Understanding Data Privacy
Billings Public Schools' privacy and data policies ensure that our PK-12 students are protected
House Bill 745 was placed into Montana State Law in 2019. The purpose of this law is to protect our students from marketing aided by disclosure of their protected information gathered in online educational opportunities. In layman’s terms, the law applies rules for student data protection and data privacy. Online services, apps and other digital software used within Billings Public Schools that store student personal identifiable information (PII), must meet the requirements listed within HB745.
To help ensure vendors are abiding by HB745, Montana's local META group, working alongside OPI and MTSBA, created a Data Privacy Agreement that must be signed by all online vendors/resources that store our students' data. The Data Privacy Agreement is a statewide initiative and beyond the local control of SD2.
Read The Educator's Guide to Student Data Privacy
Click HERE to read. This is a very helpful summary of student data privacy and how it relates to our use of technology with students.
PII, FERPA & COPPA
Student data includes a range of personal information, called personally identifiable information (PII). This includes identifiers such as name, age, gender, email address, physical location, etc. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and applies to all schools that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education. You may also have heard of COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, which protects students under the age of 13. While many (but not all) educational websites, may adhere to FERPA and COPPA, many states and districts require additional safety measures to protect student PII.
Student Data Privacy Consortium
BPS belongs to the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) of Montana, and we adhere to their guidelines regarding the use of all third-party resources.
Student Privacy 101
For more information on understanding FERPA and other student privacy tips, click here.
In an effort to keep student data safe and abide by the requirements associated with district policy 2310 and Montana State Law (House Bill 745), the Supplemental Use Committee has put in place a process that all classroom apps and resources must be vetted through. A list of approved resources can be found here.
Supplemental use and HB745 training
View the recording of the training conducted by Chris Olszewski