There are many considerations when editing attendance area boundaries, but for this article we’re going to be focusing on editing tips that will help you create clean well defined boundaries. Using the best practices in this article will not only deliver good looking boundaries, but will be more accurate when determining an addresses home school of attendance.
Use Neighborhood/Census/Planning Areas, etc.
This is by far the best practice of all when when used appropriately. They are often called neighborhood, census or planning areas and your district may call them something else, but the bottom line is they are the building blocks of your attendance areas. If your district doesn’t have these areas yet defined it is highly recommended. Below are a number of reasons you should be using some type of neighborhood area layer:
- Much more efficient to select areas to move from one school zone to another than drawing manually.
- Produces cleaner boundaries in your scenario as sliver polygons are greatly reduced or eliminated.
- Helps to ensure you don’t split neighborhoods across different schools, thus lessening community/neighborhood complaints.
- These areas become core analysis units for creating statistics for demographic analysis, yield/capture rates, etc.
- Thematic mapping in Adviser is much more meaningful as heat mapping is much more granular based on smaller geographic areas making up the analysis. This allows you to see where trends are specifically occurring within the district/attendance areas.
- Can be used to track what areas have been redistricted in the past and how long ago it was allowing for less disruption to specific areas over time.
If your district doesn’t have these areas yet defined contact us and we can look at ways to assist in the process. Ultimately, the district will need to define the areas, but GuideK12 can assist you with creating the spatial overlay and getting it into your applications.
Align Attendance Area Boundaries to Parcels/Streets/Landmarks
If your district doesn’t have Neighborhood type areas that are the building blocks of your attendance areas you’ll be drawing areas manually that you want to move from one school to another. Even if you have neighborhood boundaries there may come a time where those need to be divided up differently too and you’ll need to draw areas manually. Below are some best practices to follow when drawing your areas manually:
- Zoom in far enough to be able to draw a detailed polygon.
- Follow prominent features including, but not limited to:
- Parcel boundaries
- Road centerlines
- When drawing your polygon draw into the school zone you’re going to merge the drawn area with as this will limit sliver polygons and keep the map cleaner of old school area labels.