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MCPS Web Privacy Statement

Montgomery County Public Schools ("MCPS") and its schools and offices (collectively "we," "our," or "us") maintain websites to inform the community about and to engage it in our joint mission to provide a quality education to all children. We use the Sites to publish as much information about MCPS as possible and to enhance two-way communication between the district and community. Your privacy is important to us. Please take a moment to become familiar with our privacy statement.

This Privacy Statement describes the ways in which we collect, use, and disclose information about you through websites that link to this Privacy Statement, including the central MCPS website www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org, websites representing schools and offices, and our open data site data.montgomeryschoolsmd.org (collectively, the "Sites").

Management

The central MCPS website is managed by the MCPS Web Services Team in the Department of Communications in Rockville, Maryland.

The Sites include many smaller websites representing schools and offices, many with their own webmasters. All but a few of these websites are hosted by MCPS. Those schools with their own hosting arrangements that link to this Privacy Statement also must conform to this Privacy Statement. Principals and office administrators are responsible for content published to their websites. Information submitted by users to a specific school or office website is managed and archived by that office.

What information do we collect?

Information You Provide – We and our service providers may collect any information that you provide when you use the Sites, including when you create an account, fill out guest books, respond to polls and surveys, apply for a job, or otherwise contact us with a question, comment, or request.

Typical information you are invited to submit to us includes, but is not limited to, your name, home address, email address, local school, and affiliation (e.g. parent, teacher, etc.). Many of these forms and surveys also include a blank space you can use to send us any type of comment or information. Do not use this field to convey highly personal or sensitive information.

Information Automatically Collected From You – Like publishers of most websites, we and our service providers automatically collect certain technical information from users to the Sites. The purpose of this data collection is to analyze how people navigate the Sites and then use that analysis to make changes that improve user experience. We may collect this information using "cookies," which are small text files that the Sites save on your computer using your web browser and accesses when you return, or similar technologies. This information is not used to track individual users or create user profiles.

This information includes, but is not limited to, your Internet Protocol address; the date and time of your visit; the pages the Sites that you visited; the web address of the link you followed to reach the Sites; the type and version of your web browser; and the operating system of your computer.

The Sites also includes several third-party applications, such as a professional library database and an open data portal, that rely on cookies. Some MCPS applications also use cookies, but they expire when you leave the Sites.

If you do not want the Sites to collect information through the use of cookies, you can set your web browser to reject cookies from the Sites. Each browser is different, so you should check your browser’s "Help" menu to learn how to change your cookie preferences. If you reject or block cookies from the Sites, however, the Sites may not function as intended.

How do we use this information?

We use this information for a number of purposes including, but not limited to:

  • responding to your requests for information;
  • customizing your experience when using the Sites;
  • Improving the Sites, such as by tailoring our content to your needs and preferences;
  • generating and analyzing statistics about use of the Sites; and
  • protecting our rights, property, the security or integrity of the Sites, or the personal safety of our employees, our students, users or visitors to the Sites, or the public;
  • detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, violations of our Terms of Use, violations of law, or other misuse of the Sites, or responding to legal claims against us.

Under what circumstances do we disclose this information?

We take the privacy of students, parents, teachers, and other users of our website seriously. We do not sell user information to third parties, nor do we disclose user information to third parties except as permitted by applicable privacy laws and only then in the following circumstances:

  • with our schools, offices, and other appropriate staff to enable them to perform the functions described above;
  • with service providers who work on our behalf, including, but not limited to, those that process employment applications on our behalf, coordinate substitute teacher availability, and provide our open data platform;
  • as required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena or other legal process, or to comply with government reporting obligations such as the Maryland Public Information Act; and
  • when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary (a) to protect our rights, property, the security or integrity of the Sites, or the personal safety of our employees, our students, users of or visitors to the Sites, or the public, or (b) to detect, prevent, or respond to fraud, violations of our Terms of Use, violations of law, or other misuse of the Sites, or to respond to legal claims against us.

Links to other web resources

The Sites link to many other web resources that may be useful to you. Each school's webmaster also may choose to link to external sites, which should align with the educational purpose of the school. Principals and office administrators are ultimately responsible for links published on their sites.

Children’s information

The Sites do not directly solicit or collect personally identifiable information from children. If a child wishes to share information via a form, we recommend that he/she obtain parent permission and that the parent supervise the activity.

How is your information secured?

We strive to maintain reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to safeguard the information collected by the Sites. However, no information system can be 100% secure, so we cannot guarantee the absolute security of your information. Moreover, we are not responsible for the security of information you transmit to the Sites over networks that we do not control, including the Internet and wireless networks.

Contact Information

As the Sites evolves, MCPS may update this privacy statement. We will note the change on our home page to alert you to the modifications. Please contact us at webmaster@mcpsmd.org if you have comments or questions.

This Privacy Statement was last updated on February 13, 2015.

Montgomery County Public Schools

Contact MCPS

Call: 301-309-6277 | Spanish Hotline: 301-230-3073
E-mail: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org

Contact Employee & Retiree Services Center

Call: 301-517-8100 | E-mail: ersc@mcpsmd.org

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