Residential Needs Assessment for Community Schools Initiative

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  • City of Philadelphia
  • Mayor's Office of Education
Residential Needs-Schools

Understanding the relationship between contextual factors and school achievement, the City of Philadelphia has sought to expand the role of its schools from educational institutions to providers of many types of social services. The Mayor's Office of Education (MOE) has implemented the community schools initiative, calling for schools to become neighborhood centers for support services-a cross between traditional schools and community centers. The first step in developing these community schools was determining the specific needs in the communities surrounding each public school in Philadelphia. In order to do so, MOE partnered with the Office of Innovation and Technology's (OIT) GIS Services Group to create the Residential Needs Assessment for Community Schools Initiative, a visualization of community needs across Philadelphia in four key areas: poverty, crime, food access, and health. city leaders and residents alike can identify the most critical needs of Philadelphia neighborhoods and direct resources to community schools accordingly. For example, a user can see that the area around Edward Gideon School in Central Philadelphia has both a high level of food insecurity (see top map below) and very few residents that attend college (see bottom map below) indicating that the city should emphasize food access resources in this community school.


American Community Survey (ACS) data from the Census Bureau, crime data from the Philadelphia Police Department, health and wellness data from Centers for Disease Control, as well as school district data from MOE, all from 2009-2014, and created a weighted composite Stress Index to summarize need in each city corridor.