AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS Partner Kokomo24/7 transforms Los Angeles Unified School District’s health data system in one year

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In May 2022, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the US, encountered a problem. The COVID-tracking and health data system built for the district during the COVID-19 pandemic had become clunky, difficult to customize, and expensive to maintain.

With more than 500,000 students in the system, LAUSD administrators wanted to lower the cost of their infrastructure technology to redirect funds toward supporting teachers and students with classroom resources. They requested proposals for managed services that could maintain their current system while transitioning to a more cost-effective, nimble solution.

Enter Kokomo24/7, a health and safety software education technology (EdTech) platform committed to creating safer schools and communities. This post details how Kokomo used Amazon Web Services (AWS) database and analytics tools to create a health-tracking platform that allowed LAUSD to cut its costs by 50 percent while improving flexibility and response times.

Building on an established partnership with stackable functionality

LAUSD IT services already trusted Kokomo because of the work the EdTech company had done to create the district’s Incident System Tracking Accountability Report (iSTAR) and Los Angeles Schools Anonymous Reporting (LASAR) applications that launched in 2019. Both apps have been foundational to LAUSD’s campus security strategy.

For Kokomo, it was an opportunity to expand its partnership with LAUSD. The EdTech is continually developing its capabilities in the health and wellness space—and as one of LAUSD’s technology collaborators—it could build on existing work to create a health and safety platform that was the right fit and the right price.

In their answer to LAUSD’s proposal request, Kokomo proposed a lighter platform with “get-to-the-point functionality.” While the previous platform had taken an existing service with broad functionality and retrofitted it for LAUSD’s needs, Kokomo’s services are composed of stackable applications that are purpose-built for education. This allowed the Kokomo team to quickly develop a solution that was tailored to LAUSD’s specific requirements—and that could be rapidly customized as the requirements for a health and safety tracker change over time.

Getting creative to migrate and analyze LAUSD’s data 

Before Kokomo could launch its lighter, more flexible solution, all of LAUSD’s data needed to be migrated to Kokomo’s software as a service (SaaS) platform that uses Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), AWS Lambda, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Additionally, Kokomo used a staging layer to ensure that the existing health-tracking system experienced minimal downtime while the migration was achieved.

Because the district’s data contained sensitive student health information and images, the data had to be encrypted during transit and migrated securely. To support Kokomo’s migration, AWS worked to validate the architecture and help with security assessments. The LAUSD IT security team is extremely committed to data security and worked closely with AWS experts throughout the process.

Kokomo successfully migrated 3.7 terabytes (TB) of data from the previous platform, but their work didn’t end there. The data also needed to be visible and actionable to LAUSD staff. To solve this, Kokomo created a reporting solution that would work with both Kokomo’s platform, backed by AWS, and LAUSD’s current reporting tool, Power BI on Azure. The AWS team recommended using Amazon Kinesis, which ingests and processes data so it can be analyzed by any business intelligence reporting tool. Kokomo used Kinesis to process LAUSD’s data and send it to an Azure stream so that it could be used in Power BI reports.

Providing ongoing support and innovation 

On July 31, 2023, just over one year after LAUSD awarded Kokomo the new contract, LAUSD transferred its tracking and data systems to the Kokomo solution. In addition to the cost savings the solution enables, Kokomo’s responsiveness to change requests that arise throughout the school year has increased thanks to the collaborative work between its LAUSD engineering and support team and district IT staff. Response times to requests by LAUSD have improved by 30 percent because Kokomo shares the district’s commitment to its students and staff.

As they continue to support LAUSD, the team at Kokomo is looking toward the future of health and safety technology in schools. They’re considering what new, stackable functionality could make it easier for schools to be responsive to student health crises. Kokomo aims to combat the assumption that cutting-edge health and safety technology solutions for student wellness are too expensive or cumbersome for school districts to implement.

Now Kokomo is running a pilot with another district in a different part of the country that went live only three days after its contract date. The EdTech credits its partnership with AWS for allowing it to rapidly scale while remaining affordable for K12 and higher education.

Read more education success stories.

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