Parents often ask questions like “What information are you collecting about my child?” “Why do you need that information, and what do you use it for?” or “How do you safeguard my child’s information?” These are legitimate questions that parents want schools and districts to answer. This document provides a number of recommendations for keeping parents and students better informed about schools’ and districts’ collection and use of student data.
The recommendations contained in the guidance can be divided into three main categories: (1) what information schools and districts ought to communicate to parents; (2) how to convey that information in a way that parents can understand; and (3) how to respond to parent inquiries about student data policies and practices.
Some of the best practices covered in the document include:
making information about your student data policies and practices easy to find on your public webpage;
publishing a data inventory that details what information you collect about your students, and what you use it for;
explaining to parents what, if any, personal information is shared with third parties and for what purpose(s); and
using multi-layered communication strategies that tailor the complexity of the information to the medium, and telling parents where they can get more detailed information if they want it.