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MCPS Web Privacy Statement

Montgomery County Public Schools, a system of public schools operated by the Board of Education of Montgomery County ("MCPS"), and its schools and offices (collectively "we," "our," or "us") maintain websites and online services to inform the community about and to engage it in our joint mission to provide a quality education to all children. We use the websites and online services to publish as much information about MCPS as possible and to enhance two-way communication between the district and community.

We know that as parents, students, educators, and citizens, you value your privacy.  We want you to know that it is important to us too.  That is why we have created this Privacy Statement to  describe the ways in which we collect, use, and disclose information about you through our publicly accessible websites that link to this Privacy Statement, including the central MCPS website www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org, websites representing schools and offices, mobile app, and our open data site data.montgomeryschoolsmd.org (collectively, the "Sites").

This Privacy Statement applies in addition to any other applicable privacy rights, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (“PPRA”), and other state and federal laws and regulations. For more information about our responsibilities and your rights under FERPA and PPRA, please visit our Student Records Regulation and our Student Privacy Notice page.    

Management

The central MCPS website is managed by the MCPS Web Services Team in the Department of Communications in Rockville, Maryland. A full description of our guidelines for administering the Sites is available in MCPS Regulation KBA-RA, Educational Purposes and Administration of the MCPS Website, available at: www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/policy/pdf/kbarb.pdf.

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 school or office.

What information do we collect?

Information You Provide – Many portions of the Sites allow you to share information with us. For example, your may use the Sites to 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.

While using these features, you may choose to provide certain information to us, such as 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. If you would not like us to have information that is highly personal or sensitive to you, please do not provide it through the Sites.

Information Automatically Collected From You – Like publishers of most websites, we and our service providers automatically collect certain technical information from users of 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.

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 only for purposes directly promoting the educational, instructional, administrative, business, and support services mission of MCPS, 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;
  • 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; and
  • 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.

Keeping your privacy in mind, we have taken steps not to:

  • collect, maintain, or use your personal information that we collect through the Sites for purposes beyond those we describe in this Privacy Statement;
  • use your information we collect through the Sites for behavioral targeting of advertisements to you; or
  • maintain a personal profile of you other than to support an account that you have created or use through the Sites (e.g., a MyMCPS account; an account through our Open Data website).

Under what circumstances do we disclose this information?

We disclose information only for purposes directly promoting the educational, instructional, administrative, business, and support services mission of MCPS. 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, whom we require to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws regarding data privacy;
  • 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, but you should recognize that when you click on a link to an external website, that website’s information privacy practices will be governed by the privacy statement of that website, and not this Privacy Statement

Children’s information

The Sites contain some resources that are intended for use by MCPS students (e.g., Homework Hotline). We encourage parents to discuss with their children responsible use of the Sites. If you have any questions or concerns about personal information that you believe may have been collected from your child through the Sites, please feel free to contact us at webmaster@mcpsmd.org.

How is your information secured?

We strive to maintain reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security safeguards of our computer systems that are 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.

Modification

As the Sites evolves, MCPS may update this Privacy Statement. Modifications will be posted on the Sites and the “date of last revision” date at the bottom of this page will be revised.  In addition, for material changes to the Privacy Statement, as determined in our sole discretion, we will include a notice on the Sites that directs users to a copy of the latest Privacy Statement and/or send a communication to users for whom we have contact information notifying them of changes. Please contact us at webmaster@mcpsmd.org if you have comments or questions.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, MCPS, our schools,or our offices, please feel free to contact us at webmaster@mcpsmd.org.

This Privacy Statement was last updated on April 20, 2017.

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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