Filtering & Privacy
Appropriate Uses and Digital Citizenship
School-issued Chromebooks should be used for educational purposes and students are to adhere to the Walpole Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy at all times.
The district utilizes an Internet content filter that is in compliance with the federally mandated Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). All Chromebooks have their Internet connections filtered when on site in the Walpole Public Schools and off-site as well.
No filtering technology is perfect, however, and both teacher and parental engagement is always an important part of student Internet use.
Usage and Search Privacy
Students (and anyone using the student's Chromebook) should have no expectation of confidentiality or privacy with respect to any usage of a Chromebook, regardless of whether that use is for district-related or personal purposes, other than as specifically provided by law.
School and district administration may, without prior notice or consent, log, supervise, access, view, monitor, and record use of student Chromebooks at any time for any reason related to the operation of the District. By using a district-provided Chromebook, students agree to such access, monitoring, and recording.
Student Data Privacy
Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)
The District makes every effort to comply with state and federal laws regarding student online activity and privacy. COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. COPPA does not preclude schools from acting as intermediaries between operators and parents in the notice and consent process, or from serving as the parent’s agent in the process of collecting personal information online from students in the school context. The school’s use and sharing of student information is solely for education purposes.
For more information, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm.
The District is a member of the Student Data Privacy Alliance. Providers of online content that require student login or other mechanisms to collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from students must sign the Student Data Privacy Agreement to be an approved vendor. An updated list of vendors and the status of the Agreements is found here
Walpole Public Schools teachers have access to a monitoring tool called Classwize. Classwize allows teachers to view activity on student devices during class in order to help students stay focused and on task. The school district appreciates that, with apps regarding access and privacy, it is important to be transparent about what Classwize does and does not monitor.
What does Classwize do?
During school hours, teachers can view, open, and close any open browser tabs for students in their class. Teachers can direct students to specific websites and can limit which sites students can visit during a class activity.
What can teachers see?
Teachers can monitor or control student screens 7:25am - 3:30pm on weekdays, and not at all on weekends. This will be turned off for vacations of 5 days or longer, though it may stay active for one-day holidays or snow days.
Teachers can see what students are viewing in Google Chrome when signed into WPS Google accounts. This includes:
Chrome browser activity on school-owned or personal Chromebooks (when signed in with a WPS account)
Chrome browser activity on school-owned or personal Windows or MacOS devices, but only when signed in and synced with a Chrome profile with a WPS account. [Note that in Windows and MacOS, this is different than being just logged into Google. It is only active if students see their user icon up next to the "three-dots" settings icon.]
Teachers cannot see:
Activity before 7:25am or after 3:30pm on weekdays
Activity on weekends
Chrome activity using a personal Google account profile
Activity on Windows or MacOS personal devices outside of the Chrome browser.
Activity on an Android or iOS phone
Teachers and staff cannot see the screens of other teachers and staff, even if they are enrolled as "students" in a Classroom.
Students cannot see the screens of other students, even if they are "co-teachers" of a club Classroom.
Important reminder: WPS district IT staff can review all browser history (from any time of day) of any WPS Google account, and can monitor internet traffic of any device connected to school networks or wifi.
Q: Why has monitoring been implemented?
A: Classwize gives teachers more control and visibility into student work while on Chromebooks. With just a few clicks, a teacher can ensure that all students are on task, and can help redirect those who may get distracted.
Q: Why does the school need to watch my child's Chromebook screen?
A: The monitoring is not like watching a video feed of a student's screen. The app grabs screenshots and browser tab information every few seconds, so that teachers get a sense of what a student is working on.
Q: Why is monitoring active 7:25am - 3:30pm?
A: The "on/off" times must be set for the entire district at once. The monitoring period is set to accommodate the high school's 7:25 am start time and our elementary schools' 3:25 pm end time.
Q: Are teachers watching my students at home?
A: No. Classwize is in place to help teachers keep their students focused while in class. There is no direct, live monitoring of student work outside of a class's scheduled time. NOTE: While teachers are not monitoring after school, the district IT staff does keep a record of internet traffic and browser history at all times.
Q: Can teachers see or control student phones?
A: No. Classwize only affects the Chrome browser on Chromebooks and on Windows and MacOS devices.
Q: Can teachers see or control personal laptops?
A: It depends. Teachers can see or control Chrome browser activity on personal laptops when the student is signed into a WPS Google accounts. Again, this can only be done from 7:25 am to 3:30 pm.