Does Google require parent consent for student use of Google Apps for Education?
What is COPPA and why should I care about it?
What is FERPA and how is it related to Google Apps for Education?
What is CIPA and how does it apply to use of cloud computing?
What do I need to archive within my Google Apps for Education domain?
COPPA and parent permission: The Oregon state contract with Google states all students using Google Apps for Education must have a signed parent consent on file with the school district. COPPA is the federal law that limits the age at which advertisers can collect information from consumers and the reason parent consent is required. Consent can arrive at the district in paper or electronic format. You'll find an electronic copy of a parent consent form here: http://goo.gl/Am9AR Please copy it to Google Docs on your own domain and modify as you see fit.
The following files are the same parent consent forms as you'll find above but in a variety of languages. The consent forms and sample policy can be printed or posted as you see fit:
FERPA: This law is related to the transfer of records for minors. Once a district has verifiable parent consent from students using Google Apps, FERPA is not a concern. You can read their data security FAQ page.
CIPA: The Childrens' Internet Protection Act states school districts must protect minors from *images* considered inappropriate. Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). CIPA does NOT apply to any internet connection not discounted by eRate. Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.html)
Archiving: There is no state or federal law specifically stating educational agencies need to archive all email. There are a number of laws requiring us to archive communications falling within certain descriptions. Since communications of differing types have differing schedules for retention via state and federal law, most districts archive documents and messages based on the longest retention schedule. The way the law has been interpreted, a district can simply require staff members to back up their documents and messages according to policy (specific training is recommended if you go this route) rather than purchasing extra storage space and applications to archive communications stored on the internet. Use http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/ as a reference when deciding how long to archive communications in your district.
There are no current laws around archiving communications for students (including email). However, if you write the archiving of students' email communication into your local policy, you'll be expected to follow it.
Sample Policy for use of Google Apps
This snippet was originated by Diane Main of Milpitas Christian School. You can find the original documentation here: http://bit.ly/fekjXz
Google Apps Policy: Google Apps is a special account-based service that has several useful features for students and staff members. The free tools provided by Google are available to students at school and at home online, and some tools may be used offline. It does not matter whether a student is working on a Macintosh or a Windows based computer. These tools help students keep organized, prevent lost homework, and allow students to work individually or collaboratively on school assignments. When using Google Apps and Tools, students work in a safe environment because people in the outside world cannot participate in the assignment. In order to participate in an assignment, a person must be added to the site or file as a "shared collaborator." With collaboration comes increased responsibility in the hands of those who are sharing a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or site. Therefore, all users of the <<your district here>> Google Apps system must be aware of and agree to the following guidelines regarding use of this system.