Where to Locate Schools? What to Consider – and Why It Matters

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Where to Locate Schools? What to Consider – and Why It Matters

School sitingForty years ago, nearly half of all students walked or biked to school. Now, only 14 percent do.

Why the change?

One major factor is school siting, the decisions school leaders make about where to build or rehabilitate schools. Over the past several decades, schools have increasingly been built on the outskirts of communities, too far from children’s homes for walking or biking to be practical.

Locating schools closer to where families live can make it easier for kids to walk and bike to school – and more convenient for families to use school fields and other facilities after hours, when school is closed.

When it comes to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, however, few neighborhoods are well integrated – which means students in neighborhood-based schools can be highly segregated, too.

But there are lots of ways to support both walkable and diverse schools. Download our model school siting policies and other materials to learn more about how school siting decisions can better support students’ educational success, physical health, and overall well-being. And contact us for help putting these tools to work in your community.

About Public Health Law & Policy

Public Health Law & Policy is a nonpartisan nonprofit working to educate, inform, and assist local and state public health departments on policy strategies addressing nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco control. Our team of attorneys, urban planners, and policy analysts are available to work with your community as you develop public health policy initiatives. For more information, contact us.

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Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) | www.phlpnet.org | (510) 302-3380
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