Montana School District Earns National Distinction for Student Data Privacy

Bozeman Public Schools Is First District in State – and 16th Nationwide – to Receive CoSN’s Trusted Learning Environment Seal
Washington, DC
Friday, April 20, 2018

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) today awarded the national Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal to Montana’s Bozeman Public Schools. The district received the Seal for demonstrating its commitment to protecting student data through modern, rigorous policies and practices.

Located in southern Montana, the school system serves approximately 7,000 students and is a founding member of the School Administrators of Montana and the Montana Educational Technologists Association (META) TLE Cohort. The cohort, which was the first TLE state cohort in the United States, allows districts to work together to update and strengthen their data privacy practices. 

Bozeman Public Schools joins 15 other school districts in small, large, urban and rural communities that have earned the Seal: Baltimore County Public Schools (MD); Boulder Valley Public Schools (CO); Butler County Schools (AL); Cambridge Public Schools (MA); Denver Public Schools(CO); Fulton County Schools (GA); Highland Local Schools (OH); Lewisville Independent School District (TX); Loudoun County Public Schools (VA); Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL); Park Hill Schools District (MO); Raytown Quality Schools (MO); Round Rock ISD(TX); Satsuma City Schools (AL); and Zionsville Community Schools(IN). 

“Since the TLE Seal’s infancy, Bozeman has been a leader in improving its privacy work and the efforts of other school systems. The district is well-deserving of the Seal,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. 

“Our educators strive to provide students with cutting-edge learning opportunities that utilize the technology resources the generous Bozeman community has provided. Our commitment to students and families and staff is to deliver high-level learning and working experiences as part of a safe, online environment,” said Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson. “This effort involves consistent vigilance and partnerships with our teachers and families. We are proud to receive the distinguished TLE Seal and will continue to uphold this serious commitment to our community.”   

Bozeman Public Schools is comprised of eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one comprehensive high school and one high school charter academy. The majority of the district’s teachers possess masters-level educational degrees. The district received the Seal for demonstrating strong student data privacy practices in the following areas: 

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

As a Seal recipient, the district will be required to maintain their commitment to continuously improving their student data privacy practices, and reapply for the TLE Seal every two years. 

Developed for K-12 school systems of all governance structures, the TLE Seal was formed through decades of experience and expertise from 28 school system leaders nationwide, as well as the Program’s lead partners: AASA, The School Superintendents Association; the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO); and ASCD. Their collective input identified the steps schools should take – in addition to regulatory compliance – to help ensure student data privacy and security. 

Learn more about the TLE Seal Program at: trustedlearning.org