The first day of class begins with the bang of a gavel. Desks are arranged in a U shape with the teacher seated at the front. Each student has a placard on their desk with their official title (e.g. Rep. Schultz). The day's agenda is displayed for all to view.
The first item on the agenda is the administration of an oath of office. After the oath has been administered students are now official members of the school legislature. From this moment on all classes are run like formal committee meetings, using parliamentary procedure and following an agenda. With the proper motion the Rules may be suspended for an activity, time in the computer lab, a recess, or debriefing.
On a typical day in class the teacher, acting as Committee Chairman, announces that 30 minutes will be devoted to the discussion of a resolution on a controversial issues, such as limiting access to semiautomatic weapons. The teacher may hand out a brief summary of the issue, including a list of some of the main arguments for and against the motion, and allow students some time to develop their ideas prior to the start of the debate. On other days students may have prepared for the debate the night before by independently researching the topic. Students are yielded time in three minute increments during which they express their views, completely free of interference by other classmates or the teacher. Civil discourse and decorum are maintained by the Chair at all times. When debate time has expired the Chair entertains a motion to call the question and the Clerk conducts a roll call vote. Students may vote yes, no or present.
Resolutions used during the early weeks deal with issues that permit students to assess their values and beliefs in the context of the political spectrum and to learn about the foundations of government. As the semester progresses classroom time is also used to develop ideas for bills, research and write those bills in groups, and prepare for the Committee Hearings and Full Session. As students gain familiarity with parliamentary procedure the teacher steps out of the role as Committee Chair and allows interested students to preside over the class.