The Software Review Process at Our High School and School District
Our school district, with participation from our high school, strictly looks at all software that our students and employees use or plan to use in our school. A software review process has been established to ensure software:
- is endorsed by the building principal or department director;
- is deemed appropriate by division instructional and administrative staff;
- documented and inventoried;
- licensed properly;
- has a training plan established;
- has a timeline established;
- has a point-of-contact established;
- protects student data privacy sufficiently;
- can be supported technically by support staff and works with the technology resources provided by the division; and
- is purchased in the most cost effective manner (e.g. single license, teacher-license, classroom-license, or site-license)
We want to keep our students' and employees' data safe and secure. The emphasis with our district's software review process is on data privacy and examining and closely following FERPA compliance and other data privacy laws and regulations. Software in our school district is defined as:
- any traditional installation package loaded on a laptop or computer, by download or other media installation methods;
- online services and subscriptions to include any online website that requires account creations or a fee to utilize;
- mobile apps on an iOS or Android device (e.g. iPad) that are free or require a fee to access and utilize; and
- Web browser extensions that are free or require a fee (e.g. Add-ons in the Chrome Web browser)
Exemptions to the software review process is software that is both free of charge and has no student login or student data associated with the application's use and functionality (Stafford County Public Schools' Department of Instructional Technology and Information Services, 2017).
Stafford County Public Schools' Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notification
Office of Instructional Technology and Information Services Standard Operating Procedures
The Instructional Technology/Instructional Services (IT/IS) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) outline what technologies can be purchased or received as donations without prior IT/IS review and the support responsibilities of offices/schools electing to procure non-standard technologies. In all cases, the purchasing entity (school or department) must agree to absorb the future costs associated with the cyclical replacement of any new equipment purchased. A five-year life cycle is suggested for budgeting and planning purposes.
The content of this operating procedure includes IT/IS tiered support program for technology purchases, standardized technology listing, purchasing technology no on the standardized technology listing, and purchasing software or subscription services.
Stafford County Public Schools: Student Data Sharing Information
Access this resource to view the district-wide online software listings that have been approved for use in our school district. This resource includes the vendor privacy policies, as well as a description of the data that is shared.
Instructional Technology and Information Services
Learn more about the software review process at the school district level. The information is provided and maintained by our Department of Instructional Technology and Information Services.
Submitted Software Status at Our High School
Any employee in our school building can submit a software review request form that will be created into a HelpDesk ticket to be further reviewed for approval by our school district. Our school prides itself in being transparent and to show our school community the types of software that our school, including students and teachers, are using.
The shared Google Sheet below contains the current status of all of the software that has been submitted by our high school to our school district for approval. This list is not exhaustive due to the fact that software can be approved at the district level for all schools where it was not our individual high school that submitted the software review request. The Google Sheet below just contains the software that our high school has submitted for approval. For software that has been approved for our school district, including use in certain grade levels, review the software providers that our school district utilizes and has approved. Both of the resources will create an exhaustive list to show the software that our high school uses.