Homeschoolers will once again be able to participate in Student Government Day on April 1, 2016 at the State House in Boston! The annual Student Government Day will begin with check-in at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 1:00 p.m.
The program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students must be nominated to participate, and a lottery will be held to determine a participant and an alternate. Nominations must be postmarked by December 4, 2015 at the latest. Details below.
How does this program work?
Students will be assigned the roles of senators, representatives, constitutional officers and Justices of the Supreme Court.
In March, information will be posted on the Massachusetts Department of Education website indicating the roles that each district's student(s) will play on Student Government Day. The website will also provide information about the bills that will be debated, further details about the day itself, and background information about the state government system.
On Student Government Day, students are able to experience the roles of members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government. Many students will participate as legislators in House and Senate sessions. All students may take part in a simulated committee hearing. Others will visit various elected and appointed office holders and staff as they carry out their daily activities.
Who is eligible to participate?
Homeschooled high school students in their junior or senior year. (As a general guide, a senior (grade 12) may be applying to college this year; a junior may be planning to take the PSAT in October 2015 and will be eligible to enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11). Students must not have participated in Student Government Day in the past.
How can a homeschooled student be nominated?
Students may nominate themselves. Download a nomination form in .pdf format here. Mail the form and documentation to AHEM, PO Box 1307, Arlington, MA 02474. Nominations must be postmarked by December 4, 2015 at the latest.
A lottery will be held to determine a participant and alternate from each of the eight Governor’s Council Districts. The elected student designee and student alternate should both attend. If for some reason the student designee is unable to attend Student Government Day, the student alternate will serve as the district's homeschool student designee to Student Government Day. Please note that whether or not the student alternate takes the role of an absent student designee to Student Government Day, in most cases he or she will also have the opportunity to participate in the day's activities.
Important details that may influence your decision to participate:
- Participants will need to provide their own transportation to the State House on April 1, planning to arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.
- They will need to wear “appropriate attire” aka for men a sport coat/slacks or a suit, shirt with a collar, tie, and dress shoes. For women a business suit/dress or blouse/shirt and skirt or pants and dress shoes.
- They will need to bring a government-issued ID (school ID, passport, driver’s license, or Massachusetts ID http://www.massrmv.com/).
- Nominees must read and sign the Consent Form for Student Government Day Activities (http://www.ahem.info/Documents/ConsentForm.pdf), and submit it to AHEM with the nomination form.
- Parents are welcome to attend Student Government Day. Details will be sent to participants and alternates.
See the answers to frequently asked questions regarding Student Government Day (SGD) here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/famcomm/student/sgd_faq.html
Again, download a nomination form in .pdf format here. Mail the nomination form, consent form, and a copy of your ID to AHEM, PO Box 1307, Arlington, MA 02474. Nominations must be postmarked by December 4, 2015 at the latest.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.