Supreme Court of the United States
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School Groups


School Group

There is always something new to learn at the Supreme Court for visitors of all ages!

The Supreme Court offers a variety of educational programs including Courtroom Lectures, a visitors' film, and exhibitions that are changed periodically.

Getting ready for a field trip means planning both the logistics of the trip as well as preparing students for what they will see and do. In order to foster your students' curiosity while taking full advantage of your time in the building, click the links below for tips on planning your visit.

Get informed. Get involved. Get inspired.
To help bring educational activities to life in your classroom please review the educational resources offered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and visit the iCivics page.
To learn more about the Constitution and Constitution Day activities for your students, visit the Library of Congress and National Archives.



  


Building Hours
The Supreme Court Building is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The building is closed on all federal holidays.

Entering the Building
Be prepared to pass through security screening at you point of entry. To enter the building efficiently, please ask students to carry as little as possible with them on the day of their visit (backpacks, bags, etc.). All items are screened in x-ray machines and all visitors will be asked to pass through metal detectors.

Avoiding Crowds
The best time to plan a school visit is during the fall and winter months (September-February). If you plan to visit during the spring months (March-May), please allow additional time for your visit.

Lunch Options
Lunch is available for purchase in the cafeteria, which offers a variety of hot entrees, sandwiches, pizza, soups, salads and beverages. The cafeteria is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please call the cafeteria manager at 202-479-3246 for information about arranging lunch for your group.

Visitor Etiquette
To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, please review the following rules with your students and chaperones:
  • Please tour the building quietly, as working offices are next to all public hallways
  • No photography or audio/video recording is allowed inside the Courtroom
  • Consumption of food or beverages is permitted only in the Cafeteria and vending machine alcove
  • Touching of portraits, busts, or other artifacts on exhibition is strictly prohibited
  • A chaperone is suggested for every 10 students
Visitors unable to maintain proper behavior will be asked to leave the building by the Supreme Court Police.

Transportation
The Supreme Court is not accessible by private bus or passenger van. Please view the map to see designated bus routes and restrictions. The closest Metro stops are Capitol South (Orange & Blue Lines) and Union Station (Red Line).

What Can I Do?
Although the Supreme Court does not offer guided walking tours, visitors are encouraged to tour the building. There are a variety of educational programs available including Courtroom Lectures, a visitors' film, and exhibitions.
A Gift Shop is located on the Ground Floor and is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.

Please see the sample schedules below for ideas on how to structure a visit to the Supreme Court Building with students.

Bringing Students to Oral Argument Seating in the Courtroom on argument days is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Due to limited seating, oral argument is only recommended for groups of 15 students or less. For larger groups, the three minute line is recommended. Please see the Visitor's Guide to Oral Argument for more information on Courtroom seating.


  
School Group Picture 1


Schedule: 30 Students or Less
If you have 60 minutes:
10:00 a.m. Arrive and proceed through security screening
10:15 a.m. Line up in the Great Hall located on the First Floor
10:30 a.m. Attend Courtroom Lecture*
11:00 a.m. Exit Building


If you have 90 minutes:
10:00 a.m. Arrive and proceed through security screening
10:15 a.m. Line up in the Great Hall located on the First Floor
10:30 a.m. Attend Courtroom Lecture*
11:00 a.m. Divide into groups of 5 or less for rotations to view exhibits on the Ground Floor
11:30 a.m. Exit Building


School Group Picture 2


Schedule: 30 Students or More
If you have 60 minutes:
10:00 a.m. Arrive and proceed through security screening
10:15 a.m. Line up in the Great Hall located on the First Floor
10:30 a.m. Attend Courtroom Lecture*
11:00 a.m. Exit Building


If you have 90 minutes:
10:00 a.m. Arrive and proceed through security screening
  Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
10:15 a.m. Film Exhibits Courtroom & Great Hall
10:35 a.m. Courtroom & Great Hall Film Exhibits
10:55 a.m. Exhibits Courtroom & Great Hall Film
11:30 a.m. Exit Building


  • The sample schedules could be adapted for the following start times: 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

  • Courtroom Lectures are offered on days when the Court is not sitting, beginning on the half-hour. For specific daily schedules, please see the calendar. If a lecture in unavailable the day of your visit, you may view the film instead. The film runs for 24 minutes. Seating capacity is 50 per theater. Showings are continuous in both theaters to accommodate two groups at the same time beginning at 9:15 a.m. The last showing starts at 3:45 p.m.


July 23, 2017 | Version 2014.2