In Washington, DC, public school students can enroll in their DCPS in-boundary school or participate in the school lottery to enroll in a DCPS out of boundary, DCPS citywide school, DCPS application high school, or a public charter school. Just over half of public school students enrolled in a DCPS school in SY20-21 (53%) and just under half (47%) enrolled in a public charter school. Differentiating within the different types of DCPS schools, in SY20-21 27% of public school students attended their in-boundary DCPS school as compared to 20% at DCPS out of boundary and 6% at the remaining three other types of DCPS schools.
Between SY13-14 and SY20-21 the DCPS share dropped from 56% to 53%, driven by slightly lower shares of students enrolling at their in-boundary and out of boundary schools; the share at other DCPS schools remained stable. After increasing from 44% in SY13-14 to 47% in SY18-19, enrollment at public charter schools as a share of all enrollment declined slightly to 46% in SY19-20 and then rose back to 47% in SY20-21.
More students living in Wards 1, 2, 4, and 6 enrolled at their in-boundary DCPS school in SY20-21 as compared to SY13-14. Additionally, more students living in every ward except Wards 1 and 2 enrolled in public charter schools located anywhere in the city in SY20-21 compared to SY13-14. Public school students living in Ward 3 tend to enroll in their in-boundary DCPS school over other types of DCPS or public charter schools.
DCPS in-boundary enrollment ranges from 14% in Ward 5 to 82% in Ward 3 (SY20-21). PCS enrollment ranges from 7% in Ward 3 to 59% in Ward 5 (SY20-21).
Students living in neighborhood clusters west and directly south of Rock Creek Park have higher rates of enrollment at their in DCPS in-boundary school than their peers elsewhere in Washington, DC. Students living in neighborhood clusters in the northeast and southeast quadrants have higher rates of enrollment in the other types of DCPS lottery schools (i.e., out of boundary, citywide, application, and alternative) and public charter schools than elsewhere in the city. Patterns vary slightly by grade level, particularly in middle school.
Enrollment by Sector
Source: OSSE Audited Enrollment, SY13-14 to SY20-21