FCPS has been breaching the privacy of staff and students for years.
This article details FCPS FERPA violations between 2017 and 2021. It includes breaches FCPS inadvertently provided to me, breaches related to my own family (and about which I filed state complaints), breaches other FCPS families shared with me, as well as the hacking of FCPS that occurred in 2020.
This time, it released unredacted records for the 2022-23 math and reading SOL records for 74 students and the reading records for 36 students.
Under FERPA, parents have the right to inspect their children’s education records. However, if there’s nothing in writing, there’s nothing to inspect.
VDOE concluded that that the legal invoices at the core of the investigation, which contain personally identifiable information (PII) about children, “are maintained by the school division, therefore they are education records under FERPA and this matter is within our jurisdiction.” In addition, VDOE rejected the following argument posed by FCPS, thus acknowledging that initials constitute PII:
“Under the definition of PII, information is PII if it is possible to identify a student with reasonable certainty. In this case, students E1 and E2 have a different last name as the parent, and so the disclosure of parent name does not make the students identifiable.”
Although VDOE determined the matter in its jurisdiction and once again found FCPS noncompliance, VDOE refused to place weight on the thousands of students whose privacy FCPS has breached over the past five years, and did not “characterize” FCPS’s noncompliance as systemic.
Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Special Education Procedural Support has a history of failing to secure confidential information about children, to the point that one could say privacy breaches are an area in which FCPS OSEPS excels.
For the second time in as many years, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (VDBHDS) has breached the privacy of children.
October 6, 2021, just one day before the VDBHDS breach, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced that it is opening an investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), focused on systemic privacy violations.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is at fault for another FERPA violation, this time for a Chesterbrook Elementary School student and family.
The document is a student’s care card, which (depending on the student) can include sensitive information such as medical issues, prescription medications, medical professionals the child is seeing, and so on.
I found one more breach.
The breach includes the students’ names, their FCPS identification numbers, their FCPS email addresses, the schools at which they are enrolled, the names of their parents and/or guardians, and the email addresses of their parents and/or guardians.
November 5, 2020, Fairfax County Public Schools again violated student privacy and again exhibited issues related to teacher training, a reading-related program, fidelity of implementation of a reading-related program, and possible noncompliance of student IEPs.
These issues occurred during an office hour session with FCPS’s Alice Lima-Whitney, during which she and the staff in attendance discussed the program iLit and how the teachers were progressing with their students.