Summer’s over, kids: DC students head back to school

WASHINGTON — Kids sporting uniforms and backpacks will once again join the herd of morning commuters in D.C., as D.C. Public Schools kicks off its 2018-2019 school year Monday.

Traffic will increase as the various school systems start heading back to school and AAA mid-Atlantic cautions drivers “to get back into the habit of slowing down and watching for children in school zones and in neighborhoods … ”

Whether it be by biking, walking or taking public transportation, tens of thousands of students will make their way to the many of D.C. schools.

In the 2016-2017 school year, DCPS enrolled 48,555 students overall.

The Kids Ride Free program lets the approximate 50,000 students in D.C. ride public transportation — Metrobus, the Circulator and Metrorail — for free to get to and from school and school-sponsored activities.

But there’s a slight change: Students will no longer be able to use their DC One Cards this year starting Oct. 1. Students will need to obtain a new KRF SmarTrip card and tap it on all bus and rail trips.

Students who still don’t have their KRF SmarTrip cards can get one from their school’s DC One Card administrator at the beginning of the school year. Card distribution events have happened throughout the summer.

As for the younger tots, they get a few more days of summer break. Most traditional year Pre-K schools in DCPS kick off the school year Thursday.

Last week, more than 4,000 students who attend 13 schools with an extended school calendar went back to classes.

Also heading back to school this week are students in the Loudoun County Public Schools system in Virginia and Jefferson County Public Schools in West Virginia.

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