The start of the 2020/21 school year is fast approaching and school districts across the nation are faced with unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. ArcGIS Dashboards are an excellent tool for visualizing and interacting with data. I created a dashboard to focus on all school districts in the state of Texas with current COVID-19 case counts at the county level. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at the John Hopkins University provides current COVID-19 data.
This dashboard allows users to simply select their county from a drop-down menu and instantly see the current number confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. When a county is selected, a list of school districts within the county are filtered out with enrollment information. The pop-ups allow users to click a district on the map to see additional information such as the number of schools and a link to the district website. Population numbers were incorporated from the American Community Survey to help understand the proportion of the county that is affected.
Dashboards can combine data from various sources (Census, Texas Education Agency, John Hopkins University, etc.) to illustrate relevant information that will help in making informed decisions. In the dashboard I created, you can see that the counties with the highest number of cases align with the counties with high-enrollment school districts, as would be expected. When comparing cases to population, many counties are nearing 2%. If we assumed a similar ratio of cases in schools, a school district of just 10,000 students could have 200 infected students. If that district has 20 campuses, it is very likely that each campus would a few cases within their student population.
Once decisions have been made, dashboards can be created to share information with staff, students and parents, or the entire community. Here are some examples of what could be shared on a dashboard:
- A map of attendance boundary with any changes or 50/50 split
- A map of locations to pick up meals or laptops
- A count of virtual vs. in-person students
- Graphs of enrollment trends and changes due to COVID-19
- Up-to-date maps of any reported cases within the district
- List of nearest testing sites with details (hours, address, cost)
The possibilities are endless. This is difficult time for everyone, but there are so many resources available to help with decision-making and sharing data. Please contact Davis Demographics if your school district needs assistance with redistricting, creating web maps and dashboards, or demographic analysis.