Alexandria, How Far Should the Walk to School Be?

Distance will now be measured as an actual walking distance to school using GIS data.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – ACPS is proposing to adjust the distance that high school students will need to walk to school next year.

Starting in September 2019, all high school students will have to walk a maximum of 1.5 miles no matter where they live, if the changes are approved by the Alexandria City School Board.

Currently, the distance is measured as a radius drawn around T.C. Williams King Street or Minnie Howard campuses. The changes will mean that the distance will now be measured as an actual walking distance to school using GIS data. Parents may review suggested walk paths using tools such as Google Maps.

The changes are designed to ensure equity among all students. Previously, some students had to walk further than an actual mile-and-a-half due to the way the walk zone was calculated.

If approved, 506 more high school students will be eligible for school bus transportation. ACPS will need to add five new bus routes — four at T.C. Williams and one at Minnie Howard — to accommodate these new riders.

Students whose route to school requires them to cross busy main roads or has other hazards will still be eligible for a bus.

All high school students also may ride the DASH buses for free using their student ID, so if your child carries a large instrument to school, consider catching the DASH bus instead.

The board is expected to vote on the proposed changes in May.

Bus routes will be finalized for elementary and middle school students in May and high school students in June. Notification of bus eligibility will be sent out to all parents and guardians in May and June.

All students will be provided their bus stop information by mail before they start school in the fall.

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