Daily Archives: December 7, 2013

School Attendance Zone Demographics

Goto ProximityOne  Elementary-secondary education … wide-ranging decision-making is made possible by visually examining K-12 school catchment areas with related geography and demographic-economic measures. Needs of the school age population can be better analyzed resulting in possible improved educational outcomes. Characteristics of the population served by a school, and its special needs, can be better understood. Awareness of the number of students in areas hit hard by natural disasters could aid relief efforts; the Department of Homeland Security can use this information for planning disaster relief programs in case of a national disaster. The data can aid school districts in distributing funds to schools within its system.

National scope School Attendance Zones (SAZ) boundary files and related demographics are now being developed.  This post reviews use of SAZ boundary files and related subject matter data for areas served by individual schools. SAZ resources are used by schools, school districts, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders to examine relationships between areas served by schools and related geographic areas (e.g., city/county). Based partly on data developed by the U.S. Department of Education, these resources are now available and will be expanded during 2014. See related Web page with more detail.

Using SAZ Boundary Files & Related Geodemographics
The following views illustrate use of the SAZ boundary files with related geography and associated demographics. The CV XE GIS software is used to develop these views and corresponding GIS project fileset are available to ProximityOne User Group members (join, no fee). These applications illustrate how point location and geographic area attributes, multi-sourced data, can be integrated and geospatially analyzed.

Montgomery County Schools MD Area School Attendance Zones
Part of the Washington, DC metro, the school district boundary is shown by  pointer.  A query has been placed on the SAZ layer so that only elementary SAZ boundaries are shown (red boundaries).

By turning on the school marker layer, schools are shown by blue markers.
A query has been placed on the schools layer so that only elementary schools are shown.

The next view is a zoom-in to the area shown by the pointer in the above graphic.  One SAZ label (yellow) shows the SAZ name. A second SAZ label (white) shows the total population.  The demographic label could be any of hundreds of subject matter items available. The Kemp Mill school marker is clicked showing a profile for the school (partial view).

Characteristics of SAZ Demographics in Adjacent Districts
The next graphic shows SAZ boundaries for Alief ISD, TX and adjacent Houston, TX area school districts. This view illustrates that the same types of school/SAZ analyses as in Maryland can be applied elsewhere in the nation due to the use of standardized approaches to the geography and demographics. A peer group of SAZs might be comprised of SAZs with common attributes but in different school districts — nearby or far away. These resources enable school district leadership, analysts and stakeholders to better understand SAZ demographic attributes.

SAZ Demographics
The scope of SAZ subject matter is similar to that provided now in school district ranking tables and profiles:
• General Demographics — http://proximityone.com/sd11dp1.htm
• Social Characteristics — http://proximityone.com/sd11dp2.htm
• Economic Characteristics — http://proximityone.com/sd11dp3.htm
• Housing Characteristics — http://proximityone.com/sd11dp4.htm

School District Decision-Making Information
See more about data, analytical tools and resources to examine school district characteristics and patterns at http://proximityone.com/sddmi.htm.