Project Shares COVID-19 Resources for LAUSD Families
April 14, 2020
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) faces numerous challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pardee RAND is partnering with the district and Pepperdine University to share information about a wide variety of community resources available to parents and students.
Through Pardee RAND's Community-Partnered policy engagement stream, the school has an ongoing partnership with LAUSD. In addition, as a member of the Public Interest Technology University Network, Pardee RAND was aware of a project by Pepperdine University's Homeland Security Advisory Council — part of their School of Public Policy — to map COVID-19 resources and services in the region.
To help the district, Todd Richmond, director of the Tech and Narrative Lab (TNL) at Pardee RAND, proposed a collaboration with Pepperdine to augment their existing public resource mapping site with a subset of the LAUSD database.
Richmond said Pardee RAND student Carlos Calvo Hernandez (cohort '19) and TNL assistant Aaron Lucas worked on the initial rapid data prototyping; they parsed, vetted, and geocoded layers with information on food, mental health, and family/youth resources.
"The Pepperdine group was able to quickly and easily add the layers into their system," Richmond said. "This effort was done with a quick turnaround, going from initial conversation to deployment of map layer in less than two weeks."
Pepperdine's website is available in both English and Spanish. Pardee RAND contributed the LAUSD Resources tab, which is currently available by navigating to the fourth "dot" on the left side of the map.
This first rapid prototyping effort will inform TNL development of a broader application that will encompass the full LAUSD dataset, Richmond added. "This work will continue at no cost to LAUSD. Our goal is to create a mobile-friendly mapping website that will be available to LAUSD families."