Return to Headlines

Dedham Public Schools Earns National Distinction for its Student Data Privacy Practices

Dedham Public Schools Earns National Distinction for its Student Data Privacy Practices

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023 Dedham Public Schools learned that they had earned the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal from the national technology’s director’s association (CoSN).  The TLE Seal is a national distinction that recognizes schools for their commitment and proficiency in protecting student data.   Dedham Public Schools is currently the only school district in the nine North Atlantic states to have earned this seal, which has been awarded to only two dozen school districts around the country.

“Dedham Public Schools have always maintained a “future-ready” focus when it comes to the integration of technology in our classrooms,” notes Dr. Don Langenhorst, Dedham’s Director of Technology.  “While this integration greatly benefits our student learning environment, the increased presence and use of technology also increases the risks of cyberthreats and impacts to student data privacy.  We are proud of the work our administrators, educators and technology team have invested to ensure that we are at the forefront of protecting student privacy and cybersecurity.”

The TLE Seal Program requires school systems to have implemented high standards for student data privacy protections around five core practice areas: Leadership, Business, Data Security, Professional Development, and Classroom. TLE Seal recipients commit to continuous examination and advancement of their privacy practices.

Dedham Public Schools have made the integration of technology in classrooms and learning a top priority for more than two decades.  Student programs include a 1:1 initiative to ensure that all students have dedicated technology devices, assistive technology support and the ongoing adoption of new technology support student-centered learning approaches in classrooms. This includes lessons on digital citizenship.   Dedham educators benefit from access to new learning technologies and applications which have been reviewed and evaluated to ensure student safety, but also from ongoing professional development and support in areas such as cybersecurity, technology in project-based learning and universal design for learning.   

In Dedham, administrators meet bi-monthly to discuss the current state of our technology privacy and safety efforts.  A dedicated CyberSecurity team meets monthly to review projects and future needs or goals. Differentiated data privacy and cybersecurity professional development for all educators and staff occurs quarterly along with AI-based, phishing tests.  The district Technology Committee continues to define three-year technology plans which helps to map and manage improved processes and procedures. 

“When it comes to technology, we strive for continuous improvement.  This applies not only to how we are using technology for learning, but also in the way we manage data with families, and within the District, and it certainly applies to the way in which we keep our data private and safe,” adds Langenhorst.   “In applying for the TLE Seal, we had the opportunity to not only showcase the work we’ve done, but to identify and learn about areas in which we can continue to improve.”      

View the News Release from CoSN announcing Dedham’s TLE seal