Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)

SOPPA Overview

In District 73.5, the privacy and online safety of our students is of extreme importance. We consistently take steps to secure the student data collected within our networks and our online resources used by students throughout the district. Effective July 1, 2021, all school districts are required by the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) to provide additional measures that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies and that the data is used for beneficial purposes only. Please view the Legislative Brief for more information.

The goal of SOPPA aligns directly with the district’s mission and vision, specifically the promotion of safe schools, welcoming classroom environments, and the creation of practices that align with policies such as the protection of students and their data. 

Please review our list of approved learning platforms for students and families. The list outlines learning platforms frequently used by the district and categorizes them by SOPPA compliance, grade level usage, approval status, and the subject that each platform focuses on.

Why do we use SOPPA compliance in Skokie School District 73.5?

SOPPA guarantees that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies, and that data is used for beneficial purposes only.

Children and Family Privacy Laws

Several laws related to the protection of privacy of our students and families are outlined on the websites listed below.

Data Breaches

In the unlikely event of a data breach, District 73.5 will promptly communicate the information to anyone impacted. We are committed to doing our best to protect student information at all costs and adhering to best practices and regulations. Our district will be transparent should a data breach occur. 

School Board Policy 7:15: Student Data Privacy & Security

For more information on the ways that the district prioritizes student safety and security online, please refer to District 73.5 Board of Education Policy 7:15, Student and Family Privacy Rights.

Annual Notice to Parents About Educational Technology Vendors

School districts throughout the State of Illinois contract with different educational technology vendors for beneficial K-12 purposes such as providing personalized learning and innovative educational technologies and increasing efficiency in school operations.

Under Illinois’ Student Online Personal Protection Act, or SOPPA (105 ILCS 85/), educational technology vendors and other entities that operate Internet websites, online services, online applications, or mobile applications that are designed, marketed, and primarily used for K-12 school purposes are referred to in SOPPA as operators. SOPPA is intended to ensure that student data collected by operators is protected, and it requires those vendors, as well as school districts and the IL State Board of Education, to take a number of actions to protect online student data.

Depending upon the particular educational technology being used, our District may need to collect different types of student data, which is then shared with educational technology vendors through their online sites, services, and/or applications. Under SOPPA, educational technology vendors are prohibited from selling or renting a student’s information or from engaging in targeted advertising using a student’s information. Such vendors may only disclose student data for K-12 school purposes and other limited purposes permitted under the law.

In general terms, the types of student data that may be collected and shared include personally identifiable information (PII) about students or information that can be linked to PII about students, such as:

  • Basic identifying information, including student or parent/guardian name and student or parent/guardian contact information, username/password, student ID number
  • Demographic information
  • Enrollment information
  • Assessment data, grades, and transcripts
  • Attendance and class schedule
  • Academic/extracurricular activities
  • Special indicators (e.g., disability information, English language learner, free/reduced meals or homeless/foster care status)
  • Conduct/behavioral data
  • Health information
  • Food purchases
  • Transportation information
  • In-application performance data
  • Student-generated work
  • Online communications
  • Application metadata and application use statistics
  • Permanent and temporary school student record information

Operators may collect and use student data only for K-12 purposes, which are purposes that aid in the administration of school activities, such as:

  • Instruction in the classroom or at home (including remote learning)
  • Administrative activities
  • Collaboration between students, school personnel, and/or parents/guardians
  • Other activities that are for the use and benefit of the school district

In addition to the above, the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA (15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506) requires that educational technology vendors obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children under age 13. However, COPPA permits school districts to consent to the collection of personal information on behalf of their students.  For more information on the web-based tools currently being utilized within the District, please contact Chief Information Officer Richard McDonald at [email protected].