COVID-19 Response

As teachers, students, and school leaders continue to work remotely, questions have arisen about student data privacy and security related to compliance with Ed. Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner's Regulations. RIC One, the 12 Regional Information Centers working together have created a document to address these questions: Data Protection & Continuity of Learning.

Data Protection & Continuity of Learning

Use the link below to access a comprehensive resource. Additionally, the comprehensive resource is broken out into individual PDFs for more targeted distribution. There are also some resources related to digital hygiene that can be used with staff. For more information regarding Education Law 2-d and instructional continuity planning, please contact your local RIC.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, school districts have leveraged online conferencing platforms to stay connected. Officials are raising concerns about security due to several reports of uninvited visitors crashing meetings. While educators continue the transition to digital learning, this site is a live document designed to assist school districts with best practices for providing secure online conferencing.


Online Conferencing Guidance

Below is a link to a document produced by RIC One, the 12 Regional Information Centers working together: Data Protection & Continuity of Learning. The purpose of this document is to answer questions related to student data privacy and security as teachers, students and school leaders continue to work remotely.


Data Protection & Continuity of Learning

During these unprecedented times of isolation and uncertainty, we would like to work with districts to help them understand how Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner's Regulations apply to providing instruction using online tools with.

Considerations

Data privacy and security obligations related to third-party contractors must be addressed by the district entering into a compliant agreement with vendors to whom they are providing protected Personally Identifiable Information (PII).


Third Party Contractors Ed Law 2-d Guidance

All major video conference solutions have similar features, which include two-way video, text chat, telephone call-in capabilities, and screen sharing support. Each solution differs in the way accounts are managed and created and how video conferences are scheduled. Click below to find information related to how districts can procure these technologies. Erie 1 BOCES, Erie 2 BOCES, and Capital Region BOCES have or are in the process of partnering with the vendor community to negotiate contracts.

Web Conferencing

Districts need to procure these products through their local BOCES/RIC or a sister BOCES/RIC that participates in the Contract Consortium(s) and supports the product.


Statewide Contract Consortiums Overview

When working remotely, staff will face a number of data security and privacy challenges. Many will be similar to those faced while working in the district, such as phishing emails and registering for online software. However, some additional challenges, such as virus protection and system updates, need to be considered as well.

Data Protection Reminders - Remote Work

Learn, Teach and Work at Home.

Cyber Security and Privacy Reminders

As we transition to a new world of working from home, remote instruction, and digital learning, it is important to keep in mind best practices around data privacy and security. Below we have collated helpful resources that you may share with your school communities. We will continue to add relevant resources as they become available.


Remote Learning Privacy and Security Best Practices and Tips:
  • U.S. Department of Education- FERPA and Virtual Learning during COVID-19
  • U.S. Dept of Education- FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources
  • Best Practices for Ensuring Data Privacy in a Remote Learning Environment
  • FTC- Online security tips for working from home
  • Remote working- Security tips for working from home
  • Malwarebytes- Security tips for working from home (WFH)
  • NIST- Preventing Eavesdropping and Protecting Privacy on Virtual Meetings
  • Center for Internet Security- 5 Network Security Remedies for Telework
  • Video Conferencing Tools in the Age of Remote Learning: Privacy Considerations for New Technologies
  • Remote Learning and Cyber Threats
  • WIRED- Coronavirus Sets the Stage for Hacking Mayhem

  • Reminders on Public Wi-Fi:
  • Norton- Public Wi-Fi security: Why public Wi-Fi is vulnerable to attack
  • Kaspersky- How to Avoid Public Wi-Fi Security Risks
  • FTC- Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

  • Coronavirus Privacy Resource:
  • StaySafeOnline- COVID-19 Security Resource Library
  • FERPA Sherpa- Student Privacy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • FERPA Sherpa- Disclosing Student Information During School Emergencies

  • Data Privacy Reminders:
  • Common Sense Education- Protect Your Students' Data Privacy
  • The Educator's Guide to Student Data Privacy
  • COSN- Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning
  • COSN- Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit
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