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Summer 2003
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New Grants to Support School District GIS Applications

As technology becomes an intrinsic part of education, grant programs help school districts provide vital services to their students. Davis Demographics & Planning, Inc. (DDP), and Education Planning Solutions, Inc. (EPS), with support from Esri, have teamed up to offer approximately $7 million in grants for public school districts in the United States. A total of 250 recipients will receive GIS software, introductory training, Esri GIS workbooks, and other materials focusing on transportation, enrollment projections, and school mapping in public schools.

"For more than 16 years, it has been DDP's belief that GIS technology provides tremendous tools to help districts plan for the future," says Greg Davis, president of DDP. "The grant program comes from our desire to make the technology readily available and affordable to school districts."

The award includes a single-seat license of Smartr for school transportation from EPS (which incorporates ArcView and ArcView Network Analyst) and SchoolSite from DDP. Both applications provide GIS tools that offer spatial and data decision making advantages that help districts plan and maintain critical administrative programs. Smartr brings tailored GIS functionality to mapping, managing, and analyzing data about school transportation. In the process, walk zones are identified, runs and routes are optimized, and transportation equipment needs are analyzed.

DDP's SchoolSite application was created to assist districts with planning processes involving student and school location. Two extensions utilize data about boundaries; students and their demographics; school capacity; and other key elements to help the district plan for present and future enrollment, appropriate zoning, and facilities.

"This grant provides any school district with an opportunity to address programmatic issues that have to do with facilities planning and student transportation, which are common to all," says Kerry J. Sommerville, CEO of EPS. "Participating districts will also be able to consider how they can use GIS to support them with issues such as school safety and new homeland security areas; facilities management; classroom instruction; and Internet/Intranet data access for staff, parents, and the community."

Beginning on April 15, 2003, the grants will be awarded through December 15, 2003. For more information, contact Education Planning Solutions (tel.: 801-224-4719, Web: or Davis Demographics & Planning (tel.: 909-270-5211, Web:

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