Forecast5 Analytics Project of the Year

NCSS Named 2020 Project of the Year Award Winner by Forecast5 Analytics
Posted on 11/16/2020
Dr. Allison JordanForecast5 Analytics has named Newton County School System (NCSS) as the Project of the Year award winner for 2020! The district won the award based on its use of geoanalytic data to determine both food service and internet service needs of students.

“This work began in March, immediately after school closures,” said Dr. Allison Jordan, NCSS Director of Testing, Research, and Evaluation. “We used the information in multiple ways. Initially, maps were setup to identify food service sites. Prior to March 2020, we had static maps, but the migration to this platform allowed us to view more detailed information, with real-time data. We were able to identify specific areas in the community where students needed food. Without the maps, we might have possibly missed groups of students in need of food. We worked with community partners to identify additional sites, as well as bus distribution food routes.

Following the initial use of the maps for food service distribution, Jordan said the district expanded the types of variables plotted on the maps.

“All student home addresses were geocoded and placed on a map,” she explained. “Broadband service, provided by the FCC, was added as an additional map layer. The information was analyzed, based on unserved and underserved locations, to determine unique households with either no or limited internet connectivity. Households in either category, by FCC definition, would need service. This information was joined to parent survey data—learning model, internet service, device—housed within our student information system. Reports were generated to determine the number of households in need of internet service.”

According to Jordan, these additional variables afforded NCSS administrators the opportunity to examine broadband connectivity within the district and identify students in need of hotspot devices and/or computers.

“This information was matched to learning model selections housed in the SIS (Infinite Campus), which provided more insight into students who required additional technical resources for instruction,” she said.

“As a company that thrives on innovation and growth, Forecast5 is energized by the ways in which our clients take our tools, apply their creativity and domain expertise, and generate value for their communities,” said Scott Smith, CEO and President of Forecast5 Analytics in a letter to Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “The work that Dr. Allison Jordan did relating to broadband accessibility in your district was exemplary—and we believe it deserves national recognition.”

“Dr. Jordan’s innovative work in this area has enabled our school system to better meet the needs of our students and their families,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “It is quite an honor for the Newton County School System to have been recognized by Forecast Analytics as their 2020 Project of the Year due to Dr. Jordan’s efforts: I am so proud of her work and dedication to our students, families, and community.”