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Google Apps for Education

Valley Stream 30 has created Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts for all students and teachers. While our K-2 users will not utilize their personal accounts, there will be times grade 3-6 students sign in to their accounts. Please read the primer below.

Data Collection
Google Apps for Education will collect and aggregate student data to provide parents, teachers, and administrators information on student usage and progress. In addition to Google Apps for Education, Valley Stream 30 may collect student data for the following services:
- Think Through Math
- Gradecam
- HMH ThinkCentral Journeys
- eSpark
- MyMath
- ThinkCentral Journeys
- Additional services added at the district’s discretion

All of these services comply with CIPA, COPPA, and FERPA regulations. Student data will not be used for commercial purposes.

What is Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education is a collection of free online applications that replicate the functionality of Microsoft’s Office software suite. These applications do not reside on the computer itself, but are accessed through a web browser. This allows students to access resources from any computer or mobile device with Internet access. Staff and students can access their school documents from a computer lab, the classroom, the public library and even from home (if an active Internet connection is available; if it is not, documents can be made available offline).

Are you providing students with email accounts?
No. Gmail, Sites, advertisements, and external sharing are all turned off in VS30’s GAFE dashboard. No data is collected for commercial purposes, and students do not have the ability to create and share content outside the “walled garden” of GAFE at VS30.

Can I opt out on behalf of the child or children I represent?
Yes. Please email the principal of your student’s school to initiate the opt-out process. 
What will my student miss out on if I do not give my permission to use Google Apps?
Students will not be able to collaborate and work online with students or teachers. They will also not be able to submit work digitally. They will still have full access to traditional textbooks and paper materials provided by the teacher. Teachers will make every attempt to provide appropriate accommodations for students who are not utilizing Google Apps.

Why use Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education provide teachers and students with the ability to utilize free resources to create slideshows, documents, spreadsheets, and more. They also provide us with a framework for embedding the ISTE standards within all subject areas and to encourage the use of 21st Century Learning skills by increasing communication and collaboration among students and teachers.

How protected is my student from people outside of Valley Stream 30?
Student safety is our first priority at Valley Stream 30. Google Apps for Education is a ‘walled garden’ and is not accessible by anyone outside of our district, so your student will be able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.

Are there advertisements on Google Apps for Education?
No, all advertisements are turned off for schools. Google does not collect information from education users for use in advertising.

What student information does Google have?
The District will provide each student with his/her own username and password, which will allow students to access Google Apps for Education. Because we are utilizing the vs30.org domain for these accounts, the district maintains all student data. Google does not parse or have access to student data in any way.

What responsibilities do students have?
Students are solely responsible for their individual accounts and passwords, and any files created, edited, or shared utilizing them. Please see the district’s Acceptable Use Policy. Students who violate the AUP terms face possible account suspension or deletion, as well as any other discipline outlined in the AUP or determined by the school or district administration.

What laws or regulations pertain to GAFE accounts for students?

Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
The school district is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student Internet access is filtered. Websites containing harmful content from inappropriate sites will be blocked.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, Google advertising is turned off for Apps for Education users. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc.) but parents may request that the school not disclose this information.

Can I opt out of my student using Google Apps for Education?
GAFE is an integral part of Valley Stream 30, and we strongly encourage anyone looking to restrict its use to contact our Technology Department for more information. Formally opting out requires mailing a letter to the District Office to notify us that you won't allow your child to use Google's services.