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Confused About D.C. School Boundary Changes? There's An App For That

The OurDCSchools app allows residents to enter their address and see how school boundaries and feeder patterns could change under three proposals.
The OurDCSchools app allows residents to enter their address and see how school boundaries and feeder patterns could change under three proposals.

Have you heard about possible changes to D.C. public school boundaries but don't really know how they would affect you? There's now an app that will help you make sense of it.

Code for D.C., a group of hackers and programmers that take open data and create online tools for citizens, has rolled out OurDCSchools, an app that allows D.C. residents to enter their address and see how proposed school boundary changes could affect them.

An advisory committee is currently weighing possible changes to the school boundaries and feeder patterns that have helped determine where students in the city go to school. The current boundaries were drawn over 40 years ago, and D.C. officials say that changes in the city's population and increased school options have made existing boundaries and feeder patterns outdated.

The changes, which won't be finalized until the fall and would take effect in 2015, are now being presented to the public. This week, another round of public hearings will allow residents to weigh in.

With the app, a resident can enter their address and see their current school boundary and feeder pattern and how they might change under the three proposals currently being discussed. They can also rate the different proposals on a smiley-face scale, which will then be shared with the committee working on the proposals.

This is Code for D.C.'s second schools-related app. The first shows student mobility — where students at specific schools travel from to get there. According to D.C. officials, only one-quarter of the city's public school students attend their in-boundary school, while 43 percent attend charter schools.


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