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Public School Facilities - Sources and Methodology

Public School Facilities: The unit of analysis in this chapter are the buildings that DCPS and public charters operate their schools in. Some facilities house more than one school and some schools are dispersed across multiple facilities. Colocated facilities are those that house two different Local Education Agencies (LEAs) (for instance, two different public charter LEAs, or DCPS and a public charter LEA).  School facility addresses were verified with District of Columbia Public Schools and the DC Public Charter School Board. School facility addresses were geocoded by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer with all District-appropriate neighborhood geographies included.

Facility Enrollment: DME related the school-level OSSE Audited Enrollment, SY2013-14  through SY2022-23, to individual facilities based on grades served. In instances where multiple facilities served the same school’s grade configurations enrollment was based on enrollment splits provided by DC PCSB when available or was divided proportional to their facility capacity in cases where that information was not available. The following audited enrollment business rules were applied to the audited enrollment files for SY2017-18 through SY2022-23: 1) The universe of DCPS students include audited UPSFF residents + Non-resident tuition paying +  Residency unverified and 2) The universe of public charter students include audited UPSFF residents. 

Programmatic capacity: SY2022-23 capacities for DCPS facilities have not been reported while they are recalculated as part of the 2023 Master Facilities Plan. Facility programmatic capacity was provided by DCPS before SY2022-23 and from the individual public charter LEAs, which was collected by the DC PCSB. These capacities reflect the maximum number of students that can be housed in each school facility given the schools’ existing educational programs, class size, and staffing. Programmatic capacities can be revised by the LEAs to reflect new class sizes or classroom configurations in existing facility space or reflect new facilities or new modernizations. Programmatic capacities can include portables  (or temporary classrooms).  The user is able to analyze the capacity and utilization data with and without the portables. Capacity and unfilled seats for SY2021-22 may not be directly comparable to capacity in previous years due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; some public charter LEAs may have reported a lower capacity for their facilities that was in line with social distancing guidelines.

Starting in SY2021-22, a new methodology was applied to capacity: capacity was split across grade bands (typical PK-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th grade bands) proportional to their 1-year enrollment projections. This methodology was applied to SY2013-14 through SY2020-21 as part of the SY2022-23 update.

OSSE School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) Framework:

  • The STAR Framework provides an overall school performance rating from one to a five stars based on an overall school performance score (one STAR being the lowest and five the highest). STAR calculates an overall school performance rating using measures of academic achievement, student growth, school environment, English language proficiency, and graduation rates for student groups in the school. The STAR Framework first measures a school’s performance for all students for each of the applicable metrics and then measures performance for students with disabilities, students who are at-risk, English learners, and each racial/ethnic group in the school with more than ten students. Schools that serve exclusively adults, exclusively students in grades PK3 thru grade 2, schools that are new, and schools that serve small numbers of students (below the threshold for student data privacy protections) do not receive STAR ratings. In 2018, 203 out of 235 schools in DC earned a STAR rating. In 2019, 206 out of 239 schools in DC earned a STAR rating. See OSSE’s 2018 and 2019 Framework Briefs and Technical Guides for more information.
  • Facilities are assigned a STAR rating based on the ratings of the schools in the facilities. If there are multiple schools in a facility that all have the same rating, the STAR rating assigned to the facility would be the same. For facilities that have multiple schools in a facility with different ratings, the facility is a assigned a STAR rating of “multi-STAR”. Facilities with no STAR rating include schools that did not receive a rating because they were either a new school, had a particular grade configuration that is not rated, or their enrollment was too small.