Legislative Page School
A Message from the Teachers


Senate and House pages simulate the job of a state legislator
in a mock committee hearing during page school.

“In all honesty before coming here, I had no interest in government or politics. After this fantastic experience, I can actually see myself doing something here in the capitol. The Page School hearings were definitely my favorite part…..It was such a cool experience sitting in the chairs and speaking into the microphones. I really felt like my vote made a big difference; it seemed as though I was doing something important. I really enjoyed the opportunity of being both the chair and a committee member…and being able to verbalize my opinion…I loved it.”- Asia

“Another chance I had to understand Washington’s government was writing my own bill. This gave me a behind the scenes look at how much work and thought is put into bills that, as residents, we take for granted.”- Kastine


 

The page program has long been a staple of the Washington State Legislature. Many staff members, legislators, and even congressional representatives got their first taste of politics as a page.  Though the complexion of the position has transformed over time, the reliance upon pages to make the legislature run smoothly has never waned.  In the early years of statehood, pages worked long hours and had duties that included tending the horses and cleaning laundry.  This evolved into a position that centered on distribution of printed materials on chamber floors and between member offices.

The modern page experience has morphed into an interactive lesson in civic education through the vessel of their administrative tasks.  Pages see all three branches of government in action and interact with the state officials who are involved in the decision-making process.  The Page School provides support by explaining the whirlwind of activity going on around them.  It also creates a structured forum to practice the civil discourse they see on display.  We hope that the access and experiences these pages will promote lifelong habits of being active and involved participants in the world around them. 

A main focus of the Page School is to provide a meaningful learning experience for each page. We designed the curriculum to cater to the needs of our diverse population.  The assignments align with the state Essential Academic Learning Requirements and Grade Level Expectations (EALRs/GLEs) for Civics and Social Studies Skills, grades 7-12.  Class activities allow pages to pursue aspects of government that specifically interest them, intertwining technology with solo and group work.  Fascinating conversations arise from the differences and the similarities shared from all corners of the state.

We encourage the students who serve as pages to return to their hometowns and share their experiences from the legislature with their classmates and community. Each page writes a self-reflection as their final assignment that can be used a talking point.  Page’s mock committee hearings are available on the TVW website and examples of projects can be seen on Twitter @WACivicED.

Thank you for your support,

Leo O'Leary & Sarah Vatne



Please call (360) 786-7889 or email: leo.oleary@leg.wa.gov if you have any questions about our program.

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