Have you heard? The pope is coming, and with his visit comes road closures, transit changes and extra security across the District. But will it be the end of the world? Pope-alypse? Pope-mageddon? Probably not.
Residents across the Borderstan coverage area will likely feel the effects of Pope Francis’ visit on Wednesday, when the pope will hold mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Dupont Circle after parading around the White House.
Here’s our big infodump-y list of what to expect from the Pope’s visit:
Where Pope Francis Will Be
- Pope Francis will meet with President Obama Wednesday morning, which will be followed by a parade around the White House along Constitution Avenue NW and 15th and 17th streets NW
- The pope’s motorcade will then go from the White House to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle at 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW, where he will hold a midday prayer with U.S. bishops.
- He will then head to Catholic University to hold mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- LGBT Catholics will gather outside of the Human Rights Campaign offices at 17th Street NW and Rhode Island Avenue NW to greet the pope as his motorcade passes en route to the cathedral
Where Pope Francis Will Not Be
Those looking to avoid the pope and road closures altogether should stay north of O Street NW. Places to avoid include Massachusetts Avenue near the Naval Observatory on Tuesday night, Farragut Square, Dupont, Catholic University and Brookland on Wednesday and the U.S. Capitol and downtown on Thursday.
- Rhode Island Avenue NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW will be closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday
- Several roads around the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle will close intermittently between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. including:
– M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW
– Connecticut Avenue NW between 18th Street NW and Desales Street NW
– 17th Street NW between M and N streets NW
- Parking will be prohibited between midnight and 3 p.m. Wednesday in a one-block radius from the Cathedral including:
– Rhode Island Avenue NW between 17th Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW
– M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and the BB&T bank halfway down the block
- Parking will be limited from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Thursday between 11th and 12th streets NW and between K and O streets NW
- Service on all lines will be increased during the midday and evenings. Metro does not have the capacity to increase service during rush hours and expects trains to be very crowded at those times
- Bicycles and large coolers will not be allowed on Metro trains Wednesday or Thursday
- Bags, packages and containers may be searched at Metro stations
- There is no scheduled track work on any lines during the Pope’s visit
- Updated information will be made available online
- 37, D1, D3, H1 and S1 buses will not operate on Wednesday or Thursday
Several bus routes have been shortened from due to road closures along their routes. Those bus lines are:
- 42 and 43 will only operate between Mt. Pleasant and 9th Street NW and F Street NW from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Thursday
- N2 and N4 will only operate between Friendship Heights and the National Cathedral at 34th Street NW and Garfield Street NW from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday.
- N3 and N6 will only operate between Friendship Heights and Dupont Circle from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday
- S2 and S4 will only operate between Silver Spring and McPherson Square from 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday
- The Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn and Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square lines will run every 15 minutes starting at noon on Wednesday and lasting until Thursday evening
- D.C. Public Schools will all be open for the entirety of the Pope’s visit. School officials warn that road closures and crowds may affect transportation to and from school and said parents can contact the Parent Resource Center at 202-576-5000 for transportation-related questions during the Pope’s visit.
Several charter schools will be closed on Wednesday, including:
- All Carlos Rosario International Charter School locations
- All Center City Public Charter School locations
- E.L. Hayned Public Charter School
- All KIPP D.C. locations
Places to Celebrate
- Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle will hold a pope-themed rooftop party Tuesday night with foods from Pope Francis’ native Argentina. Tickets are $25
- Rumors Bar and Grill has a special pope sandwich on their menu this week
- Posto restaurant on 14th Street NW will offer a tasting menu of Roman dishes in honor of the pope’s visit
- Here’s a list of pope drink specials popping up across town
From Allison Acosta. Email her at allison[AT]borderstan.com.
More than 43 percent of all public school children in DC attend one of the 57 Public Charter Schools spread across the city on 102 campuses.
Charter schools are publicly funded and tuition-free schools that are open to all DC children. They are exempt from some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools, but they must achieve certain results which are set forth in each school’s charter. The DC Public Charter School Board is responsible for oversight of the charter schools.
Each charter school has its own application and lottery process. This year, for the first time, most DCPCS will have an application deadline of March 15, run their lotteries on March 22 and have a deadline of April 22 for parents to accept a spot before the schools move on to their wait lists.
Unlike the DC Public School lottery, in which parents must narrow their choices down to six options and in which preference is given for living in close proximity to the school, parents can apply to as many DCPCS as they wish and have an equal chance to anyone else in the city.
Most, if not all, charter schools give a preference to siblings of children already at the school. There are a handful of schools that fill spots in their classrooms in the order that applications were submitted, but most schools accept applications until a certain date and then hold a lottery.
For many schools, applying is as easy as entering name, date of birth and address information on a website, but some schools require you to apply in-person or fax in your application.
With so many charter schools in the city, deciding which schools to focus on can be daunting. Word of mouth is a great way to begin gathering information about schools. Ask your friends and neighbors what they like and dislike about the schools their children attend.
On the Charter School Board’s website, you can search for schools by location and name and view demographic information, a description of each school, and a detailed “School Performance Scorecard.” The Charter school board ranks schools into three tiers, with Tier 3 schools being underperforming.
The new website, Apply DC Charters, has basic information about the 85 schools participating in the March 15 application deadline, including upcoming open house dates. You can search the website by location, grade levels, and programs, such as arts-integration or interscholastic sports.
The website GreatSchools also has school profiles for DCPS, public charter schools, and private schools. GreatSchools has a ranking system that is currently based on test scores for Grades 3 and higher, and academic growth from year to year, so if you are researching a newer school there may be no ranking or limited data behind the ranking. On the GreatSchools website, you can also sort schools by their “specialty,” such as a dual-language curriculum or a Montessori program.
There are several public charter schools within the Borderstan area. Below is a list of DCPCS serving pre-school and elementary school aged students in Borderstan, along with the dates of upcoming Open Houses.
- Center City PCS – Shaw Campus: Contact to schedule a tour (202) 234-1093 or shaw[AT]centercitypcs.org.
- Community Academy PCS – Butler Campus: Contact for details 202-234-5437 or info[AT]capcs.org.
- Inspired Teaching PCS: February 23 at 10 am; March 5 at 6 pm; April 14 at 6 pm; May 4 at 10 am.
- Meridian PCS: February 23 at 1 pm; April 20 at 1 pm; May 4 at 1 pm; June 1 at 1 pm.
- Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS: March 15 at 6:30 pm (also offers advance sign up morning visit of March 14).
Both DCPS and DCPCS will complete their lotteries by the end of March. With large numbers of parents entering the lottery for six DCPS and any number of charter schools, expect wait lists to move significantly over the summer and into the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.