Study Guide is available at the school’s main office. Students may take this test only once. If the student does not pass, he/she must complete the entire 30-hour course.
The six hour driving component is scheduled with each student based upon when the student satisfactorily completes the 30-hour course or passes the proficiency test and their age. Driving is primarily scheduled in the afternoons and Saturdays.
To obtain the NC limited learner permit a student must be 15 yrs. old and completed the driver education program. He/she will hold the limited learner permit for one year and can then apply for a limited provisional license. For additional questions, please call (828) 586-2456.
Effective as of August 1, 1999, the school is required to notify the NC Division of Motor Vehicles whenever a student drops out of school or is not making adequate progress (a student must be passing three out of four classes each semester).