Data Privacy and Security → Guidelines, Safeguards, and Vetting
For a broad overview of the security practices that MCPS employs, please refer to the document, Student Data Privacy and Data Security Safeguards, that answers the question, "How does MCPS protect student data privacy?"
We know that MCPS students are very resourceful in using the internet. A few students have found ways to get around our internet filters to access unauthorized websites, such as games. We have developed a way for parents and teachers to report unauthorized websites that students are accessing. This form is to report unauthorized websites, not websites that are used for instructional purposes.
In education, it truly takes a village to serve and support our students. MCPS contracts with service providers to provide innovative and valuable services critical to instructional programs and essential school district operations. MCPS takes the contract vetting process very seriously and we are working to systematically review and enhance the contractual agreements we have with our service providers. The vast majority of MCPS data is maintained on MCPS servers accessible only to MCPS staff who have a legitimate educational purpose to view and use the data.
While we attempt to enter in to a data sharing agreement with all of the vendors that provide us services, the Internet is full of an infinite number of online digital tools that could be educationally relevant. For these supplemental online digital tools (ODTs) that MCPS does not yet have contracts in place with, MCPS has created a set of guidelines that can be used to determine whether the tool is safe to use with student data.
MCPS is committed to supporting staff by providing established guidelines to aid in the selection of instructional technology to be used by students. While school-wide or district-wide adoption of an ODT requires a MCPS-vetted data sharing agreement with the vendor, these Guidelines promote responsible use of technology in classrooms pending MCPS approval of an ODT. In addition to following the guidelines listed in this document, MCPS staff must also comply with all applicable MCPS requirements for review of curricular and instructional materials, as well as MCPS Regulation IGT-RA, User Responsibilities for Computer Systems, Electronic Information, and Network Security. To see the latest version of the General Use Guidelines, click here.
If you've discovered a new online digital tool that has not been vetted and posted on the Technology Resources page, you should submit a request to have a committee of data privacy specialists vet your ODT before using it with students or student data. Click here to access the Online Digital Tool: Data Privacy Review form.