Metadata: School District Boundaries, Minnesota, SY2021-2022

School District Boundaries, Minnesota, SY2021-2022

This page last updated: 11/09/2021
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 District Boundaries, Minnesota, SY2021-2022

Abstract: This file represents a statewide compilation of the boundaries of all independent, common, and special school districts in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota school districts are asked to report any changes to their district boundaries annually. With the exception of consolidations, dissolutions, or other financial cooperation agreements, the reporting is not mandatory. As independent special purpose government organizations, school districts determine their own attendance boundaries, working with neighboring districts and county auditors to ensure proper taxation. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) plays no role in determining the actual boundaries.

Since 2008, district boundaries have also been reviewed against the school district coding provided in county parcels, where it exists. (Parcel data are supplied by counties to MnGeo, who in turn share that with MDE.) The results are overall increased accuracy, but also increased complexity. Conversations with county GIS coordinators and auditors are ongoing with respect to the complex situations reflected within county parcel data, and whether or not these are accurate representations of school district boundaries. Since school year 2021, many of those "islands" or other unusual situations have been eliminated or simplified as a result of those conversations.

This file is not intended to represent the "true" boundaries with respect to taxation, but as generalized boundaries focused on ensuring accurate representation in residential areas. As a result, starting in 2021, boundaries have been simplified by removing complex situations in non-residential areas, such as transportation Right-of-Way (ROW), publicly-owned land, tax exempt land, or water. This simplification work is expected to continue in coming years.

Purpose: This school district boundary information is developed as a GIS dataset and, along with additional information, is used by the Minnesota Department of Education for various regulatory and advisory purposes, including identifying program financial priorities.

As independent special purpose government organizations, school districts determine their own attendance boundaries, working with neighboring districts and county auditors to ensure proper taxation. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) plays no role in determining the actual boundaries.

Time Period of Content Date: 11/09/2021

Currentness Reference: Public school district boundaries, dissolved from school attendance area boundaries for school year 2021-2022.

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, districts

Theme Keyword Thesaurus: ISO 19115 Topic Category

Access Constraints: None

Use Constraints: If you obtain data from MDE or MnGeo, it is understood that you and/or your organization have the right to use them for any purpose. If you modify them, 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: Mike Dolbow, GIS Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8789
Email: mike.dolbow@state.mn.us

Browse Graphic: Click to view a data sample.


Associated Data Sets: bdry_school_attendance areas, struc_school_program_locs

Section 2: Data Quality

Attribute Accuracy: Each school district checks the previous year's map for accuracy of school names and boundaries. Changes are verified by the Minnesota Department of Education. School district boundaries are dissolved from a larger statewide school district file containing elementary, middle and high school attendance boundaries. Boundaries are maintained within an enterprise geodatabase.

Logical Consistency: Data are topologically structured and verified.

Completeness: All independent, common, and special school districts within Minnesota are included. Prior publications included a boundary for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; in order to facilitate relationships to the MDE ORG database, this record was removed and dissolved into the Richfield Area school district boundary. (Please note that airports are detached from school district boundaries as per MN 473.625.)

Horizontal Positional Accuracy: Positional accuracy of the data sources varies widely. Source scales range between 1:24,000 (or less) and 1:100,000. Many of the boundaries are hand-drawn by the school districts.

In an on-going process since 2008, school district boundaries have been modified to a greater accuracy using county parcel datasets. In general, non-residential areas are reviewed at a scale of 1:24,000, and residential areas at a scale of 1:10,000. See notes on simplification efforts in the Abstract, and on potential boundary inaccuracies under 'Lineage', particularly within metadata on historical versions of this dataset.


Lineage: For a detailed lineage of the development of this dataset, refer to the metadata packaged with the historical versions available on the MN Geospatial Commons.

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 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 first before suggesting updates to MDE. Statewide compilation efforts are complicated when updates are obtained from multiple sources.

2. Mismatches between the Census Boundary lines and the School District lines: although the school district boundary file generally uses Census geography where possible, it does not always follow precisely. Therefore, mismatches between this file and school district boundaries maintained by the Census can be legitimate. As of 2019, MDE is updating Census versions via the Census School District Reporting Program (SDRP) annually. However, due to the limitations of this program, there will always be mismatches, particularly along detailed borders such as those defined by water bodies.

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

Vertical Datum: not applicable

Vertical Units:

Depth Datum: not applicable

Depth Units:

Section 5: Attributes

Overview: Column description, using a sample record:
OBJECTID: 314
SDORGID: 12890000000
FORMID: 2890-01
SDTYPE: 01
SDNUMBER: 2890
PREFNAME: Renville County West School Dist.
SHORTNAME: Renville County West
WEB_URL: http://www.rcw.k12.mn.us/
SQMILES: 311.2872
ACRES: 199224.735

Detailed overview of columns:
SDORGID: unique numeric identifier used to link with the MDE ORG database.

FORMID: This is a concatenated character field of SDNUMBER, a dash, and SDTYPE. This can be used for lookup in the MDE ORG reporting application.

SDTYPE: This is an MDE two character identifier describing the type of school district
"01" - Independent Districts and Schools
"02" - includes only two Common Districts: Franconia-0323, Prinsburg-0815
"03" - includes only two Special Districts: Minneapolis-0001, South St. Paul-0006

SDNUMBER: Four-character school district number, left-padded with zeroes. i.e. 2908 (Brandon-Evansville)

PREFNAME: "preferred name" of the School District from the MDE ORG database. Note inconsistent spelling, formats, and abbreviations of "District" exist due to local district preferences.

SHORTNAME: Shortened/simplified name of the district, useful for map labeling and consistency.

WEB_URL: School district website, where available, from the MDE ORG database.

SQMILES: Square miles for each district, derived from the shape of the polygon.

ACRES: Acres for each district, derived from the shape of the polygon.

Detailed Citation: More current information on school districts can be obtained from MDE ORG at https://public.education.mn.gov/MdeOrgView/

Table Detail:

Section 6: Distribution

Publisher: Minnesota Department of Education

Publication Date: 11/09/2021

Contact Person Information: Data Specialists, Analytics Team
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8200
Email: mde.analytics@state.mn.us

Distributor's Data Set Identifier: School district boundaries 2021-2022

Distribution Liability: 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 them for any purpose. If you modify them, 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 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: 11/09/2021

Contact Person Information: Mike Dolbow, GIS Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN  55113
Phone: 651-582-8789
Email: mike.dolbow@state.mn.us

Metadata Standard Name: Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines

Metadata Standard Version: 1.2



This page last updated: 11/09/2021
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