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Legislative Shadow Day

Jerritt (Skills for Tomorrow) Originally published March 2004

On Thursday, December 11th, 1A students hosted the first Skills For Tomorrow Legislative Shadow Day. As a part of learning about state government, the students invited the state legislators from their districts to visit. Often adults believe it is students who need the opportunity to “shadow” an adult in the work setting, this time adults had the chance to learn what it is like to be a student at Skills for Tomorrow High School.

Each student from Phase 1A sent an invitation to his/her State Representative and Senator. Seven legislators were able to attend the 2-½ hour program. They were Representative
Neva Walker, Representative Cy Thao, Representative Jim Rhodes, Representative John Lesch, Senator Linda Berglin, Senator Lawrence Pogemiller, and Senator Julianne Ortman. Representative Matt Entenza sent a staff member to the event.

Before the event students were busy making welcome signs, buying supplies, setting up the room, and brainstorming things to talk about with the legislators. Many students showed up early on the morning of Shadow Day to help with final preparations and to meet their legislators.
The students were very welcoming and many guided short tours of the school when the legislators arrived.

The legislators began the day by meeting the students from their district over a light breakfast. They then followed one of their students to Math class. Legislators sat with the students and participated in the math lesson. Many helped with the homework assignment and talked with the other students in the class about Skills for Tomorrow.

Next was Language! Students and legislators participated with teacher Amy Stedman in a typical lesson plan from the new curriculum. Finally, they wrapped up their day in Civics. They broke into small groups and talked with students about a variety of topics including education, charter schools, and careers. The groups also spent a lot of time talking about the bills the students had proposed for an assignment in Civics class.

This event was a great opportunity for state legislators to see what goes on at a charter school, and for the students to meet and talk to the person who represents them at the legislature. Hopefully, both student and legislator walked away having learned something new. Take a second to ask your student about Shadow Day, and don’t be surprised if you actually get an answer.

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