Student Data Privacy

The Student Online Personal Protection Act, or SOPPA, is the student data privacy law that regulates students' covered information by schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, and education technology vendors.

How does this affect teachers and the classroom?

SOPPA primarily concerns school districts and the digital service providers they utilize. However, teachers are also impacted by SOPPA, most noticeably when it comes to the digital tools, apps, and platforms they utilize in the classroom on a daily basis. Teachers are asked to compile a list of digital tools, apps, and platforms currently used to teach lessons and engage students. Moreover, they are required to submit a similar list on a regular basis or as they add apps to ensure that the district has a written agreement with that software’s publishers.

If an app does not clear the District vetting process with a SOPPA agreement, however, you may not be able to use it in your classroom. The district may, in turn, ask teachers to find an alternative that is willing to meet the state’s student data privacy requirements.

It is the teacher's responsibility to notify the district and ensure there is an agreement before moving forward with using any apps.

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