Community Schools@100%: Innovation 1
Tracking Supply and Demand
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project: Community Schools.1.1
Project 1: The “all-important potential and current community schools analysis” project
Unlike other services such as transport, we don’t track every single time a student accesses a school nurse or counselor (or needs to see a counselor in a timely manner but one is not available). We don’t always track when a student is accessing school-based dental or medical care, or a school-based mentor or tutor. If we did, we would learn a lot about the needs of students and possibly their parents.
No single number will give you a complete picture of the situation: the totality of student and parent needs. However, by gathering multiple data sources and tracking them over time, you should be able to get an idea of the need and level of support for community schools exists in your community. Here’s your list:
- School districts: They may have data on of students in need of various forms of supports and whether they accessed them.
- Private schools: They can be reached through each school’s administration.
- Domestic Violence Programs: Some may keep data on children and teen participants seeking school-based supports. Unlike the government, they’re not necessarily obligated to give you the data, but they probably will.
Child welfare data: While not easy to acquire, there may be a way to access data on parents and youth seeking school-based support. Maybe.
- American Community Survey: The ACS is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about the United States and its people. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.
As mentioned, this won’t be as simple an assessment as the transport situation, but if you get these numbers, you should at least be able to tell if the situation in your community is trending in a positive or negative direction.
Imagine, in some sci-fi future, all residents had a youth pass — a plastic card or mobile app with barcode — that would be used for all forms of school-based wraparound services and programs. Now imagine that an AI program analyzes all these data from all county residents to identify high and low use and where gaps in services exist, offering recommendations for fixes.
In this project, you will be gathering as much data as you can to paint a picture of local schools in the process of becoming community schools and those that already are.
Some community schools will still be adding services. This important information will tell the story of the current status of community schools, a first step in identifying challenges.
Project: Community Schools.1.2
Project 2: The “can you get there from here?” project
Good community school support planners will figure out students with the highest need are concentrated and then plan services accordingly. A lot of community school programs are good-hearted well-intentioned by lacking in this type of self assessment. Luckily, using census data, your own eyes and Google Maps, you can do it for them.
First, learn how to do custom drawings on Google Maps (an internet search will lead to some tutorials). Looking at the American Community Survey, Google Earth satellite images and the results from your Resilient Community Experience Survey, should get you started.
Project: Community Schools.1.3
Project 3: The “does our support go where it should?” project
Your school-based support system (notice the term “system,” as it should be one seamless system serving the entire county, even though it may cover a number of school districts) should serve all students and parents, especially your community’s most critical areas: communities with high rates of child welfare involvement, low income areas, areas with high unemployment, and high schools with low achievement and high dropout rates. Find or make a map of the county, then make a map of all “high risk” areas and all school-based support programs. Then see how well those two maps overlap.
Also take a look at service frequency: are services being offered where the need is the highest? Whether school-based programs “serve” the most critical areas depends on more than what the map looks like.