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In the 2015-2016 academic year, the District’s charter students travelled an average of more than two miles each way between school and home, according to data released this month.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board found that students enrolled in the institutions it oversees had mean commutes of 2.1 miles, the same average it calculated the year before. In time terms, that’s 42 minutes walking, eight minutes taking Metrorail, or 10 minutes driving with no traffic, PCSB says. By ward, average commutes ranged from 1.4 miles in Ward 1 to 3.8 miles in Ward 3 (where there are no charters), suggesting that many charter students travel across D.C. for school.
“Ward 8 has the greatest number of students who stay in the Ward where they live to attend school at 5,694 students, representing 58 percent of all students who live in Ward 8,” the report explains. “Ward 2 has the lowest percentage of students living and attending school within Ward 2 at 9 percent. In addition, 5,708 students who live in Wards 7 and 8 travel to other Wards to attend a charter school.” (In total, the District’s charter schools enroll more than 38,000 students.)
According to the board, 34 of 114 charter campuses (or 30 percent) have at least one student from each ward enrolled. Take the centrally located AppleTree Learning Public Charter School—in Columbia Heights—as an example of that fact:
Older and students with special needs tend to travel farther distances to charters than their peers, per the board’s data:
You can read the full report and see school-based maps here.