DCD’s 8th graders started Halloween this year dressed not in their costumes but as U.S. senators. In a trip to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate in Boston, the students took part in the Institute’s Senate Immersion Module, where they were assigned states to represent as senators and then considered a real piece of legislation – reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act.
After being sworn in, DCD’s “senators” took part in committee meetings and floor debate with students from other schools, before voting on several amendments and the bill itself (which passed!) The trip was part of the 8th grade U.S. History curriculum, reinforcing classroom lessons about the Constitution and structure of government while providing hands-on experience in the functioning of the legislative branch. And they made it back to DCD in time to change into their real Halloween costumes for the annual parade and assembly!