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Iowa District Deploys Geovisual Analytics To Combat Disparities

The Iowa City Community School District has deployed a geovisual analytics platform to help guide its decision making as it implements its first 10-year master facility plan.

The $258 million facility plan was developed by the 13,000-student district in response to rapid growth expected over the course of the next decade and includes plans for a new high school, three new elementary schools and renovations to two schools currently in use.

The district also has a "wide disparity between schools" regarding low-income students, according to reporting in The Gazette, and the district has adopted a new policy to deal with that disparity.

The district decided to adopt GuideK12's geovisual analytic software in an effort "to make boundary planning more streamlined and transparent," according to a news release.

"Many of these tasks could be done with other GIS-type tools, but would take us twice as long and would require multiple sources to gather the needed information," said David Dude, COO at Iowa City Community School District, in a prepared statement. "With GuideK12, we have the ability to view data instantly and mapped geographically. Our facility master plan includes measures to ensure school populations are evenly distributed."

The district is also looking into other ways to put the tool to use, such as tracking open enrollment or examining discretionary busing zones with custom layers.

"We can create a table of where students live versus what school they attend and visualize that on a map to see where we are losing students," added Dude.  "I see us being able to continue to expand how we use this functionality in the future along with mapping resource needs based on where certain student populations live."

More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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