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."
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."