Customer Spotlight: Santa Rosa City Schools Deals with a Natural Disaster

Posted by Ron Van OrdenO


Santa Rosa City Schools is two districts, elementary and secondary, run with a common administrative team and Board. They are not unified in part because the high school district overlays the elementary district and 7 other feeder districts. This makes for some complex data issues. They serve approximately 16,000 students in Sonoma county.


On the night of October 9, 2017, several wildfires broke out in the community. The Tubbs fire had a direct and indirect impact on the district. They lost a satellite campus to one of their schools, had to close school for 3 weeks, had 70+ staff members lose their homes to fires, and had countless others displaced due to mandatory evacuations (100,000 in the county at the height of the fire). In the midst of the disaster however, they had no idea how many families were impacted.


During the initial days of the fire, they did not have a handle on what the impact to their school community would be which made planning difficult. Our staff reached out to them and through conversations and Location Analytics technology, were able to give the district information on which of their students were within the fire burn area. Based on that information, the district knew they had just over 800 students whose home was in the burn area.


This initial information allowed the district to flag impacted students and target further data collection related to fire loss. The number of areas, reports, grants, insurance claims, etc. this has impacted was extensive.

“Personally, I am grateful for their staff. I was able to build a visual of who was impacted. I don’t have those tools nor the expertise. The work they did with and for us made a big difference in me getting my superintendent the information she needed and in our district’s ability to move forward.”

Rand Van Dyke, Director of Data, Testing, and Assessment, Santa Rosa City Schools

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