Stillwater Area Public Schools Successfully Engages Community, Passes $97.5M Referendum

GuideK12 analytics support strategic planning in the 18 month referendum process

MINNEAPOLIS, MN June 2, 2015
–Stillwater Area Public Schools in MN embarked on an 18-month strategic, data driven referendum journey that concluded with voter approval. This referendum represents one of the largest referendums in the history of Stillwater schools. Utilizing GuideK12’s analytics platform, district administrators were able to better visualize data, run real-time boundary scenarios, which allowed them to effectively demonstrate the overall impact of the strategic plan on the students, and engage their community in a more meaningful way throughout the process.

The $97.5 million referendum includes funding for building a new elementary school in the growing south end of the district, changing grade configurations along with many other facility updates and needed improvements.

GuideK12, geovisual analytic software, was selected as an important tool to support long range facility planning, examine feeder patterns, and enable boundary scenarios and data visualization for stakeholders across the district and community.

Dennis Bloom, Stillwater’s Director of Operations, said “We are thrilled with the community support this referendum received, this is a critical step forward that ensures our district is delivering the best possible experience for our students over the next decade.”

“Stillwater’s process highlights the importance of collecting the right data up front, having a clear process that engages all the stakeholders in each phase of planning, and selecting the right tools. We are thrilled for the students and community members of Stillwater. We are extremely pleased that GuideK12 was able to help make the process for Stillwater Area Public Schools more effective, efficient and transparent,” said Guidek12 CEO Chuck Amos.

“Four years ago we would have been looking at this data on spreadsheets, had someone trying to map it and it would have taken weeks; now we create scenarios in minutes and discuss as a team in real time. Initially we thought we could solve our challenge by moving boundaries, but using a tool like GuideK12 showed us quickly that boundary changes alone were not the answer, but grade reconfigurations needed to be examined,” Bloom commented.

Communication was a cornerstone of the entire project. “Throughout the process we have used GuideK12 for student population locations, growth areas, and analyzing demographics. We held more than 90 meetings with the public, parents and staff and used GuideK12 to visualize our changes. People understand data better when they can see it come to life. The speed and ease to analyze different scenarios saved us so much time. We were able to answer questions within minutes. The more transparent and efficient we could be with our planning group, the community, our staff, the better. GuideK12 made it all so much easier. It is a great planning tool!” stated Bloom.

GuideK12 is visual analytic software that allows school district administrators to make more proactive and effective decisions regarding student needs, program placement, boundary changes, school choice, emergency planning and student performance. The ability to filter, run queries, and interact with student data on an interactive map changes the speed of decision-making. This innovative web-based software is changing how districts see, interact with, and use their data for better planning results and greater decision support. GuideK12 supports districts experiencing change with data driven planning capabilities while increasing community understanding and trust.

For a detailed case study outlining Stillwater Area School’s referendum planning success, log onto

About GuideK12™:
Based in Eagan, MN, GuideK12LLC is a geovisual analytics software company that enables education decision makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to their student and community information. By visualizing information spatially, decisions on everything from boundary analysis to policy changes to resource planning and forecasting enrollments can be faster and more insightful. Named a finalist for a 2013 SIIA CODiE award for best enterprise solution, and selected by the NSBA as a technology showcase company, GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban, and rural school districts throughout the United Sates. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more about GuideK12™, please visit:

Press Contact:
Jacob Hanson
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