The school has been doing this trip for years, but the 12 students from Pleasanton's Village High School who left for Washington D.C. last week traveled in style, courtesy of some local businesses.
Ann Crawford, who teaches history and civics at Village, said she gave the kids who wanted to go the same kind of letter she's been sending out for years.
"The cost of the trip is $1,788," Crawford said. "I send out a letter to the community, I tell (the students) to give it to their parents' place of work."
This year, though, things started to snowball when Christian Ghera gave the letter to his mom, Jennifer, who works at the Pleasanton Hilton Hotel. General Manager Kevin Goble contributed $300, and then asked Crawford how they get to the airport.
"When you're dealing with students," she told him, "you have problems that take place."
Crawford explained that in the past she's had a student with a flat tire, kids who went to the wrong airport or to arrivals instead of departures, and that during one recent year, a student misplaced his shoes at the hotel in Washington and they missed their flight home.
"(Goble's) laughing and he says, 'How about if I call Bill (Wheeler) at Black Tie Limo?'" she said. "I was flabbergasted."
Goble then took his offer a step further, offering to have the students arrive an hour early for pizza -- a little extra incentive to get the kids there on time.
"It was an act of supreme generosity," Crawford said.
So Black Tie Limo took them to the airport Friday morning and is picking them up Saturday (barring another misplaced shoe incident), and the class is going with "class."
"It was pretty fun," said 17-year-old Jordon Goodman, a senior at Village. "It was like a party bus. Everyone was pretty tired but was excited to go on the trip."
While at the nation's capital, they're getting a crash course in government. They're touring Capitol Hill courtesy of the office of Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton), visiting Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Holocaust Museum.
They'll also see the Supreme Court, which could issue a decision in a California case that could affect them. In that case, video game manufacturers are taking on a law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that banned the sale of violent video games to minors.
The students will also stay overnight in Colonial Williamsburg and see all the major monuments and attend workshops.
"We're in a group of like 25 kids," Goodman said. "We have discussions about our current government and learn as much as we can. It's more specific, like what's going on the in the news right now."
They'll also get a chance to meet students from other schools in other states, with each of them sharing a room with two other students. This year, students from Alaska, Michigan, Texas, Louisiana and Utah are participating, along with a school from Puerto Rico.
In the past, Crawford said that's made for interesting interactions as Village students, some with piercings, tattoos and unusual hair colors, meet up with their more staid counterparts from other places in the country. She said that's one of the goals of Close Up, the organization that puts these trips together.
Crawford said she has accompanied students for the last few years and hopes they get as much out of it as she does.
"I just have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the trip, and if I can pass that along to the kids, that's great," she said.