Data Security and Safety

The Learning Technology Center provides support and services specifically designed to assist school districts and schools with cybersecurity, data security, and student data safety. Our work focuses on:

  • Connecting districts and schools with the resources and services that they need in order to ensure student data safety.
  • Disseminating practical solutions and training for districts and schools.

Project Lead: Chris Wherley


  • Events
  • Laws & Policies
  • Districts & Schools
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Training

K-12 Data & Security Summit, January 16 and 17, 2018
A one-day professional development event focused on data use and security for K12 Administrators, Curriculum leaders, and Technology leaders. Resources from the 2018 Summit are below:

On-Demand Webinars

District Resources

  • Protecting Student Privacy
    The U.S. Department of Education’s website to provide schools and school districts with best practices to use in their management of information about students. This site aims to assist stakeholders in protecting the privacy of students by providing official guidance on FERPA, technical best practices and the answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Privacy Contract Framework
    The Privacy Contract Framework will assist schools, districts, and state agencies in developing common contracts for districts to use throughout the state.
  • Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy
    The National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum) organized the Education Data Privacy Working Group to explore how state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) can support best practices at the school level to protect the confidentiality of student data in day-to-day instructional and administrative tasks. The Working Group created this guide in order to highlight common privacy issues related to the use of student data and to present basic approaches to managing those issues.
  • How do you Communicate the Data Message?
    Words matter. What you say, how you say it, and when you say it are critical to effectively communicating with your audience. DQC has crafted language and tools to help you better talk to peers, press, and the public about data and meeting education goals.
  • What is Student Data?
    There are many types of data that support student learning—and they’re so much more than test scores. However, individual data points don’t give the full picture needed to support the incredibly important education goals of parents, students, educators, and policymakers. See the types of data that can come together—under requirements like privacy and security—to form a full picture of student learning.
  • Data Breach Response Training Kit
    Any organization with electronic records is vulnerable to security breaches, and education agencies are no exception. The PTAC Data Breach Scenario is one of a series of exercises intended to assist schools, districts, and other educational organizations with internal data security training.
  • PTAC Toolkits
    The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has developed a body of best practice resources to help education stakeholders, including State educational agencies, local education agencies, and the postsecondary education community involved in building and using education data systems, learn more about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems. The PTAC Toolkit is updated regularly with new resources, including case studies, webinars, checklists, technical briefs, issue briefs, and other useful information.
  • Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Model Terms of Service
    This document is a framework for evaluating online “Terms of Service” agreements. This document is designed to assist educators, schools, and districts in understanding how an online service or application may collect, use, and/or transmit user information. The guidance will assist users in deciding whether or not to sign-up for specific services.

Resources for Teaching Students



  • FERPA 101: For Local Education Agencies
    The U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA training focused on K-12 schools, districts and local education agencies.
  • FERPA 201: Data Sharing under FERPA
    The U.S. Department of Education’s training focused on the intricacies of sharing data in compliance with FERPA requirements.
  • Email and Student Privacy
    Email is an easy way to communicate with students and parents. Prior to sending an email, it’s important to evaluate the risk associated with sending student information and recognizing if it is personally identifiable information (PII). This video walks you through best practices on how to email student information.
  • Developing a Privacy Policy for Your District
    This video provides an overview and rationale for why districts need to develop a program to protect student data.
  • How to Use your District’s Website to Communicate with Parents about Data Use and Security
    Parents need to feel confident that the education information collected and stored by your district is securely maintained and only used for educational purposes. This video highlights common parent questions, and provides best practices that districts can implement to communicate with parents about data privacy.
  • The A-B-C’s of Student Directory Information
    FERPA allows schools and districts to designate certain basic student information as directory information, and share that information without consent if certain additional requirements are met. This video describes why a school would want to use designated student directory information and the types of information that fall into this category. It also explains the process that schools and districts must adhere to when designating directory information.
  • Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services
    This Privacy Technical Assistance Center teacher training video is aimed at helping K-12 school officials to better protect student privacy while using online educational services and applications. The video, intended for use during teacher in-service days or professional development meetings, offers a short summary of the issue and provides some examples to help educators identify which online educational services and applications are privacy-friendly and protect student data from improper use and disclosure.