(Washington, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration, through the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), announced the launch of the Boundary and Student Assignment Study 2023 (Boundary Study) to review DC Public Schools (DCPS) boundaries and feeder patterns and District-wide public school student assignment policies.
“Every DC child deserves an excellent public education that puts them on a path to success in school, career, and life,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “We are embarking on a city-wide planning process that will provide strategic, data-informed recommendations to ensure more students have access to great schools and facilities that meet their needs. This process will be essential toward our ongoing work to not only recover from the pandemic, but to continue our efforts to close the opportunity gap. We know that residents will have strong thoughts and feedback, and we look forward to engaging directly with families, educators, and stakeholders over the coming weeks and months.”
The Boundary Study will develop recommendations based on analytic findings and public input, while affirmatively advancing racial and socioeconomic equity in public schools in Washington, DC. There will be three rounds of District-wide townhalls, an Advisory Committee, engagement with school-specific communities, a Boundaries-specific website for information sharing and collecting feedback, and ongoing participation at stakeholder meetings and local events. These processes are modeled on similar engagements conducted during the 2013-14 review process.
This will be the first update to the Boundary Study since 2013-2014, when Washington, DC undertook its first comprehensive review of student assignment in four decades. The DME is running a Master Facilities Plan study concurrently with this Boundary Study and both studies will share foundational information. Any potential boundary modifications and feeder recommendations would take effect no sooner than School Year 2025-26, starting in August of 2025.
Through competitive procurement processes, DME has contracted with a team led by Perkins Eastman, including WXY Studio, LINK Strategic Partners, and The D.C. Policy Center to support both studies.
Boundary Study Goals
The Boundary Study will develop systematic and school-level recommendations to address three goals specified in Council legislation:
- Students have clear assignments to schools of right based on DCPS attendance zones and feeder pathways;
- There is adequate capacity in the geographically zoned DCPS facilities at each grade level (Pre-Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and High), including feeder pathways, taking current and future population and enrollment trends into account; and
- There is equitable access among District students to high-quality public schools.
Master Facilities Plan
DME is also developing the DC Public Education Master Facilities Plan 2023 (MFP 2023), a forward-looking, comprehensive plan that will provide the city, school leaders, stakeholders, and the community with the roadmap needed to support current and future school facilities planning in Washington, DC. The plan will address the following three goals, while affirmatively advancing equity and excellence in public schools in the District:
- Ensure school facilities are efficiently utilized.
- Ensure every student is enrolled in a modern state of the art facility.
- Ensure every student’s daily experience is in a well-maintained facility.
Elements of the MFP 2023 include consistent and transparent programmatic facility capacities, future enrollment and utilization trends, and recommendations that address capacity needs and streamline maintenance operations.
Similar to the Boundary Study, the MFP 2023 will reflect community input through extensive feedback opportunities, including town halls, direct school engagement, and ongoing public feedback.
Town Hall Meetings
The DME will hold three rounds of District-wide town halls for both the Boundary Study and MFP 2023 over the course of the year (spring, early summer, and fall). School communities and residents will be encouraged to attend. Information regarding the town halls will be posted on the DME site and shared via social media.
Advisory Committee on Student Assignment
As part of the launch of the Boundary Study, the DME also announced membership of the Advisory Committee on Student Assignment. The Advisory Committee is composed of education stakeholders from all eight wards who will meet monthly to create recommendations for attendance zones, feeder patterns, and school assignment policies. Members of the Advisory Committee were recommended by education stakeholders and selected by the DME to reflect Washington, DC’s public school education system, including ward of residence and enrollment preferences.
Meetings will be live streamed and open to the public. Information regarding the Advisory Committee members, meetings, and materials are posted to dme.dc.gov/boundaries2023. The first Advisory Committee meeting will take place on March 30, 2023, focusing on the committee’s charge and the goals of the project.
Below is a list of the Advisory Committee members.
Chairperson: Paul Kihn, Deputy Mayor for Education
Community Members – Ward Designated (listed in order of ward)
- Quoc Nguyen, Bancroft PTO Board Member; LSAT Co-Chair; Ward 1 resident
- David Alpert, Ward 2 Education Council President; Ross LSAT; Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC); Ward 2 resident
- Anna Johnson, Mann PTA; Ward 3 resident
- Vanessa Rubio, Brightwood ES PTA, MacFarland MS PTO, ANC 4E01 Commissioner, Ward 4 Education Alliance; Ward 4 resident
- Diana Delgado, Bruce Monroe ES LSAT and PTA; Ward 4 resident
- Julie Patton Lawson, Wells MS PTO and LSA; Ward 4 resident
- Annie Wright, Brookland MS PTO President; Ward 5 resident
- Yolanda Corbett, Washington Leadership Academy PCS parent; KIPP DC Legacy Prep PCS parent; Rocketship PCS parent; My School DC Parent Advisory Council; Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE); Advocates for Justice in Education; Ward 5 resident
- Crystal Gray, Watkins ES PTA and Equity Team; Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE) Citywide/Ward 6 Board member; Leaders of Color; Ward 6 resident
- Dr. Marla Dean, Ward 7 Education Council; Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC); Dupont Park Civic Association; Ward 7 resident
- LeKisha Jordan, Watkins ES; Council of the District of Columbia Senior Policy Advisor; Ward 7 resident
- Antawan Holmes, Houston ES; ANC commissioner; Ward 7 resident
- Malika Whatley, Ketcham ES; Ward 8 resident
- Brandi Reese, Garfield ES PTO; Ward 8 resident
- Michael Watts, Phelps PTO President; Ward 8 resident
Community Members – District-wide
- Cathy Reilly, Senior High Alliance for Parents Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.) Co-founder and Executive Director; Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC)
- Nzinga Tull, Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC); Teaching for Change
- Carolyn Bowen, Payne ES parent; Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE); former teacher/special education coordinator; American Planning Association member
- LaJoy Johnson-Law, E.L. Haynes PCS parent, Advocates for Justice and Education
District Agency and Local Education Agency (LEA) Members
- Dr. Bren Elliott, Chief of School Improvement and Supports, DCPS
- Sarah Parker, Interim Officer of Engagement and Partnerships Office, DCPS
- Chyanne Eyde, Deputy Chief of School Planning, DCPS
- Amy Lerman, Executive Director, My School DC
- Dr. Amber Hewitt, Director, Mayor's Office of Racial Equity
- Dr. Michelle Walker-Davis, Executive Director, DC Public Charter School Board
- Patricia Brantley, Chief Executive Officer, Friendship Public Charter Schools
For more information, visit dme.dc.gov/boundaries2023.