Seal of Trust—Schools Earn National Privacy Designation

CoSN’s Trusted Learning Environment Seal Awarded to Diverse Set of School Systems for Demonstrating Commitment to Student Privacy and Security
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Washington, DC (August 16, 2016) – CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) today revealed the inaugural set of schools to earn the new Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal.

Butler County (AL) Schools, Cambridge (MA) Public Schools, Denver (CO) Public Schools, Fulton County (GA) Schools, Lewisville (TX) Independent School District, Miami-Dade (FL) County Public Schools, and Raytown (MO) Quality Schools received the TLE Seal for carrying out their commitment to ensure the privacy and security of student data. 

“These schools—representing small, large, urban, and suburban communities—have built a culture of trust and transparency. They continue to make these efforts every day while taking advantage of the benefits and promise of technology in modern learning settings,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.

Selected among nearly 90 school district applicants nationwide, the seven school systems were chosen by CoSN for demonstrating effective practices in each of the following areas:

  • Leadership, including managing and collaborating with stakeholders regarding the use and governance of student data to inform instruction.
  • Business, including establishing acquisition vetting processes and contracts that, at minimum, address applicable compliance with laws while supporting innovation.
  • Data Security, including performing regular audits of data privacy and security practices and publicly detailing these measures.  
  • Professional Development, including requiring school staff to conduct privacy and security training and offering related resources to all stakeholders in the community.
  • Classroom, including implementing educational procedures and processes to ensure transparency while advancing curricular goals.

The full list and details of each practice are available here. The schools will be required to maintain their commitment to digital privacy and reapply for the TLE Seal every two years.

“Schools should not just say they are committed to securing a 21st century learning environment. They need to take the steps to do it, and these schools have demonstrated that they’re doing the work,” said Linnette Attai, CoSN Project Director, TLE Seal, and President, PlayWell, LLC.

Developed for all K-12 schools nationwide, the TLE Seal was formed through the input from 28 school system leaders, as well as CoSN and lead partners: AASA, The School Superintendents Association; the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO); and ASCD. Their collective expertise and experiences pinpointed the steps schools should take— beyond regulatory compliance—to help ensure student data privacy and security. 

Learn more about the TLE Seal at


Butler County Schools
The Butler County School System is located in rural central Alabama. The 2010 census reported that Butler County had a population of 20,947. According to the Alabama State Department of Education Average Daily Membership Report in FY16, Butler County Schools were composed of 3,008 students served by six schools in grades PreK-12. The mission of the Butler County School System is to enable every student to graduate, college and career ready and globally competitive, by providing a rigorous education in a safe, supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and excellence in learning. At Butler County Schools, the vision is to be “Boldly Committed to Student Success.”

“The Butler County School System has taken great strides over the past year to educate our employees and our community on the importance of data security. It is an honor to be recognized by CoSN for our efforts, and we will be proud to display the Trusted Learning Environment Seal.” – Cindy Wilson, Data Manager, Butler County School System

Cambridge Public Schools
Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) is a thriving school district serving about 6,500 children who live in the City of Cambridge, MA. The enrollment has steadily grown over the last decade, reflecting increasing public school participation despite declining numbers of children within the city. The City of Cambridge has a strong commitment to investing in its public schools, through direct CPS funding and an array of enrichment programs for children and youth. The city recently completed an ambitious “Net Zero” construction project that has created an innovative new campus for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School and Putnam Avenue Upper School. Planning is underway for the next campus to be renovated.

“Cambridge Public Schools has strived for many years to protect the privacy of our students. We are honored to be recognized by CoSN for our diligent work in this area. We are also proud to display the CoSN Trusted Learning Environment Seal as evidence that we have created an environment that balances both classroom innovation and student privacy.” – Steve Smith, Chief Information Officer, Cambridge Public Schools

Denver Public Schools
Denver Public Schools (DPS) is committed to meeting the educational needs of every student with great schools in every neighborhood. Its goal is to provide every child in Denver with rigorous, enriching educational opportunities from preschool through high school graduation. DPS is comprised of approximately 200 schools, including traditional, magnet, charter, and pathways schools, with a current total enrollment of more than 91,000 students. DPS is the fastest-growing urban school district in the country in terms of enrollment, and is the fastest-growing large school district in Colorado in terms of academic growth. DPS is committed to establishing Denver as a national leader in student achievement, high school graduation and college and career readiness. Learn more at

Fulton County Schools
The Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school system in Georgia. Approximately 96,500 students attend 105 school campuses throughout the 80-mile-long district, with more than 10,500 full-time employees, including more than 7,500 teachers and other certified personnel, working in its administrative and support buildings. Fulton County Schools is Georgia’s largest charter district, a governance framework that allows the school system to innovate and exercise flexibility from many one-size-fits-all state education requirements and support schools in developing strategies that support the unique needs of their students.

“Fulton County Schools is pleased to be named among the nation’s top leaders in student privacy and security. Our parents entrust their children’s information to us daily, and we take our charge seriously to be responsible stewards of that data.” – Serena E. Sacks, Chief Information Officer, Fulton County Schools

Lewisville Independent School District
Lewisville Independent School District (LISD) is committed to educational success through real innovation and limitless opportunities for all our students. Annually, the district receives numerous academic accolades, fine arts honors, athletic championships and finance awards, which is a direct reflection of our student and staff commitment. The district is dedicated to enriching educational opportunities for more than 53,000 students and is leading the way in classroom technology integration. Utilizing groundbreaking, transformative, and flexible learning environments through a 1:X™ initiative gives students tools to access, create, and collaborate as thriving, 21st century digital citizens. LISD’s highly qualified team, technology integration, involved community, and hard-working students make the district a premier school system in Texas.

“We are so excited about achieving this distinction. Earning the TLE Seal provides evidence to our school community that the district is committed to protecting student and staff data privacy and security. The application process was incredibly valuable for us, and we are still using the TLE framework to guide us as we continue to work toward improving our practices. Data privacy is a critical issue, and we greatly appreciate the work that CoSN has done to offer guidance and leadership in this area.” – Bryon Kolbeck, Executive Director of Technical and Information Services, Lewisville Independent School District

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is America’s fourth-largest school system. With a diverse enrollment of over 356,000 students from over 100 countries, M-DCPS offers innovative educational programs at its more than 465 schools, including elementary, K-8 centers, middle, senior high schools and alternative, specialized, and vocational centers. Students and their families have an active voice in choosing learning opportunities that foster academic excellence, school-to-career pathways and real-world learning with nearly 600 choice options.

“In Miami-Dade County Public Schools, prioritizing security to safeguard our students, their information, and our systems has always been of paramount importance. We strive to keep our finger on the pulse of the threat landscape to continually refine our approach and to strengthen security protocols.” – Deborah Karcher, Chief Information Officer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Raytown Quality Schools
The Raytown C-2 School District is a first-tier suburban K-12 school district in the Kansas City, MO, metro area. The district serves the entire Raytown community and also includes a small portion of Kansas City and Independence municipalities. The district currently includes 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, one early learning center, one special education school, one alternative school, one vocational school, and one Head Start preschool. Raytown C-2 School District has gained an annual average of 100 new students each year for the past five years, with enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year at 8,845. Sixty-eight percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch costs. In June 2016, the district was recognized as a Common Sense Digital Citizen Certified District.

“As a school district, we are trusted with the safety and security of our students. This does not stop at just physical safety; we must also take measures to ensure the security and privacy of our student’s data. Raytown Quality Schools has made data privacy a priority through our policies and practices, which are evident in our Data Governance Manual. It is an honor to be a part of the first cohort recognized for this effort.” – Dr. Allan Markley, Superintendent, Raytown Quality Schools


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 or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.