Since prior to our statehood in 1889, students from across Washington have come to Olympia to serve as pages for the Washington State Legislature during the legislative session. Each week, the House and Senate provide pages the opportunity to take part in the legislative process and observe the Legislature and other branches of state government in action. The pages, who are between 14-16 years old, help deliver documents and provide assistance the chamber during floor sessions, all while attending the Legislative Page School. Paging presents students with a unique educational opportunity to participate in the legislative process.
The Washington State Legislature is proud to offer one of the finest page programs in the nation. To learn more about the role of a page, view our Day in the Life of a Page video!
Welcome to the Page School
The Page School is an
essential part of each student’s week as a Page. The goal of the Page School is to
supplement the hands-on experience of a Page, while strengthening their
understanding of Washington state government. The Page School is unique
because it serves an extremely diverse population of students that come to Olympia from every county in Washington.
ages range from seventh through eleventh grade and come from learning
environments that vary from homeschool, to public, private, and charter
settings. It accommodates special needs students, and some of the most
advanced students in the state. To provide the best experience possible to all
types of learners, the school employs two certificated teachers and maintains class
sizes below fifteen.
Pages attend the school
for two hours each day in a mixed class setting with House and Senate Pages. Using activities, technology and guest speakers, the group
endeavors down a path of learning focused on the three branches of government,
the lawmaking process and the importance of civil discourse. The capstone
project is a mock committee hearing that takes place in the actual hearing
rooms used by Washington Legislators. This is streamed online by TVW.org for
families, friends and educators to observe.
A Message from the Page School Teachers
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. The curriculum and syllabus is designed 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.
Students who serve as pages are encouraged 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 mock committee hearings are available on TVW.org and examples of projects can be seen on Twitter @WACivicED.
Thank you for your support!