When Keith Davis was notified that he had been chosen for the first class at Anacostia High School's Academy of Public Service, he was not certain that was what he wanted his first year in high school.

Daily classes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Daily writing assignments.

Daily sessions on computers.

Daily instruction on public speaking.

Davis was not sure that he wanted a career in public service. After all, that is the aim of the first program in the nation to aggressively point students toward careers in government.

And, besides, the long school hours and heavy workload might interfere with basketball practice.

"I had already decided to attend Chamberlain {Vocational} and take up data processing," said Davis, 15, who lives in Anacostia. "But after they explained more about the program, and I thought about how much easier it was to get here, I decided to try it."

He still wasn't convinced until he attended his first classes at the academy. "I'm going to stay all three years," Davis said yesterday.

Davis was one of 50 10th-grade students at Anacostia who had a coming-out party yesterday for the Academy of Public Service.

The program was developed by the National Academy Foundation, D.C. Public Schools, the Office of Personnel Management and several local colleges.

The National Academy Foundation has started other programs for finance and and travel and tourism, which have more than 3,000 students enrolled in 26 communities.

The academy at Anacostia will be used as a model for other areas of the country.

School Superintendent Andrew E. Jenkins said two other academies, focusing on transportation and leadership, are expected to open in the District next year.

For three years, the academy will provide the students with a core curriculum, electives, field trips, visiting lecturers and paid internships in the summer and weekends during the school year. When they are seniors, they will get college and job placement help.

In a morning classroom exercise yesterday, students took turns reading from interviews they had with classmates.

They talked of favorite colors and music, best friends and hobbies. They planned to become doctors, lawyers, computer programmers and architects.

After a few of them hesitated because they had not completed the assignment, teacher Susan Thomas stood up.

"Everything we do is geared to make you accountable and responsible," said Thomas, one of the academy's eight instructors.

"You must come prepared at all times. If you come tomorrow without the assignment, you fail."

Each student's assignment will be graded by at least three teachers -- one for English and the others for subject matter.

Inside the school building, they will see only two classrooms. One is a computer lab. The other, in a few months, will have a small television studio.

"We want to get them used to public speaking," said Robert Cooper, who is on loan to the program from the Treasury Department.

"Once we get the studio in, they'll be able to see themselves and improve more quickly."

After the presentations, the students headed to the computer lab to transform the ideas into compositions. Each sat before a new personal computer.

Sabrina Bush, 15, said she has talked at home so much about the academy that her brothers and sisters want to enroll.

But her mother, Mary Bush, said Sabrina is the one most excited about the program.

"She has changed so much in these three days," Mary Bush said. She gets up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready. She's a new person."