Idaho School District Embraces Innovative Data Visualization Software to Steer Strategic Planning
Cassia County School District is the first in the state to implement geovisual analytics software GuideK12
(Eagan, MN) October 20, 2015 – Exciting times are ahead for Cassia County School’s 5,000 students, thanks to the passing of a $36 million bond in March 2015. To support and guide the planning, passing, and implementation of the bond, Cassia School District administrators chose the geovisual analytics platform from GuideK12 to drive the data-driven scenario planning they used to communicate widespread change within the district.
Cassia County Schools, a primarily rural district covering a geographic area larger than the state of Delaware, has seen steady growth as new industry has moved into the area. The newly passed bond will fund construction of a new elementary school as well as 13 additional renovation projects in the district’s 17 schools. In addition to construction and renovation, grade reconfiguration will convert four of the elementary schools into K-6 neighborhood schools. Community support has been strong to reduce and minimize the number of building transitions for elementary students from the K-3 and 4-6 models to the K-6 model.
Chris James, the fiscal manager of Cassia Schools, and the administrative team saw the immediate impact that GuideK12 would have on their strategic planning, allowing them to inform stakeholders in real time using digital “scenario” maps.
James said, “The ability to understand and display things like voter locations and property values was invaluable to our district, allowing us to concentrate limited resources that led to greater success and transparency. GuideK12 was helpful to show population concentrations on a digital, interactive map throughout the bond process to gain understanding and support.”
GuideK12 is web-based software designed to assist district administrators with analyzing complex data in an easy-to-use, interactive format focusing on hot-button topics like school boundaries, grade reconfiguration, emergency planning, and resource placement.
“Technology like GuideK12 has a wide variety of applications in a district,” James said. “Our after-school education program wanted to do an after-school snack program, but to qualify for proper funding they needed to be able to demonstrate that the selected locations were where the need was the highest. GuideK12 makes showing something like that easy.”
With the passage of this bond, Cassia will begin to examine boundaries for populating the new elementary building, as well as the best way to temporarily shift students during renovations and construction. The new site provides the space the district needs to keep classroom sizes small and to eliminate the use of portable classrooms. Aside from construction, the next few years will see a grade shift to K-6 community schools.
“Without GuideK12, it would have been cumbersome, difficult, and time consuming to make these changes. The ability to understand the effects of each change at the student level allows us to consider the unique needs of our student population, and ensure each is in the right building with the right support programs, such as ESL or for special needs. You don’t get the same insights from looking at a static spreadsheet,” said James.
Chuck Amos, the CEO of GuideK12, added “We are ecstatic to be working with the team at Cassia School County district. GuideK12 ensures those making important decisions have access to all of the information they need. As is the case with Cassia County Schools, our software makes the right data accessible, actionable, and transparent.”
Minnesota-based GuideK12™ is the leading provider of web-based geovisual analytic tools that enable education decision-makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to student and community information. With spatial visualization of information, decisions on everything from boundary analysis to policy changes to resource planning and referendum planning can be faster and more insightful. GuideK12 translates data into actionable information so administrators can visualize, analyze, and predict. GuideK12 has received numerous education technology industry awards and nominations, including NSBA technology showcase, EdTech Digest Cool Tool Awards, SIIA Codie, and DA Top 100 products award. GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban, and rural school districts throughout the United States. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more about GuideK12™, please visit www.guidek12.com.