Infinite Insights Recap: How Osseo Area Schools Targeted At-Risk Students with Location Analytics

Posted by Sarah SingerO

Hoonuit’s Infinite Insights virtual event series offers education leaders a space to share their data successes,  collaborate, and ideate. This blog series summarizes the insights gleaned from each session. Watch a recording of the event here. 

On Wednesday, June 24th four of our education partners shared how they are using data to solve key challenges throughout COVID-19 school closures and how their education agencies are planning for the 2020-21 school year. Our panelists covered a range of issues ranging from new assessment strategies and building new dashboards to mapping district services and analyzing digital learning data sets.  

We were fortunate to have had Anthony Padrnos, Executive Director of Technology at Osseo Area Schools join us as one of our panelists.  

Osseo Area Schools profile: 

  • Fifth largest school district in the state of Minnesota 
  • Serving more than 21,000 students  
  • 30 different school sites across several Minneapolis suburbs 
  • Diverse school district with a broad range of socioeconomic status of its families 

How Osseo Area Schools targeted at-risk students with Hoonuit’s Location Analytics 

After several weeks of school closures, leaders at Osseo Area Schools made a concerted effort to target students who might be at-risk because they were not engaging in distance learning. “With our system, if you get to 15 days without engagement, we have to unenroll students. So it’s very important to make sure that we had some form of engagement or accounting of what was going on with our students and to try and support them through the myriad of challenges that they were navigating,” said Anthony Padrnos, Executive Director of Technology at Osseo Area Schools. 

“We quickly built a mechanism to account for students who had and didn’t have internet access in their homes. This has turned into a process that we’re thinking about long-term and that is going to benefit us whether we’re in distance learning or not. We’re looking at incorporating it in our enrollment process as new students come in, just asking about these technology and internet needs. So we can start tracking them in our student information system and then be able to build data sets out of them,” said Padrnos.  

Hoonuit’s Location Analytics solution proved to be a valuable tool to visualize internet access throughout Osseo. Location Analytics is comprised of an expansive set of interactive geospatial tools to help educators understand the geographic context of its student, district, and school data and make more informed decisions. Users can view and analyze attendance boundaries, create custom maps and plot, filter, and integrate different data sets.  

“As we got that data back, we implemented it in our student information system, which then allowed us to put a geolocation of where internet access needed work. As we strategized with our cities and county on how to best serve our students and get them connected to internet resources, we could see which areas were heavily concentrated with students.. In particular, it enabled us to identify apartment complexes, whether they were large apartment complexes or small apartment complexes, where we may have large internet access needs. Then we could look at different strategies beyond mobile hotspots that some districts provided and try and find broader ranges of internet access connectivity,” explained Padrnos. 

“[Location analytics] also assisted with providing data to our cities and county because we strive to engage in a partnership. There’s strong recognition that internet access and technology access is essential for delivering learning. But there’s also a lot of county and city services that go to students and their families and internet and technology access has become a critical component. We’ve got a lot of thinking going around about the data sets we’re currently using within Hoonuit to inform instructional practice. We need to be able to triage solutions to support the resource needs of our families as we move forward to deliver instruction,” said Padrnos.  

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