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August 2018 Newsletter

Smart Cville promotes the use of technology and data to help communities find innovative solutions by facilitating the exchange of ideas between civic institutions and citizens.

In this issue:

  • Virginia School Discipline Project Updated
  • Regional Transit Project Team Moving Along, Seeks Contributors
  • JAUNT Fixed Route App Project Prototype
  • Become a 2019 Community Sponsor!
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Virginia School Discipline Project Updated

Back in February, the General Assembly passed long-term student suspension reform. This is an important step toward mitigating the impact of starkly disproportionate suspension rates for African American students.

We're pleased to announce that our Legal Equity Project – Education Project Team quickly updated our tool for the 2018-2019 school year. The current version of the tool reflects the change in law and is ready for families to use statewide. The tool, found at, explains the rights of students facing disciplinary actions in plain language and provides practical tips for students and their families. The tool seeks to lessen the systemic inequity by providing legal information to those for whom hiring a lawyer is impossible because of cost, lack of time, or lack of familiarity with how to find a lawyer. The tool asks users a series of questions before directing them to tips specific to the student’s specific issue, which may be translated into numerous languages.

While the tool is applicable to all Virginia students, it also offers enhanced local resources for families in Central Virginia. The project team hopes to release another update this month that includes local resources for schools in the Richmond area. The team will also be sending out info cards to specific organizations to promote the use of the tool.

To join this team, please contact us.

Regional Transit Project Team Moving Along, Seeks Contributors

One of the more popular challenges at Civic Innovation Day was the Regional Transit Challenge. You can find their work and some of the data collected on Github. That team, led by Nate Day, is continuing it's work toward an integrated service platform for the three main public transit entities in the region.

If you're interested in contributing to that work, please contact us. While most of the work is done asynchronously, we are anticipating a September meet up for this team to help energize the project, divide tasks, and reconnect contributors.
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JAUNT Fixed Route App Project Prototype

Last month we announced a Project Team working with JAUNT to create a mobile app for its fixed route bus drivers to track passengers and route progress.

The team has pushed through the prototype phase and is currently iterating on its front end interface. "I've enjoyed the opportunity to learn new technologies, and look forward to implementing the app with JAUNT. I hope it will increase the efficiency and productivity of its drivers and help them analyze services," said team lead Connor Ricks. All data going into the app will be easily obtainable and passed into other JAUNT platforms, as the team has prioritized interoperability.

Next steps? An admin control panel, user testing and feedback, and quality assurance. Alongside Ricks, volunteer Anthony Bronkema is contributing to this project.

Become a 2019 Community Sponsor!

As we move into the second half of 2018, we're planning for an exciting 2019! If you'd like to learn about how your business can become a community sponsor in 2019 (see our current sponsors below), please contact us! We're in need of supports to help us run the following initiatives:
  • Our first hire: a part-time program manager
  • The 3rd Civic Innovation Day
  • Civic innovation workshops and courses
  • Programming related to IoT and Smart Cities

How You Can Help...

  • Donate to our non-profit or sponsor an event.
  • Share our newsletter with someone who may be interested.
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