Student data privacy
Our mission is to help students and staff succeed in their tasks in a secure manner, and to protect our NISD community from cybercrime.
Student safety—in both physical and virtual environments—is of great importance at Northside ISD. To ensure that students, their personally identifiable information, and intellectual property are ethically and legally protected, NISD has privacy and data policies in place. Adherence to these policies by vendors and staff greatly increases our ability to protect our students from physical and virtual harm such as identity theft, harassment, and unauthorized data collection.
With the rapid growth and accessibility of technology and resources—teachers, students, and parents have access to an ever increasing wealth of tools to support teaching and learning. Accompanied with this extraordinary access comes great potential to inadvertently leak sensitive student data.
As a district on the cutting edge of innovative uses of technology in education, NISD is committed to ensuring the protection of our students’ privacy as we continue to transform education—partnering resources on Digital Citizenship with world-class quality K-12 systems.
What is student data?
Who uses student data?
Most personal student information stays local. Districts, states, and the federal government all collect data about students for important purposes like informing instruction and providing information to the public. But the type of data collected, and who can access them, is different at each point.
What resources use student data?
The district software, applications, and web services that are approved or not approved for student use are listed online at the Student Data Privacy Consortium.
What laws are in place to protect student data?
Federal laws and regulations have been created for organizations to help protect students' information. In addition to these federal mandates, Northside ISD has implemented additional district policies and procedures to safeguard sensitive student information.
Zoom safety and security
In the ever changing environment of virtual learning, it is important to understand that Zoom is a resource used to help provide students with a learning experience as close to in person learning as possible. Zoom classrooms may be recorded to be used to share with students that were not able to attend at the scheduled time of class. These recordings may contain Directory Information and as a parent you have control of your child’s participation through the Parent-Student Authorization form. Please refer to the Parent Student Authorization form in the Student Parent Handbook for more information. Your understanding and acknowledgement are important. Student safety is a priority, you can read more about Zoom’s K-12 Privacy information here.
Bark for Schools+
Ensuring the safety of our students while they use school-provided devices and accounts is our utmost priority at Northside. The District has implemented Bark for Schools+, a student safety monitoring application to enhance this aspect. This robust tool is provided at the middle and high school levels, offering us an invaluable resource to safeguard our students' online activities, both within the school environment and at home.
What is Bark for Schools+ and How Does it Operate?
Bark for Schools+ is installed as an extension of Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Chat. It is a content monitoring tool that leverages powerful artificial intelligence technology to help detect potentially dangerous or inappropriate situations that students may be facing both in and out of school, including:
- Threats of violence
- Predatory advances
- Sexual content
- Suicidal ideation
If potential digital concerns arise on school-issued accounts, Bark for Schools+ can send designated school representatives specialized alerts to ensure they can address the situation in a timely manner. These alerts serve a dual purpose by addressing the specific situation and providing valuable insights that contribute to the overall well-being and safety of our student body.
It is important to understand that both the District and Bark strongly committed to protecting student privacy. It is worth noting that this student safety application will only act as a resource to flag or identify if/when any of the above situations take place. The District will not utilize this tool to monitor communications other than what is flagged in the previously mentioned categories with the intention of keeping student safety in mind.
For more information on the Bark for Schools+ software solution itself, please feel free to visit their website at bark.us.
According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) a Federal law, and the Texas Public Information Act, certain information about District students is considered directory information and may be shared as part of an asynchronous lesson being delivered through a district approved application. Additional information regarding the Directory Information designation and parental consent authorization can be found below and in sections E (elementary) and F (secondary) in the Student Parent Handbooks.
NISD has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name, address, and telephone number
- Photograph, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight/height of athletic team members
- Dates of attendance, grade level, degrees, honors, major fields of study, awards received in school, and most recent school attended
Acceptable Use Policies and Forms
Access to the Northside ISD network and Internet are provided to students, employees, and community members as tools for conducting school business. Appropriate access and use of these resources is the responsibility of the user, and the user is held responsible for their behavior with technology.
For those with students under their supervision, it is important to "lay the ground rules" with students before beginning any classroom projects involving the Internet and the network. Instructors must actively monitor students as they use the computer equipment, and help them become ethical and responsible users of the Internet and related technologies.
Acceptable use policies and forms for students are found in the student handbooks. Forms for parents, community members, vendors, and visitors are below: