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Data and Privacy for Districts

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CoSN and Data Quality Campaign led a coalition of national stakeholders in determining a set of fundamental beliefs for using and protecting student data to guide the work of the education community.  A school district handles large amounts of personal and private student information on a daily basis.  It is crucial to take all possible precautions in ensuring the safety of this information.  The information in this section closely aligns to the Gear 5 - Data and Privacy section of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan and our main DPI Data Privacy resource page for schools.  We also draw a close correlation to the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team's (SSPW) Safe Schools Initiative and their Comprehensive Approach to Bullying Prevention resources.  Data Privacy and security are foundational elements of digital learning and districts need to ensure sound data privacy and security policies, procedures, and practices are in place at the district, school, classroom, and student levels.  

How to Best Use Student Data 

  • Student data should be used to further support student learning and success.
  • Student data are most powerful when used for continuous improvement and personalizing student learning.
  • Use student data to inform, engage and empower students, families and school system leaders.
  • Provide students, families, and educators with timely access to information collected about the student.
  • Use student data to inform and not replace the professional judgment of educators.

How to Safeguard When Working with Technology Providers

  • Share students’ personal information only under terms or agreement for legitimate educational purposes; or obtain necessary parent consent. Implement policies to oversee this process.
  • Provide clear, publicly available rules and guidelines for how you and your service providers collect, use, safeguard, and destroy data.
  • Collect and provide access only to the minimum student data required to support student success.

Education and Training Responsibility of a District

All Districts Should Have a Privacy and Security Framework

  • Have a system of governance that includes:
    • Rules, procedures, and the individual or group responsible for authorizing data collection, use, access, sharing, and security, and use of online educational programs;
    • Policy for notification of any misuse or breach of information and available remedies;
    • Security process that follows widely accepted industry best practices;
    • Designated place or contact where students and families can go to get informed about their rights your data privacy and security practices.
For questions about this information, contact Chad Kliefoth (608) 267-9289, Janice Mertes (608) 267-1054