Bringing Maps to Life / Bringing Life to Maps in DC School Closures

This week DC Action again welcomes guest blogger Virginia Spatz, who helps produce The Education Town Hall on We Act Radio and reports on education and community issues for East of the River and other outlets.

In announcing school closure plans, DC Public Schools (DCPS) officials, including Chancellor Kaya Henderson, have emphasized the need for the system to be prepared to support student transitions from schools that are closing to their new schools.

But how does that work in the real world?

While DC Action for Children mapped the proposed school closures last December, no one map can show all of the nuances and details of new school routes, such as all the streets students in closing schools would have to cross to get to their new school. And, of course, no map can entirely capture a student-eye view of the trip to and from school.

Jessica Hardin, a Georgetown University student who works in an aftercare program at one of the schools that is closing, followed a child on foot across Interstate 295 and through a Metro station to his newly assigned school. The video of this journey offers compelling student-level detail for just one Kenilworth Elementary School third grader. Undoubtedly, other students in closing schools will have many other stories.

For more information on neighborhood response to the closing of Kenilworth Elementary School (at 1300 44th St NE), contact Matt Kerrigan at or 781-956-2786.

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