Saskatoon Public Schools Uses Web Maps to Plan for Expected Student Enrolment Boom

Saskatchewan’s largest school division recognized for improving planning and communication with Esri Web mapping apps

Regina, SK, Esri Canada User Conference – September 17, 2013 Saskatoon is bracing for a population boom over the next several years, with an additional 35,000 residents expected to migrate to the city by 2017. To proactively plan for the corresponding increase in student enrolment in its schools, Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) replaced its legacy mapping system with Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) platform. They have since built two Web mapping apps that significantly improve school planning, as well as communication with the public. For their outstanding use of GIS, Esri Canada today presented SPS with an Award of Excellence.

“Web maps are ideal tools for collaborative planning and decision-making,” noted Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “They’re particularly useful in providing school administrators with a common map view of dispersed assets and operations, so that decisions regarding important concerns, such as the allocation of programs and resources, can be quickly made using consistent and up-to-date data. With their new Web mapping apps, Saskatoon Public Schools is well positioned to support the needs of their growing community.”

“As a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse school division, planning for the future has become even more important,” said Avon Whittles, Director of Education for Saskatoon Public Schools. “Working with Esri has proven to be advantageous not only for our division planning, but also for the daily work of our administrative teams in our schools. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with an internationally recognized company to develop a local, affordable solution to meet our needs.”

SPS used Esri’s ArcGIS technology to develop a Web-based internal planning app. Unlike its predecessor, the new app allows superintendents, principals and vice-principals to view, at a glance, where students reside across the city and determine whether they were attending schools within or outside their designated boundary. It also enables school administrators to integrate datasets from Statistics Canada, such as student demographics and enrolment patterns, with their own data for analysis. For example, they can now add human resources data to their planning app to check the availability and location of staff when schools need to be kept open after hours.

To provide easy public access to school information, SPS also built an online school locator app that has drastically reduced the number of calls their schools receive. Parents and prospective students can click on where they live on the interactive map, which pulls up information on the nearest school that meets their criteria by program (English, French or Cree immersion) and grade (elementary or secondary). Using the same technology for these apps has freed up SPS resources to spend their time on training, boosting their in-house GIS expertise and ability to develop other useful Web mapping apps.

Read the case study: Saskatchewan’s largest school division meets challenges head-on with Web-based GIS planning tool. For more information about ArcGIS, visit: esri.ca/arcgis.

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About Saskatoon Public Schools
Saskatoon Public Schools is the largest school division in the province of Saskatchewan. It operates 43 elementary schools, 11 secondary schools, and two associate schools. It serves more than 22,000 students and employs approximately 2,300 professional and support staff. Learn more at saskatoonpublicschools.ca.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from Esri, Telvent, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300. Information about the company can be found at esri.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Saskatoon Public Schools:
Veronica Baker
Manager, Communications and Marketing
(306) 683-8325
Email Contact

Esri Canada: Email Contact



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