School Attendance Area and District Boundaries, Minnesota, SY2018-2019

This page last updated: 12/20/2018
Metadata created using Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines


Go to Section:
1. Overview
2. Data Quality
3. Data Organization
4. Coordinate System
5. Attributes
6. Distribution - Get Data
7. Metadata Reference

Section 1 Overview
Originator Minnesota Department of Education
Title School Attendance Area and District Boundaries, Minnesota, SY2018-2019
Abstract This file represents the boundaries of all public school attendance areas, as well as school district boundaries, in the state of Minnesota for school year 2018-2019. Each year Minnesota school districts report any changes to their elementary, middle and high school attendance area boundaries. This file was developed from this annual information.
Purpose To keep this dataset current, the Minnesota Department of Education asks school districts for any changes to district attendance boundaries on a yearly basis. This information, along with additional information, is used by MDE's Food and Nutrition Services Office to identify program financial priorities. It also provides a map of school attendance area boundaries and school district boundaries to support a variety of mapping and data analysis applications.
Time Period of Content Date 2019
Currentness Reference Public school district attendance boundaries updated for school year 2018-2019. Number of Districts is 332.
Progress Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency Annually
Spatial Extent of Data Minnesota
Bounding Coordinates -97.269688
-89.397194
49.403805
43.435423
Place Keywords Minnesota
Theme Keywords boundaries, school, school district, attendance boundary, attendance area, elementary school, middle school, high school, K-12
Theme Keyword Thesaurus ISO 19115 Topic Category
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints If you obtain data from MDE, it is understood that you and/or your organization have the right to use it for any purpose. If you modify it, you are encouraged to apply responsible best practices by documenting those changes in a metadata record. If you transmit or provide the data to another user, it is your responsibility to provide appropriate content, limitation, warranty and liability information as you see fit.
Contact Person Information Scott Freburg, Senior GIS Specialist
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 W.
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8789
Email: scott.freburg@state.mn.us
Browse Graphic Click to view a data sample.
Associated Data Sets

Section 2 Data Quality
Attribute Accuracy Each school district checks the previous year's school district map for accuracy of school names and attendance boundaries. Changes are verified by the MDE-IT GIS Administrator.
Logical Consistency Data are topologically structured and verified.
Completeness All school districts within Minnesota are included. There are 332 school districts in this file. An additional polygon exists for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Positional accuracy of the data sources varies widely. Source scales range between 1:24,000 and 1:100,000. Many of the boundaries are hand-drawn by the school districts. See notes on potential boundary inaccuracies under 'Lineage'.
Lineage The original 1990 School District file delineation work was done at LMIC (the Land Management Information Center, now MnGeo) on contract to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau was under contract to the U.S. Department of Education to create a nationwide school district file and population totals that matched the 1990 Census boundaries. LMIC provided delineations of the school district boundaries to the Census Bureau, based on map information provided by the County Auditors' Offices to LMIC. The Census Bureau did the automation of the 1990 file.

Subsequent annual updates have been made to the file to reflect boundary changes, boundary corrections, and school district consolidations. Beginning in 1998, school attendance area boundaries were added. These updates have been done by the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission GIS Office (LCC), LMIC, and the Office of the Secretary of State, with assistance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE, formerly the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning).

The steps used to create the original 1990 file and subsequent updates are outlined below.

CREATION OF THE ORIGINAL 1990 SCHOOL DISTRICT BOUNDARY FILE:

1. Delineation of school district boundaries (LMIC):

LMIC's role was to delineate school district boundaries to match Census county, MCD (minor civil division), tract, and block boundaries. LMIC received a set of large-scale (approx 1:800) maps of census boundaries from the Census Bureau. These census boundary maps included MCD, tract, and block boundaries.

LMIC obtained school district boundary maps from the County Auditor's office in each county. LMIC sent blank Minnesota Department of Transportation County Highway Maps to each County Auditor, and received back those maps with the school districts delineated on them. The Auditors' Offices drew the boundaries according to their official records. LMIC still has these maps on file.

Using the County Auditors' delineation maps, LMIC transferred the school district boundaries onto the 1:800 Census maps. The Census had very specific guidelines, which they enforced. Delineations were to match to within 1/16 of an inch - basically, a fine pencil-width.

2. Automation of School District Boundary Linework:

The Census Bureau did the automation of the maps to create the digital file. This was done in two steps:

1. Wherever the linework matched the Census tract, block, MCD, etc., boundaries, exactly, the census units were assigned a school district code via a lookup table.

2. Where the school district boundaries did NOT follow the Census boundaries, then the Census Bureau digitized the necessary linework. These base maps for automation eventually came back to the state, and are stored in the State Demographic Center files.

3. Population totals (LMIC):
Where the school district boundaries did not match the Census boundaries, LMIC also provided population figures to apportion the Census unit population into the school districts. Rather than apportioning population strictly on the basis of area, this was done through examination of other maps, sometimes, as in the metro area, by counting the houses on aerial photos. The demographic distribution by school district was important as a basis for funding.

4. File distribution (Census Bureau):

In 1992, the automated 1990 School District Boundary files were delivered by the Census Bureau to the Legislative GIS Office (LCC) in TIGER/Line format. LCC extracted the data from the TIGER format and created an ARC coverage, which was then provided to LMIC and other agencies. LMIC did not receive the digital files back from the Census Bureau for any type of review or verification. Errors in the school district boundary file were reported to the Legislative GIS Office and the Secretary of State's Office. These errors were corrected on the final file. Many of the errors relate to the Census boundary alignment problem - i.e., school district boundary lines were moved to coincide with the appropriate Census boundary.

ANNUAL UPDATES AFTER 1990:
(1992-1996) The LCC made updates to the file as needed, based on boundary changes, boundary corrections, and school district consolidations. Information on necessary updates was forwarded to LCC by the Secretary of State's Office or MDE. Most updates to the files involved school district consolidations. LCC did updates for the years 1992 through 1996.

(1997) LMIC obtained 1996 School District boundary file from the LCC. This file was updated with coding changes and consolidation information for SY 1997. As part of a project for MDE, LMIC added school attendance area boundaries to the file.

(1998-2005) LMIC maintained this file on a yearly basis while adding and changing attendance boundaries based on revisions sent from school districts.

(2006-2007) MDE now maintains this file on a yearly basis while adding and changing attendance boundaries based on revisions sent from school districts. Two consolidations. Russell, Tyler and Ruthton became R.T.R. #2902. Plainview and Elgin-Millville became Plainview-Elgin-Millville #2899. Several other minor adjustments to attendance boundaries (about 30-40 per year).

(2007-2008) Only minor changes to attendance boundaries.

(2008-2009) Minor changes to attendance and some district boundaries based on county parcels or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Township-Range-Quarter-Quarter-Sections.

(2009-2010) Three consolidations and several school district changes based on county parcel data or MN DNR Township-Range-Quarter-Quarter-Sections. Consolidations were:

- Tracy Area (2904) based on old Tracy and Balaton districts.
- Ortonville (2903) based on Ortonville and Bellingham districts.
- McLeod West was split between G.F.W (2365), G.S.L. (2859) and B.L.H. (2159).

(2010-2011) More district modifications based on county parcels. 18 districts had attendance changes and 45 others had minor school or minor boundary changes.

(2013-2014) Four consolidations and several school district changes based on county parcel data or School District review. Consolidations were:

- Brandon-Evansville (2908) based on old Brandon and Evansville districts.
- Round Lake-Brewster (2907) based on Round Lake and Brewster districts.
- Red Lake County Central (2906) based on old Plummer and Oklee dsitricts.
- Morris Area (2769) based on old Morris and Cyrus districts.

(2014-2016) Minor changes to Districts and several attendance boundary changes.

(2017) Minor changes to Districts and several attendance boundaries. Some parcels used to update boundaries, both District and Attendance.

(2018) Eagle Valley school district dissolved with its area split between Bertha-Hewitt and Browerville distircts. That makes the number of districts at 332 for SY2017-18. Other minor changes to Districts and several attendance boundaries. Some parcels used to update boundaries, both District and Attendance.

(2019) Minor changes to five School Districts and several attendance boundaries. Some parcels used to update boundaries, both District and Attendance. Converted UNI_TYP and UNI_MAJ into character fields that match what MDE has in its MDE-ORG database: https://education.mn.gov

MDE also worked with the Geospatial Advisory Countil (GAC) to identify UNI_TYP then UNI_MAJ as the standardized version when put together (xx-xxxx). Although a standard in the making, there are many datasets on the MDE website that will continue to use the UNI_MAJ then UNI_TYP format (xxxx-xx).

For district boundary changes using parcel boundaries please see metadata for school districts 2017-2018: https://gisdata.mn.gov/dataset/bdry-school-attend-2010s

NOTES ON SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATING: (old method)
Each year, school districts provide to MDE their current contact information and changes to school building or attendance boundaries. If a district has changes, MDE sends a large-format (36 inch x 48 inch) school district map and asks the district to identify any school location and/or attendance boundary changes. Many boundaries are hand-drawn by the school districts. MDE digitizes the hand-drawn changes. If boundary lines follow existing streets, waterways or public land survey lines, MDE uses the following reference layers to help determine boundary location:

1. Street centerline information for the Twin Cities metropolitan area

2. TIGER 2002 streets from the U.S. Bureau of the Census (outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area):

3. Lake and stream boundaries (mostly 1:100,000-scale; some 1:24,000-scale)
24K lakes from DNR
24K streams from DNR

4. Public land survey township/range/section lines (1:100,000-scale):
https://gisdata.mn.gov/dataset/plan-mngeo-trs

** The process above was replaced beginning in 2007 by receiving county parcel shapefiles and using them as a background in ArcGIS to edit boundaries.
Files are maintained and edited in ArcGIS SDE enterprise format. Versions in shapefile and file geodatabase format are created for distribution. Beginning in 2016, county parcel data were used from Minnesota GeoCommons.

NOTES ON MISMATCHES OF DATA:
1. The County Auditor's Office is required to delineate school district boundaries by law, and maintains the official record for tax purposes. Note that the school districts also have boundary maps, and that, while the two sets of map boundaries should match, they do not always. In cases where the school district and the county auditor records show different boundaries, this should be resolved locally. It becomes an issue for the maintainers of statewide files when updates are obtained from both sources.

2. Mismatches between the Census Boundary lines and the School District lines: although the school district boundary file generally matches Census lines, it does not always. Therefore, mismatches can be legitimate, based upon the original maps from the County Auditors' Offices, and can be verified against the maps on file at MnGeo and the State Demographic Center.

Section 3 Spatial Data Organization (not used in this metadata)

Section 4 Coordinate System
Horizontal Coordinate Scheme Universal Transverse Mercator
UTM Zone Number 15
Horizontal Datum NAD83
Horizontal Units meters

Section 5 Attributes
Overview UNI_TYP (2, 2, C)
UNI_MAJ (4, 4, C)
UNI_NAM (50, 50, C)
ELEM_NAME (50, 50, C)
MIDD_NAME (50, 50, C)
HIGH_NAME (50, 50, C)
Detailed Citation UNI_TYP - Because Minneapolis and Aitkin school districts both are SD#1, this identifier, used at MDE, will separate them as follows:
03 - Minneapolis (SD #0001) and South St. Paul (SD #0006)
02 - Franconia (SD #0323) and Prinsburg (SD #0815)
01 - Remaining school districts
0000 - Minneapolis - St. Paul International airport

UNI_MAJ - School district number (0001-Aitkin to 2908-Brandon-Evansville)

Note: The ORGID is sometimes identified as UNI_TYP then UNI_MAJ or reversed as UNI_MAJ then UNI_TYP depending on what data is downloaded from the MDE website and what year. For 2018 standards developed by the Geospatial Advisory Council, the format UNI_TYP, UNI_MAJ will be used.

UNI_NAM - School district name (0001-Aitkin to 2908-Brandon-Evansville)

ELEM_NAME - Elementary school name.

MIDD_NAME - Middle school name.

HIGH_NAME - High school name.
Table Detail:

Section 6 Distribution
Publisher Minnesota Department of Education
Publication Date 10/22/2018
Contact Person Information Scott Freburg, Senior GIS Specialist
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 W.
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8789
Email: scott.freburg@state.mn.us
Distributor's Data Set Identifier School attendance areas 2018-2019
Distribution Liability The Geographic Information System (GIS) Data to which this notice is attached are made available pursuant to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13). The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) does not warrant the results you may obtain by using this dataset. This dataset is provided ''as is'' without express or implied warranties, including warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event will MDE be liable for any consequential, incidental or special damages, including any lost profits or lost savings, even if an MDE representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages or any other claim by any third party.

In obtaining this data from MDE and MnGeo, it is understood that you and/or your organization have the right to use it for any purpose. If you modify it, you are encouraged to apply responsible best practices by documenting those changes in a metadata record. If you transmit or provide the data to another user, it is your responsibility to provide appropriate content, limitation, warranty and liability information as you see fit.

MnGeo's data disclaimer is online: https://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/chouse/disclaimer.html
Ordering Instructions The GIS data and maps are distributed on the internet by clicking below after Online Linkage.
Online Linkage I AGREE to the notice in "Distribution Liability" above. Clicking to agree will either begin the download process, link to a service, or provide more instructions. See "Ordering Instructions" above for details.

Section 7 Metadata Reference
Metadata Date 12/20/2018
Contact Person Information Scott Freburg, Senior GIS Specialist
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 W.
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8789
Email: scott.freburg@state.mn.us
Metadata Standard Name Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines
Metadata Standard Version 1.2
Metadata Standard Online Linkage https://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/mgmg/metadata.htm


This page last updated: 12/20/2018
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