Student Data Privacy

In an effort to ensure the protection and privacy of students and their data, Hopkinton Public Schools has been working diligently to review and improve the effectiveness of our technology practices. These efforts strengthen our support of  both the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), as well as the Massachusetts student record regulations.

We are taking multiple steps to ensure that student data is always protected. Consequently, over the course of this year we will be making some district-wide adjustments to our practices.

  • A new software vetting process will begin in November 2017. Teachers and students will now request applications to be approved for usage.
  • Starting in January, High School Students will use our Helpdesk Ticket System to collect new requests from all teachers and high school students. In order to be more transparent, we are in the process of creating a new website that discloses information about applications and digital resources we currently use in the district.

While we may have privileged convenience in the past, we are taking a more proactive approach to addressing risk increases targeting both devices and data. One of our first steps in reducing vulnerabilities posed by malware and other risk will be to remove administrative permissions for students with leased laptops. Administrative rights will be adjusted on the following timeline in the following ways. 

    1. Class of 2021 in second semester (January of 2018)
    2. Class of 2019 and Class of 2020 in the fall (August 2018).
    3. Adding new wireless networks and new printers, at home or school, will not be restricted. No previously installed applications will be removed provided they adhere to our acceptable use policy.
    4. Students will be able to add the latest updates and approved apps through Self Service, a pre-installed application on all leased computers.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we make this transition. This is a process, driven by legal requirements, risk and threat reduction, and increased efforts to protect our devices and data, as well as staff and student users. If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact myself or a member of the Technology Department. For more updates please see our department website at www.hpsdigital.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *