The benefits of GIS
Have parents in your district ever needed to find out how far their child needs to walk between their home and school or where the nearest bus stop is located? Did they -- or you -- search the school district website for PDF boundary maps or using Google to try to find the answer? Online school locator tools -- which use geographic information systems (GIS) technology -- can help provide answers to common school boundary and transportation questions.
Our district uses LocateMySchool. Here are two ways these tools can give you support and direction.
Answering questions. We have new students cycling into our district each week and our transportation and administrative staff get a steady stream of questions from their parents. The application, available via a link on our school website, helps these new parents find information quickly, from any device. They can enter their address and view information about which schools their children will attend, the bus stops in the area, plus the walking, biking, and driving distances and routes between home and school.
Planning for the future. Brawley is currently planning to build a new school, and this plan will require shifting school attendance boundaries. We could use the application to present alternate boundary scenarios in an online format to facilitate planning committee or public review processes. It will make communicating the new boundaries to the entire community a lot easier.
Freddy Cornejo is the manager of transportation at Brawley Unified School District. You can follow the Brawley School District on Twitter @BrawleyESD.
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