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Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education

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Trends in Enrollment by Sector

Citywide trends by sector since school year 2013-14In 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 SY21-21 (52%) and just under half (48%) enrolled in a public charter school. Differentiating within the different types of DCPS schools, in SY21-22, 26% 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 SY21-22 the DCPS share dropped from 56% to 52%, 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 and 48% in SY21-22.

More students living in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 enrolled at their in-boundary DCPS school in SY21-22 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 SY21-22 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. Note that these ward statistics reflect Washington DC's 2022 Ward boundaries; historical data has been aggregated to these 2022 boundaries. Data for 2012 Ward boundaries is available in the downloadable dataset.

DCPS in-boundary enrollment ranges from 14% in Ward 5 to 81% in Ward 3 (SY21-22). Public charter school enrollment ranges from 8% in Ward 3 to 60% in Ward 5 (SY21-22).

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. Scroll down to view patterns by Comprehensive Plan planning areas.



Enrollment by Sector

Source: OSSE Audited Enrollment, SY13-14  to SY21-22

Comprehensive Plan Planning Area View

Source: OSSE Audited Enrollment, SY13-14  to SY21-22


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