Williamsfield Schools takes the privacy of our student's data seriously. We work diligently to remain compliant with data privacy laws, including the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA). SOPPA guarantees that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies and that any data collected is used for beneficial purposes only.
SOPPA addresses the protections third-party companies have in place to make sure that our students' data is not sold or given to others. As part of SOPPA, these companies must enter into Data Privacy Agreements (DPA) with each school district they work with. These agreements outline what data is stored, how it is protected, what the company can and cannot do with that data, and what they will do in the event of a data breach. For example, one software we use here at Williamsfield Schools is DreamBox, an online math education company. In order to enter into an agreement with us and with other school districts, DreamBox must comply with these data privacy laws and regulations in order to protect students. DreamBox's privacy policies are available here. We ensure that each technology company we work with complies with our data privacy agreement, and we employ robust security measures in our district to protect our students' data.
Our students' data may be transferred to some companies due to assessment mandates from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). ISBE is responsible for obtaining Data Privacy Agreements with these companies and making them available to families. Examples of these resources would include PSAT and IAR testing.
In the unlikely situation that a vendor experiences a potential data breach, we will be notified. After receiving notice of a potential breach, we will evaluate the report and, if confirmed, will provide notification to parents/guardians. We will also notify parents/guardians and post information in the unlikely event that our district's data systems are breached. However, a notice of breach may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that the notification will interfere with a criminal investigation.
For more information about the Student Online Personal Protection Act and other student data privacy laws, see this legislation brief from the Learning Technology Center of Illinois.