Privacy and Safety

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Privacy and safety are of utmost importance when students are working in digital learning environments and there are many federal and state laws that protect students and their data. Linked below are resources that explain local, state, and federal policy that protect student data.

Hanover School Board Policy and Regulations

Hanover Public Schools outlines their stance on data privacy while using the Hanover Academic Network in Policy 6-3.15 and Regulation 6-3.15. Generally the information that is collected by HCPS is used to ensure reliable filtered access to the network and the internet.

In addition to school board policy, Hanover Public Schools also makes use of a standard data sharing agreement with all online services that require the creation of student accounts. The data sharing agreement, made available by the Virginia Department of Education, ensures that the provider of an online service adheres to the protections outlined by local, state, and federal officials.

Commonwealth of Virginia Code and Regulations

The Code of Virginia and the Board of Education Regulations outline how school divisions are expected to handle student data/records. More information about student record keeping can be found on the Virginia Department of Education’s website.

Federal Acts and Laws

At the federal level, there are three main acts that help protect students and their data while working online. These acts are commonly known by their acronyms FERPA, COPPA, and CIPA.

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Federal law that protects students’ educational records. Students have specific, protected rights regarding the release of such records and FERPA requires that institutions adhere strictly to these guidelines. More information about FERPA is available on the Protecting Student Privacy page

COPPA: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
Imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from children under 13 years of age. More information about COPPA is available on the COPPA page.

CIPA: Children's Internet Protection Act
Enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. The act requires schools and libraries to 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). More information about CIPA is available on the CIPA page.

HCPS makes use of software that filters internet traffic to students and complies with CIPA. This filter is present on all laptops, desktops, iPads, and Chromebooks issued by HCPS and automatically restricts access to websites and material deemed inappropriate for the classroom environment such as streaming media, violence, profanity, and pornography. Websites can also be added manually to the filter if it is discovered that they are not blocked automatically. More information about the filter used by HCPS is available on the iboss website.

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