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New School Safety Dashboard pulls back curtain on statewide safety data | #schoolsaftey


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The University of Florida, along with Safe Schools for Alex, an organization started by the father of Parkland shooting victim Alex Schachter, have released a new, comprehensive school safety dashboard. It provides information on everything from violence in schools to mental health resources.

The dashboard pulls in data from the Florida Department of Education, which has supported the effort, U.S. Census reports and more. It compiles the information all in one place to make it easier to absorb and digest.
 
“When parents drop their kids off, they really have no idea about what’s happening inside the classroom,” Max Schachter, Alex’s father, said.

Max Schachter

Safe Schools for Alex, an organization started by Max Schachter, the father of Parkland shooting victim Alex Schachter, released a new, comprehensive school safety dashboard.

This dashboard is designed to pull back that curtain for parents, school board members, community members and school leaders.

“It’s going to give them information to be better advocates for the child and school,” Schachter said. “We hope the dashboard will encourage all school administrators to prioritize this issue because school safety is the most important issue.”

A Stop School Violence grant helped fund the project. While the data are all public record, it is not easily accessible. The dashboard put it in one place. You can find information on everything from violent incidents in schools to mental health issues, bus safety, demographics and enrollment information, and much more. Users can also compare the data from school to school or district to district. The data will be updated three times a year when new information is made available.

“How do you know if your numbers are good or bad or high or low unless you look at it from the 60,000-foot view?” Schachter asked.
 
Dr. F. Chris Curran is an associate professor of educational leadership and policy at UF, and the director of the Education Policy Research Center in the UF College of Education. He worked on the project with Schachter.

Dr. F. Chris Curran, an associate professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Florida, worked on the school safety dashboard. April 17, 2024

WPTV

Dr. F. Chris Curran, an associate professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Florida, worked on the school safety dashboard.

“To provide transparency around school safety metrics but also do it in a way that helps contextualize that data and use that data in conversations about how to make schools safer,” he said. “It provides information that can start the conversation and show parents what questions to ask.”
 
While they know the dashboard does not have all the answers and does not necessarily represent how safe a school may be, it does provide the details to get conversations going. It is also dependent on school districts accurately reporting information to the state.

“What do you think Alex would think about what you are doing?” WPTV education reporter Stephanie Susskind asked Schachter. “I think he would be really happy and really impressed with all of the work the University of Florida has done and Safe Schools for Alex has done. This dashboard is his legacy and I believe it’s going to make schools safer,” he said.
 
Schachter says the goal is to make this dashboard a model for states across the country.

 To check out the data for your child’s school or district, click here.





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