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Walk Zone FAQ

Q&As listed below are from the Walk Zone feedback forms and transportation town halls. The list will be updated regularly.

Why is IPS executing the Walk Zones policy for students in Grades K–12?

  • IPS has had a walk zone policy since 1998.
  • The district began executing the walk zone policy during the 2020–21 school year to help keep students safe while social distancing on IPS yellow buses due to COVID-19.
  • For the 2020–21 school year, the policy was enforced at 13 schools throughout the district, affecting 3,000+ students.

Does IPS administration need Board approval to execute the Walk Zone policy at more schools and with more students for the 2021–22 school year?

  • No, Board approval is not required to fully execute the walk zone policy because it is an existing policy.

How does executing the Walk Zone policy benefit the district?

  • Decreasing the number of K–12 students on IPS yellow buses will significantly help IPS reduce its transportation budget, which will help decrease the district’s $15 million deficit, and place more money in classrooms.

Will this affect any other schools in the future?

  • Yes. For the 2021–22 school year, an additional 2,000+ students will be impacted by the execution of prescribed walk boundaries.

Who are considered Walk Zone students?

  • Children are classified as a walker if the following conditions are met:
    • K–6 students who reside 1 mile or less from their school.
    • 7–8 students who reside 1.25 miles or less from their school.
    • 9–12 students who reside 1.5 miles or less from their school.
    • Students who qualify as McKinney-Vento or special education are exempt.

How will I know if my child will be affected by this change?

  • Families affected by this change have been informed that their student(s) are ineligible for transportation services and have been assigned the “walker” designation for their transportation status. 
  • Letters were sent in late March to families based on their current address, and are compliant with the current IPS walk zone policy.

What schools and how many students were impacted by Walk Zone policy during the 2020–21 school year?

  • There were 3,000+ students impacted by the Walk Zone policy at 13 IPS schools. Those schools were:
    • Carl Wilde School 79
    • Center for Inquiry School 27
    • Center for Inquiry School 84
    • Christian Park School 82
    • Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder Diggs 42
    • James Whitcomb Riley School 43
    • Kindezi Academy @ Joyce Kilmer 69
    • Lew Wallace School 107
    • Matchbook Learning @ Wendell Phillips School 63
    • Northwest Middle School
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58
    • Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School
    • William Penn School 49

How many schools will be impacted by the Walk Zone policy during the 2021–22 school year:

  • All IPS schools will be impacted by the 2021-22 Walk Zone policy.

How many students will be impacted by Walk Zone policy during the 2021–22 school year?

  • An additional 2,000+ students will be designated as “walkers” for the 2021–22 school year.

What is the district doing to keep student walkers safe?

  • IPS invested in crossing guards at certain schools for the 2020–21 school year to help to ensure students who walk or bike to school can do so in a safe and secure way. 
  • Additional crossing guards will be added for the 2021–22 school year, where needed.

Can families opt out of the Walk Zone and request IPS transportation?

  • Transportation may be provided for students who live within the walking distance guidelines when physical barriers prevent safe travel (i.e. busy intersections) to school or when required because of a qualifying medical condition of the student.
  • To request a walk zone exemption for your student, please complete Walk Zone Exemption Request Form.

What if I have an issue with the safety of the walk zone route area? 
Students and families may communicate safety concerns in their walk zone to their Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Liaison, school leadership, or to the IPS transportation team at There is also a walk zone Exemption Request Form that can be submitted to request consideration of a safety bus assignment under limited circumstances.

Will every school, per the walk zone policy, have crossing guards?
Crossing guards will be strategically placed at any school campus where it’s deemed necessary for the safe passage of students. 

What if I live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have sidewalks?
Pedestrian infrastructure will be factored when determining whether a student has a safe route to school. However, the absence of sidewalks will not automatically result in safety bussing if it is determined that a safe walking route to school still exists.

Is the district working with the City of Indianapolis and the Department of Public Works (DPW) on the sidewalks, snow removal, streetlights, etc.? 
Yes, IPS is working with the City/DPW to identify issues related to the streetscape and supporting infrastructure within walk zones.

If my child has an IEP or 504, are they required to walk or be moved to IndyGo? 

Students that have transportation services included in their IEP or 504 plan will continue to receive yellow bus services as required. Students with special needs and those receiving McKinney-Vento services will continue to receive transportation services per their Individualized Education Plan or their McKinney-Vento status, respectively.