Project 1 - Reducing School Violence With Big Data

Why Did We Start

Project Leader: Paul Privateer

ElasticCon Award Interview

Can the data tools  Netflix, Amazon, General Electric, Starbucks, Sprint, Apple, and IBM uses  keep children and schools safe? This project is committed to reducing school violence by using big data to identify adolescent behavior patterns that have a high likelihood of resulting in one of the 12 forms of violence the CDC, DOJ, and APA have defined. The project begins in Washington and provide parents, teachers, counselors, therapists, students, authorities, communities, and government education analysts with free tools to decrease bullying, fighting, drug use, sexual harassment, vandalism, gang activities, stealing, and weapons use. 


Project 2 Equity in Education (OCR Data)

The State of Washington has consistently had problems with disproportionate discipline rates and chronic absenteeism rates for many minority demographics and would like help finding and visualizing these issues. Todd Johnson, of Educational Service District 113, would like to develop a tool to allow Washington state identify schools with disproportionate rates of discipline and chronic absenteeism. Currently, the state can only identify these schools after they submit to the Federal OCR. The state would like to be more proactive in addressing these problems and also ensure that any schools being flagged don’t have problems with data entry, as it is currently believed may be the case.

Project 3 Statewide Database For Lead-Testing in Washington Schools

WA State schools test several environmental health and safety risks (asbestos, air quality, mold) and with a recent 1 million dollars of funding via Gov Inslee, they now will be testing for lead in drinking water. Lead causes brain damage and other serious health issues, and the impacts are greatest for children. All elementary schools must be tested by 2019, middle schools by 2020, and high schools by 2021. The goal is to have a database and visualizations for all public schools in the state.

2nd Sub-Project

Visualization Of Lead Testing Results in Seattle Schools

We will create two visualizations:  The first will be a map showing percentage of schools tested by school district (only 60% of school districts statewide have started testing so far).  The second visualization show color-coded icons for each school.


A group of school districts near Olympia has a plan to create  a state-wide database to track the results of drinking water testing in public schools. Lead in drinking water has been getting more media coverage lately, with stories like the water crisis in Flint, MI and last year's finding of lead in fixtures in Tacoma schools. There is a Governor's Directive, plus bills in both the House and the Senate, to fund testing and repairs in public schools across the state over the next several years. If all 295 school districts in Washington collected different data into different databases, it would be hard to analyze trends for the state. [Listen to the NPR story about this project.]


For our clients, we have created a SQL database that represents schools and districts, and how they test for lead in drinking water. The database has been designed in a way that can be expanded to handle other kinds of environmental tests in the future, such as asbestos, lead paint, mold, copper, iron, and air quality. 

Status (June 2017)

This project is almost finished. We've created a database design, which the clients have approved. Now we are doing a final build and creating a few standard database views for the clients. After that we'll do a project hand-off back to the clients, who will maintain this database. 

Notice to potential volunteers

We are not taking more volunteers for this project at this time. In the future, after schools have collected data, the clients may come back to us and ask for help with visualizations. However, that is not part of the current project. We'd do a new call for volunteers then; that point might be six months or two years in the future, depending on how long it takes the schools to get their water tested.


Project 4: Data Education with InvestED



Seattle Data for Good can help InvestEd by educating them on how they can better utilize the data they currently have to tell a better story about the kind of impact they are having on students around the State of Washington. They want to increase their fundraising income and feel that quantifying their impact will assist them in that goal.