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Update on Transportation for the 2018-19 School Year

Dear ACPS Parents and Guardians,

As was announced in May, changes are being made to the school walk zones for the 2018-19 school year. This means that some families will experience changes in their eligibility for bus transportation starting this September.

This school year:

  • The one-mile walk zone for K-5 students is being expanded to apply to all K-8 students, ensuring uniformity between traditional middle schools and K-8 schools.

  • Distances for K-8 walk zones are being measured by the actual walking distance on a map from the school instead of being measured in a straight line from the school. This should make access to transportation more equitable as it takes into account the actual distance a child has to walk to school, instead of drawing a circle around the school.
  • There are no changes at the high school level. Students in grades 9-12 living beyond a one-and-one-half mile radius from the school they attend, or who live within a one-and-one-half mile radius, but who could not reasonably walk to school without passing through a hazardous area will receive transportation.

For some families, the new walk zones mean that children who may have received transportation in the past may not receive transportation this year. For other families, children that may not have received transportation services in the past may be eligible to receive them this year.

Last week all families received a letter in the mail with the transportation eligibility determination for each child in the household based on the school they will be attending in September. If you did not receive a letter or have questions or concerns about your child’s transportation determination for next school year, please get in touch with the ACPS Department of Transportation by submitting your inquiry online, via email to or by calling 703-461-4169.

We understand that these changes may raise questions or concerns for some families. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about the changes and the decision-making process with responses. You can view the FAQ at

You can also view the announcement in ACPS Express about the changes and an outline of the policy updates for more information.

Our goal is to ensure all 15,500 of our students arrive to school safely and on time every day, and then back home again. We appreciate your patience as we review each and every walk and bus route to ensure every child gets to school safely each and every day.

Charles Stone
Director of Transportation