Privacy & Data
We take our obligations to secure data systems and protect student privacy seriously.
Collecting Student Data
We collect and analyze data because it is one of the most effective ways to improve teaching and learning.
- Data tells us if students are on track for graduation or if they need additional help.
- Data tells our schools if their education programs are working.
- Data helps state and district leaders make informed decisions based on facts.
Protecting Student Privacy
The Family Educational Rights and Policy Act (FERPA) is a federal law passed in 1974 with the intent of protecting student privacy and data. Among other provisions, FERPA requires schools to get permission from a parent or eligible student (a student who is at least 18 years old or is enrolled in a college or university) before the school releases data that personally identifies that student.
Letter to Elementary Families
Information for Elementary Families
The confidentiality of personal student information we maintain is critically important to our district and we take great efforts to protect it. We are writing to let you know about an incident involving some of that information.
In an effort to provide additional communication options to our families, a letter was distributed to elementary families during conference week with Skyward Family Access username and password information. The intent was to inform parents/guardians of the login needed to access student information through Skyward. We recognize that although well-intended, this distribution method created an opportunity for potential unauthorized access to data available through Skyward Family Access.
We have no evidence of unauthorized access to student information through Skyward Family Access as a result of the letters being distributed. If evidence of unauthorized access is discovered, we will inform families as soon as possible.
What information can be accessed online?
The information that can be accessed online through Skyward Family Access includes directory information. Kent’s use of directory information is disclosed to parents in written form in the Annual Notices mailed to homes and on the District website in the Our District section.
Unlike other education records that require consent before disclosure, directory information may be released unless the parent or eligible student specifically objects to disclosure. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the Kent School District to include this type of information in certain school publications, including drama, musical, or sports programs; the annual yearbook; graduation programs; or photographs on a school or District website.
The Kent School District has designated the following information as directory information:
- A student’s name.
- A student’s address, telephone listing, and email address.
- The student’s image or likeness in pictures, videotape, film, or other medium.
- The student’s date and place of birth.
- The student’s course of study.
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
- Height and weight of a member of an athletic team.
- Dates of attendance.
- The most recent school attended by the student.
- Degrees and awards received.
It is important to note that no financial information, social security numbers, or insurance information was made accessible because of the distribution of the Skyward Family Access letter.
What are the next steps?
In an abundance of caution, our District is resetting the Skyward Family Access passwords of every parent/guardian with an elementary student. Parents/Guardians of elementary students will have a new password the next time they attempt to login to Skyward Family Access. We have also notified the appropriate entities regarding this letter distribution. While the possibility of misuse of the login information is extremely low, families are encouraged to always monitor their online presence as a best practice. In addition to existing data protection work, the District is reviewing procedures for data sharing to reduce the risk of further data security incidents. Moving forward, additional protocols are being considered on how to provide equitable access to all families.
We want to reassure you that adhering to best practice and privacy of student information is important to us. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Jewelle Harmon, Jewelle.Harmon@kent.k12.wa.us.
How Do I Know My New Password?
If you do not know your Skyward login ID, please contact your school to receive your password and login ID.
If you know your Skyward login ID, follow steps to reset your password before or after logging in to Skyward.