District directs career-planning firm to destroy all student data
Seattle Public Schools previously partnered with a company to assist students, parents and school counselors in career planning and to create authentic High School and Beyond plans, a state graduation requirement.
The company, ConnectEdu, was in business from 2002 until April of 2014, when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The district immediately contacted them to request that all student data be destroyed per the contract; however, since they were protected under bankruptcy laws, the data was not destroyed at that time but was fully secured. Graduation Alliance then purchased ConnectEdu, and Seattle Public Schools contacted Graduation Alliance immediately to verify again that the data was secure.
In late September, Graduation Alliance contacted families about this data, which raised concerns. The district notified the company to cease all communications with SPS families and schools. The district believes this type of service is still useful for counselors and families working together to help students plan for their future; after reviewing the options, however, the district notified Graduation Alliance that the contract would not be renewed and directed the company to destroy all student data immediately as of October 13. Graduation Alliance has confirmed that the permanent elimination of the data is underway and expected to be complete by week’s end.
Please know that the privacy of our students is a top priority at Seattle Public Schools, and student data has remained secure throughout this process.