Click for Covid-19 Updates: Learn about Elite Driving School's Distance Learning Program and Behind the Wheel Scheduling.

Distance Learning Program and Behind the Wheel Scheduling

Behind the Wheel Lesson Scheduling Alert (November 17, 2020)

We are pleased to share that despite the unexpected hurdles created by the pandemic, we have added staff and are starting to catch up on behind-the-wheel scheduling. Here’s how to schedule your lessons:

If you have a road test scheduled: Email us your test confirmation from the state right away. We will put you on a priority list to schedule your lessons before your test. We are contacting/scheduling students with the earliest road tests first. As of mid-November we are contacting students who have tests scheduled in January. We are setting up their lessons spread out over a couple of months.

We are very proud that we have achieved our goal of scheduling lessons for every student who had an upcoming road test. We will continue to make that our focus.

If you do not have a road test scheduled: Every Monday morning at 8am we are publishing some open slots for that week in our online scheduling tool. They are available first come first served to our students. Until Covid is under control we will only schedule lessons one week in advance to allow for flexibility if there is staff or student illness, or if the state closes driving schools again.

We ask that you schedule no more than one lesson per month in our online system to make sure that other students can also schedule lessons. There is no need to panic if you can’t find an open spot - simply contact us when you have a road test scheduled and we will put you on the priority list.

Why Do We Have to Wait for Lessons?

We understand it is inconvenient and frustrating to have to wait to schedule your lessons. Here’s why driving schools are in this situation:

  1. When we were closed this spring during the stay at home order, we had to cancel many lessons. Now those students who planned to take their lessons in the spring are needing to take their lessons during the summer, causing extra high demand at this time.
  2. When driving schools were allowed to reopen, many driving instructors chose not to return to their positions. Driving with students in a vehicle is always a risky profession, but it is especially risky during the pandemic. Instructors in high-risk categories are often choosing not to come back to this line of work.
  3. We are working on hiring and certifying new instructors as quickly as possible, but this is a challenging time to hire. And it often takes 4-6 weeks to get a new instructor licensed in the state of MN. It's great that MN instructors are well vetted and trained, but it doesn’t not allow us to adapt quickly during this crisis.

Please Be Kind to Our Staff (And All Small Businesses) During this High Stress Time

We understand that this is a very difficult time for everyone. We are so grateful to many of you who have sent us messages of support and empathy as we work to schedule your students for lessons. Your kind words really lift our spirits! And we are very grateful to our staff members who have risked their lives to continue teaching because they care about your students. Please know that we take this work very seriously and we care about you and your students. We have lost countless hours of sleep trying to adjust to all of the changes in our industry during this crisis. We understand that not everyone will agree with our decisions. If you disagree with our approach, please contact us in a respectful manner and we will be happy to discuss your needs. This is an exhausting time for small businesses and we ask you to give us your grace and understanding as we work to get through this together.

Behind the Wheel Safety Protocols

We have adjusted the following business procedures to improve safety at this time:

  • We are scheduling 15 minutes between lessons to allow the instructor to sanitize surfaces in the vehicle between students.
  • Instructors will wear masks and sterile gloves during lessons.
  • We will drive with the windows open to create ventilation whenever weather permits.
  • Instructors will not teach if they have a fever, cough, any other potential Covid-19 symptoms, or any known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
  • We are asking students to pay a $5 Covid-19 surcharge at each lesson (cash or check) to help cover the extra costs of our cleaning time and protective gear.

Students must follow the following safety protocols during lessons:

  • Students must wear a mask at all times. (Student must bring their own.)
  • Students must wear sterile gloves at all times. (student must bring their own.)
  • Students must cancel if they have a fever, cough, any other potential Covid-19 symptoms or any •known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the last 14 days. Their parent must take the student's temperature the morning of their lesson.
  • Be aware that you are taking a risk doing a Behind the Wheel lesson at this time even with these safety precautions in place. Elite Driving School is not responsible for any exposure to illness during a lesson. Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement and well wishes in this very difficult time.

Elite Driving School is now open for Distance Learning!

The State of MN decided to temporarily allow driver’s ed schools to offer classes by teleconference. This means you can now attend our classes from the comfort of your home using Google Meet video calls.

The classes will be taught by our licensed instructors. Classes will be live and interactive so you can ask questions and talk with the instructors just like you would during in-person classes. Also just like normal, we'll keep the instruction interesting using a variety of learning tools. You’ll download all of the learning materials for free.

Our classroom schedule will work like it normally does. It's super flexible. There are 10 numbered classes (each 3 hours long) that you can start at any time and take in any order and at your own pace. Get done in as quickly as two weeks, or spread them out at your convenience. (If you don't finish all of your classes during the time the governor is allowing distance learning, then you'll need to complete your remaining classes at our in-person classrooms.)

How to Sign Up for Distance Learning:

If you are already registered for classroom instruction with us, simply log in to your portal on our website and choose the dates you plan to attend classes, just like you normally would. Then we'll email you instructions to log in to the video calls as access the free learning materials.

If you are new to Elite Driving School, please click "Register Now" to sign up for our "Classroom & Behind the Wheel" or "Classroom Only" packages. Then while you are logged into your portal you can choose the dates you plan to attend class (and you can log in anytime to change or add dates). Then we'll email you instructions to log in to the video calls and access the free learning materials.

Please be aware that the opportunity to attend classes through distance learning is temporary. Once the governor's order to close schools is lifted, please assume that you will need to complete any remaining classes in person at our Richfield or Minneapolis classroom locations. We are hoping we'll be allowed to teach online through the summer but we do not have a final confirmation on that policy.