House outlines COVID-19 provisions for high school page program
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives has outlined COVID-19 precautions for the High School Page Program.
Every year, hundreds of students from across the state have the opportunity to take part in the House High School Page Program at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. Students participating in the program have the chance to view the legislative process up close and gain experience working in state government.
“The House Page Program provides a valuable opportunity for our state’s future leaders to participate in the legislative process and learn more about the intricacies of state government,” House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said. “Such expanded education programs help our youth become more well-rounded. I’m grateful we were able to create guidelines to allow our high school seniors the chance to participate in the program even in the midst of a pandemic.”
State Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, serves as director of the High School Page Program for the 58th Legislature.
“Students across the state have unfortunately had their schedules disrupted and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities cancelled due to the pandemic,” Hill said. “With these public health precautions in place, we hope to provide a memorable experience and safe learning environment for House pages. Educating the next generation of Oklahomans so they are equipped to take their role in how they are governed is the honor of a lifetime.”
Pages accepted to the program are assigned for one week, Monday through Thursday, during the legislative session, which runs from the first Monday in February through the last Friday in May. The students work in the House Chamber during daily session, run errands for representatives and staff and take part in the House Page Mock Legislature on the floor of the House Chamber.
Hotel accommodations and chaperones are provided for all students and pages are transported to and from the Capitol daily. They are closely supervised at all times and are not permitted to leave the hotel or the Capitol.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special provisions will be taken this year, including limiting participation in the program to high school seniors with a maximum of 12 pages per week. Pages will eat in an assigned room in order to social distance and will be assigned separate hotel rooms. Multiple drivers and vans will be used to allow for social distancing. Additionally, participants whose school has been shifted online due to a COVID-19 outbreak will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test no more than one week prior to the program’s start.
Interested high school seniors may visit https://okhouse.gov/Pages/Index.aspx to learn more information and to submit an application.