Fall is around the corner and so is school. Now there is a lot extra on the data portal for those who are interested in school data. Chicago Public Schools has posted 10 years of maps on the City of Chicago Open Data Portal, ranging from school locations, attendance boundaries, safe passage routes, Charter school “preference” and geographic network boundaries, and Local School Council (LSC) Voting Districts.
Each one of these data sets can be interactively viewed on the data portal or downloaded to make your own custom maps. The following datasets (50 altogether) are currently available on the City’s Open Data Portal:
- School Locations from 2006-07 to 2016-17
- Elementary School Attendance Boundaries from 2006-07 to 2016-17
- Middle School Attendance Boundaries from 2006-07 to 2016-17
- High School Attendance Boundaries from 2006-07 to 2016-17
- Charter School “Preference” Boundaries for 2014-15 and 2016-17
- Geographic Network Boundaries
- Safe Passage Routes for 2015-16 and 2016-17
- Local School Council (LSC) Voting Districts for 2016-17
These data compliment dozens of education data sets already on the Open Data Portal, including the location of Chicago Early Learning programs and annual progress report cards.
Details for the data nerds
There is a special treat for school data enthusiasts who want to combine and merge all of these data. Attribute table field names and data types (including test field lengths) will remain consistent for all attendance boundary and school location shapefiles. This means, for instance, that you can easily match schools listed in the Local School Council (LSC) with data in the School Locations, reducing the time and effort of trying to match school names.
There will be some exceptions. Prior to school year 2007-08, a 4-digit “UNIT_ID” format was used. For 2007-08 and on, the format switches to a 6-digit “SCHOOL_ID”. The “UNIT_ID” field has been retained for years 2007-08 through 2010-11, which can be used as crosswalk to link earlier years to later ones.
School names will vary slightly for a number of schools due to different naming conventions employed in previous years. It is best to use the “SCHOOL_ID” fields when linking/merging historical data. Some school addresses will also change as a result of relocations or co-locations with other schools over the years.
The school locations data set will also have some exceptions. School Type (SCH_TYPE) will vary slightly over the years. Generally, schools will be categorized as either an elementary, middle, high school (all District-operated), charter, contract, or alternative.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.