(Updated) Florida Schools COVID-19 Risk Assessment: An Exclusive SSWN Data Project
As America’s school districts struggle with how to re-open schools starting in the coming month, the nation’s attention has increasingly become focused on the state of Florida, where COVID-19 cases have spiked and Governor Ron DeSantis and his Education Department had declared that all 2,828,000 Florida PreK-12 students should be back in a 5-day in-person school this Fall, though he is appearing to backtrack somewhat from that hardline position given a recent lawsuit by national and state-level teachers’ unions to restore all school re-opening decisions to local district levels.
In the spirit of helping local Florida districts, counties, parents, students, and teachers make their own decisions about how best to re-open schools this Fall, SSWN has partnered with data analytics expert Derek Noce (pictured below) to use data visualization (via the Tableau analytics platform) to offer some data to help form a Risk Assessment as individual Florida counties and districts assess what their schools are going to do.
Derek Noce delivers modern analytics to organizations striving to better leverage their data and empower their teams. He leverages decades of business analysis, strategic planning, analytics development, testing, and deployment experience to achieve his clients’ objectives and overcome challenges. Committed to delivering data visualization best practices and ROI via actionable insights, Derek has been a Tableau consultant for seven years. Driven by his passion for visual analytics, Derek has led successful engagements across a wide range of industries, including travel services, media/digital advertising, financial services, healthcare, retail/consumer products & services, real estate/construction, and government/public sector.
Derek serves as the Tableau practice lead for Capgemini Insights & Data for North America. A native of New Jersey and graduate of Boston University, Derek and his family live in St. Johns, Florida.
The Florida School Re-opening Risk Assessment can be found here and will also form the basis for a variety of additional materials we generate here at SSWN over the coming months about school re-opening. A few notes on the color scheme, categories, and “School Risk Factor” scores:
- All of the data is in the public domain, and we note our sources in the Tableau worksheets you can access for further reading.
- The School Risk Factor score was computed looking at all the categories in the graphic below and computing the score. Given that this is an evolving situation with no clear “cut-offs” to assign scores to in terms of low to middle to high risk, we are choosing to instead list the scores and to allow readers to assess how their county and district might fare, understanding that not one county in Florida had a School Risk Factor score of 0.
- Most districts had significant issues in terms of instructional space per student and few districts had anything close to the recommended ratios of school nurses and school social workers per school, and in our conversations we believe that the combination of tight instructional space + limited school nursing and school social work expertise presents significant challenges for any school district that wishes to re-open safely and effectively this Fall.
- Finally, the color codes are loosely aligned with increase in severity (deeper blue = lower risk scores, orange to red = higher risk scores, though again we are not ready to assign any definitive risk status to any of those colors at this time i.e. “red scores” make schools 3x more likely to have outbreaks vs. “blue scores.”
School Risk Score Information
We are excited to share this new data tool for SSWN and to hear your feedback about how you might use it to aid in your school district’s re-opening conversations. We are looking to update this data at least weekly, possibly twice a week as conditions and data develop. We will be featuring and expanding on this school-reopening work going forward this Summer, including additional information on aspects of school re-opening and specific things that SSW will need to get ready for school in the Fall, drawing on this work and our recent “SSW in a Pandemic” Survey Project. Please join us in this important work on our SSWNetwork site, which is 100% free to join and where 4,600+ of us are already working on these issues.