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Windham Central has made a significant investment in technology and teacher training in integrating technology into daily activities. In the Spring of 2010, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Windham Central seized the opportunity to purchase and install permanently mounted presentation equipment in EVERY classroom in the Supervisory Union. This includes a ceiling mounted projector, screen and speakers. Some communities matched with local equipment funds and "upgraded" the plan adding interactive white boards, document cameras, etc... This infusion of technology has allowed teachers to access contemporary content and present it to their classes in a convenient and efficient manner.

Since then many teachers have launched into 21st Century learning using tools and techniques necessary to stay current with educational content and delivery techniques.

We now have a 1:1 Chromebook initiative that is complete at Leland and Gray.

Google G Suite

Hapara

Powerschool

Tech Play Time

Student Data Privacy

Letter to Parents and Guardians

Dear Parents and Guardians,


All of us at Windham Central Supervisory Union (WCSU) are excited about the growing use of software, management platforms and apps that our teachers are using to support student learning. Technology tools and apps are making it possible for educators and students to collaborate, create, and share ideas more easily than ever, especially in our current environment. We believe in technology as a positive and enabling force for student engagement and student outcomes, and we encourage the creative use of technology to support student learning. WCSU also takes seriously the responsibility to both support the effective use of student information and safeguard student privacy and information security.


The purpose of this letter is to assure you that Windham Central Supervisory Union is taking all the necessary precautions to protect the privacy of our students. WCSU only contracts with vendors who comply with student privacy and student data laws including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). We are a member of the Vermont Student Privacy Alliance (VSPA) which has negotiated terms of service with vendors to ensure, among other things, the appropriate protections for privacy of our students’ data. We have also created a depository of centrally supported and approved tools that have signed VSPA contracts, established a vetting process for new resources, and provided guidelines for teachers to protect student privacy. Additionally, all WCSU employees and volunteers complete an annual mandatory policies training that includes information about student privacy protections, confidentiality and best practices.


We are providing the following resources to better understand student data privacy and the laws and practices WCSU adheres to in order to protect student data and privacy.


Student Data Privacy Resources for Parents


Applicable Federal and State Laws that Impact Technology Use and Student Privacy


If you have any questions about student data privacy or the above guidelines, please reach out to your student’s building administrator.


Sincerely,


William Anton

Superintendent of Schools

FAQ

Protecting Student Data Privacy FAQ


  1. Why are we doing this?

To set standards of both practice and expectations around student privacy such that all parties involved have a common understanding of expectations. It is about compliance with the law and the ethical standpoint of being good stewards of student privacy.


  1. What are we trying to protect?

Our students’ personally identifiable information (PII)


  1. Do the services collect PII? Who do they share it with? Can they guarantee that any third-party services that they use follow the same guidelines?

Many services will take student data and trade it, sell it, or create advertising profiles. Not only do we not want that, but we are also legally obligated to prevent that.


  1. What are COPPA, FERPA, CIPA and PPRA?

The primary goal of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. COPPA was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.


FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.


CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet.

PPRA (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment) is intended to protect the rights of parents and students in two ways:

  • It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors make instructional materials available for inspection by parents if those materials will be used in connection with an ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate; and

  • It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals certain information.

HELPFUL LINKS

For more information on privacy laws:

Office of Educational Technology: Privacy

To see how Vemont and WCSU are working with vendors to protect data privacy:

Vermont Student Privacy Alliance

Resources for parents and teachers:

Common Sense Media

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

From the ISTE Website:

Education technology standards to transform learning and teaching

The time for major change in education is now. In a world where rapid advances in technology have a profound impact on the ways we work, communicate and live, education has struggled to keep pace. The ISTE Standards work together to support educators, students and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills and knowledge necessary to move away from the factory model. These are not the typical boxes educators need to check. They provide a framework for rethinking education, adapting to a constantly changing technological landscape and preparing students to enter an increasingly global economy.

Empowering connected learners in a connected world

As educators, we are preparing students for a future that we cannot yet imagine. Empowering students to become lifelong learners and providing them with the skills to face future challenges resourcefully and creatively is critical. It’s not about using digital tools to support outdated education strategies and models; it’s about tapping into technology’s potential to amplify human capacity for collaboration, creativity and communication. It’s about leveling the playing field and providing young people worldwide with equitable access to powerful learning opportunities.