National Education Organizations Launch Effort to Build a ‘Trusted Learning Environment’ in U.S. School Systems

Washington, DC
Friday, June 26, 2015

Washington, DC (June 26, 2015) – In today’s technology-rich landscape, school systems across the country are tasked with protecting student data and effectively communicating privacy policies and related measures to parents and communities.

To address this responsibility while harnessing the benefits of instructional technologies, CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) today launched a national endeavor alongside lead partners AASA – The School Superintendents Association, ASBO International (the Association of School Business Officials International) and ASCD (the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

The Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal initiative will allow school system leaders to communicate their privacy efforts to parents, communities and other stakeholders and assure the school system is adhering to best practices and taking steps in the right direction.

“When looking at the evolving digital tools and ongoing related activities in classroom settings, we agree with parents: They need assurances that student data are protected,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “That is why school system technology leaders and our diverse education leadership partners are putting forth this national program that builds a culture of trusted learning in all K-12 school systems."

“No one is exempt from the threat of cyber attacks. With cyber attacks exponentially increasing on a daily basis, it is only a matter of time before any one of us becomes a victim of a cyber attack,” said John Musso, Executive Director, ASBO International. “As parents entrust their children to schools with the expectation of safety and security, so do they entrust the sensitive data that accompanies that child. When the security of that information is at risk, so is the physical safety of the child. No child should be put at risk because personal and educational information has been breached.”

Over the next six months, the four national education organizations will collaborate with 28 U.S. school systems to create the seal and establish criteria for schools nationwide to follow. When formed, the TLE Seal will be available for adoption to all K-12 school systems, irrespective of size, location, socio-economic profile or governance form (i.e., public, private or charter).

The 28 school systems participating in the seal creation are:

  • Arlington Public Schools (VA)
  • Athens City Schools (AL)
  • Blue Valley USD 229 (KS)
  • Boulder Valley School District (CO) 
  • Calcasieu Parish Public Schools (LA)
  • Cambridge Public Schools (MA)
  • Central Valley School District (NY)
  • Dayton Public Schools (OH)
  • Denver Public Schools (CO)
  • Dysart Unified School District (AZ)
  • Escambia County School District (FL)
  • Geneva Community Unit School District 304 (IL)
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools (GA)
  • Houston Independent School District (TX)
  • Huntington County Community School Corporation (IN)
  • Jefferson County Public Schools (CO)
  • Judson Independent School District (TX)
  • LaGrange Elementary School District 102 (IL)
  • Merrimack School District (NH)
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN)
  • Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township (IN)
  • Northshore School District (WA)
  • Raytown Quality Schools (MO)
  • Saint Ignatius High School (OH)
  • Smithfield Public Schools (RI)
  • The Hill School (PA)
  • University of Chicago Charter School (IL)
  • York County School Division (VA)

“Safeguarding student data and protecting student privacy are foremost concerns of ASCD and our members. We are pleased to be a part of a working group identifying the best cyber practices and procedures for school systems – from the classroom to the district office – so parents, students and educators can be confident about the safety and security of their educational records and personal information,” said David Griffith, Director of Public Policy, ASCD.

“While there is a wealth of student data privacy resources available for schools, the TLE Seal will complement other efforts in the K-12 space such as the Student Data Principles, adopted by 38 education associations, and the Student Privacy Pledge that now has 151 company signatories,” said Bob Moore, Project Lead, CoSN, and Founder, RJM Strategies.

The initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information and latest developments on the TLE Seal, please contact CoSN at michaelkaplun@cosn.org or follow @CoSN.  

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About CoSN

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit cosn.org or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.

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