High school students attending traditional public schools in the District travel a median distance of 1.8 miles to get to school compared to 0.6 miles for elementary school students, according to information released by D.C. Public Schools this week.
Students at the city’s selective application high schools travel the farthest with a median commute of 3.5 miles. Citywide, the median commute for students at all D.C. Public Schools is just under a mile.
The information was compiled with help from the Deputy Mayor for Education’s office and will be used to help inform the work of a transportation task force that will study the city’s current transportation system, including the bus and rail systems, to see whether it is sufficient to meet the needs of children commuting to school.
“We want kids to only have to travel reasonable distances to school,” said Christopher Rinkus, deputy chief of enrollment and school funding.
The D.C. Public Charter School board on Monday released a school-by-school report on enrollment patterns that showed fewer than 10 percent of the city’s charter school students commute less than a mile to school.
The data released by D.C. Public Schools showed that students in Ward 5 have the longest commutes to traditional schools: half travel more than 1.69 miles. Students in Ward 2 have the shortest commute, with half traveling more than 0.62 miles.
Distances are based on walkable routes.
Hardy Middle School near Glover Park had the longest travel distance of any traditional public school in the District. Students travel a median distance of 5.3 miles to get there. The school does not attract many families from surrounding Georgetown and has traditionally offered many seats to out-of-boundary students from other wards. School Without Walls has the second farthest reach, with a median travel distance of 4.24 miles. Walls is a selective high school and does not have a neighborhood boundary.
Truesdell Education Campus in the Brightwood Park neighborhood of Ward 4 has the shortest commute, with students traveling a median distance of 0.3 miles. Maury Elementary in Capitol Hill came in second at .33 miles. Both schools are located in densely populated neighborhoods with a lot of young families.