NCES School Catchments


This dataset contains 2015-2016 school-year data delineating school attendance boundaries. These data were collected and processed as part of the School Attendance Boundary Survey (SABS) project which was funded by NCES to create geography delineating school attendance boundaries. Original source information that was used to create these boundary files were collected were collected over a web-based self-reporting system, through e-mail, and mailed paper maps. The web application provided instructions and assistance to users via a user guide, a frequently asked questions document, and instructional videos. Boundaries supplied outside of the online reporting system typically fell into one of six categories: a digital geographic file, such as a shapefile or KML file; digital image files, such as jpegs and pdfs; narrative descriptions; an interactive web map; Excel or pdf address lists; and paper maps. 2013 TIGER/line features (that consist of streets, hydrography, railways, etc.) were used to digitize school attendance boundaries and was the primary source of information used to digitize analog information. This practice works well as most school attendance boundaries align with streets, railways, water bodies and similar line features included in the 2015 TIGER/line "edges" files. In those few cases in which a portion of a school attendance boundary serves both sides of a street contractor staff used Esri’s Imagery base map to estimate the property lines of parcels. The data digitized from analog maps and verbal descriptions do not conform to cadastral data (and many of the original GIS files created by school districts do not conform with cadastral or parcel data).



School name as provided by the district.


Unique identifier for the school as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


Official school name as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


Local education agency identifier as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


Lowest grade level at the school as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


Highest grade level at the school as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


District de facto status. Many small districts do not require separate school-level attendance boundaries because the district can accommodate grade-level enrollment within a single school. In these cases, the school district boundary serves as a de facto boundary for the school attendance area. School districts in the SABS collection were flagged as de facto districts if each grade offered by the district was served by only one school. Boundaries for schools operated by de facto districts were set to the district boundary. Conversely, non de facto districts contained more than one school for at least one grade between kindergarten and twelfth.


The school's state.


The school's open enrollment status. Schools that allow for open enrollment do not maintain strict attendance boundaries and may accept students based on factors other than home address. Schools that have conflicting open enrollment statuses between district-reported data and the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD) are marked with an 'Unknown' status here.


School level as recorded in the DOE's Common Core of Data (CCD).


Boundaries differ by grade level. Each school had to be represented by a single feature in the database. Duplicate features for a single school were merged into one, thus representing the largest potential physical extent of the duplicated records. In rare instances, a single school may operate different boundaries for different grades within its grade span. For example, a K-8 school may draw K-6 students from an area relatively close to the school, while also enrolling 7th and 8th grade students from a broader service area. If a duplicate record resulted from multiple boundaries served by the same school then this field will return as 'True'.