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Student Assignment and School Boundaries Review Process

Overview

School choice and student assignment policies establish the access rights that students have to public schools in the District of Columbia. School choice and student assignment policies determine who gets to go to which school, where and how parents and students apply to school, what rights students have to remain in a school they have chosen, and what rights students have to transfer between schools.

The District has not undertaken a comprehensive review of its student assignment policies, including school attendance boundaries and feeder patterns, in over three decades.  Meanwhile, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools have opened and closed, neighborhoods have changed, and the city’s population has shifted.  

Over the next several months, the DME will lead the effort to review current policies and practices, identify challenges, analyze data, and recommend solutions.

Goals and Initiatives

To develop fair and clear school choice and assignment policies in an effort to establish clarity, predictability, and continuity for families.  Specifically, 

  • To clarify what rights and responsibilities families and schools have regarding access to public schools;
  • To update feeder relationships between schools to ensure that schools are aligned to provide a robust pipeline of students into the middle and high schools;
  • To ensure that the boundaries align to the DCPS facility capacity and projected population of students;
  • To explore opportunities to bridge student-assignment and choice policies across DCPS and charter schools.