Legislative Page School

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​Washington State Legislature Page Programs and Page School 

Senate Page Program          House of Representatives Page Program​  

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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 p​​ages, 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.  

School 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!

 

​What is it like to be a Page?

"This week as a Page has been a great experience that I highly recommend to anyone interested. Being so involved in the governing process has brought me knowledge and experience that I couldn't have received anywhere else. Government regulates our lives every day. If you don't like what they're doing, you can get involved and start making a difference." 

 Haley


"When you are a Page, you learn that governing society is a very complex process. While working, Pages observe the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government, all working diligently to perform their duties…Participating in a mock committee hearing, working on the floor, and delivering things to the different buildings on the capitol campus demonstrated just how complicated it is to have a successful government. Attending the mock committee hea ring for Page School, showed me the importance of Senators and Representatives voting on bills, researching information, and paying attention while making laws."  

 — Noemi


“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 imp​ortant. 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