The Austin Independent School District (AISD) is expanding how children and families in need of resources can access social services, both on school campuses and in the community. The district’s service tracking tools, in partnership with United Way for Greater Austin, enable robust data sharing between AISD and nearly 200 community partners. As a result, these partners and educators can connect students and their families with the resources they need, when they need them.
With timely and appropriate data at their fingertips, school staff and community providers can set children and their families up for success. Resources include mental health care, family services, mentoring, academic support, provision of basic needs, physical health offerings, youth development, and more.
By leveraging community resources and partners, we are creating sustainable solutions that will make a difference in the lives of every child and family in our district.Vidya Lakshminarayanan, Project Manager, Austin Independent School District
How it Helps
Many Central Texas families living on low incomes face barriers to getting the services that can help them thrive. There are so many resources available, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to turn for support. Improved data sharing among AISD, United Way, and regional service providers better equips them to proactively serve families and coordinate efforts for the greatest impact.
Building on the existing methods of securely sharing data between AISD and partner organizations, the district has leveraged technology that strengthens how people use and exchange information across agencies. Previously, an organization would consider their own role in serving an individual family. But with the right technology in place, organizations can shift toward a collective approach that considers what supports a family is receiving, what gaps they are still experiencing, and how their shared efforts can make a difference.
Now, school staff and providers can see how many services students receive, monitor students’ academic and behavioral profiles, and access demographic information in a central location. This information is safeguarded with the highest standards of data privacy. They can access the information needed to close the loop on referrals and ensure families were connected with support. These data also help the district and community partners to anticipate students’ needs and risks so they can address them up front and to evaluate afterwards for a clear understanding of their impact.
It’s not easy for students to succeed in school when their needs outside the classroom aren’t being met. By connecting the school district with services throughout the community, this effort gives young people and their families the support they need to thrive.