Robust efforts continue – in public and behind the scenes – to establish a new program to replace the House Page Program that was suspended in 2011. A critical task in creating a new program is re-imagining the work-study balance for the young participants, especially the school component.
Capitol Page Alumni Seth Andrew, House, 1985 and Miles Taylor, House, 2005, have been working to develop a concept for a school located near the Capitol, exclusively devoted to high school students working as pages.
In May, Andrew and Taylor won a nearly $500,000 grant in May to continue development of a four-year DC high school inspired by the Page Programs.
The proposed school, Washington Leadership Academy (WLA) was recently mentioned in the Washington Post and would focus heavily on civic education, giving upper class students a part-time work-study experience on Capitol Hill, where they would live and work.
The charter school, part of the D.C. public school system, would be open to all D.C. residents, but Andrew and Taylor hope to beam its content across the country to tens of thousands of students in the form of top-tier online courses.
“Being a Page is a life-changing experience for the select few who get the opportunity,” one individual close to the project explained, “but online learning offers a unique way to engage many more young Americans nationwide in such a world-class program, even if they can’t be in Washington themselves.”
Andrew is the founder of nationally renowned Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of high-performing charter schools, and hopes to use many of the lessons learned in those classrooms at WLA.
The team hopes to secure approval to open the school in 2016 and has plans to engage interested alumni in the near future.