Lodi News-Sentinel

Student data breached at two LUSD schools

- By Wes Bowers

The Lodi Unified School District reported on Friday that there was a data breach to the electronic gradebooks of three staff members last month.

According to the district, the breach happened on Jan. 23, and that one of the grade books contained informatio­n including student names, addresses, parent contact informatio­n, grades, attendance and medical or allergy records.

The informatio­n also included whether a student was eligible for programs such as special education or English Learner instructio­n, the district posted on its website.

One of the electronic gradebooks belonged to a staff member at Ronald McNair High School, and the other two belonged to two staff members at Bear Creek High School, the district said.

Leonard Kahn, the district’s chief business officer, said the breach affected about 400 students at the two schools.

He said the Chromebook­s given to students have access to one online network, while Chromebook­s provided to staff have access to a another network.

Periodical­ly, staff monitors the traffic on both networks, he said, and a teacher and a principal both brought the possible breach to the district office’s attention.

“There are some devices that can cross over to each network, and we can see the traffic from one network to another,” he said. “We looked at traffic and found that a student had accessed the other network.”

The district does not have any evidence that informatio­n was misused, and sent written notificati­on to parents and guardians of the students affected by the breach.

Notificati­on was also sent to parents and guardians of students who were not affected, to inform them of the breach and provide next steps.

Kahn said the district may look at keeping student devices completely separate from devices provided to staff to prevent any future incidents.

“The board has made the decision in the past to give teachers different devices than the students,” he said. “And once all our teachers have new devices, we can re-program the old ones and then give them to the students.”

Kahn said the district does not have the capability to determine who was able to access the teachers’ gradebooks, but is working to ensure another breach does not happen.

“We see data breaches pretty much on a daily basis, primarily with banking institutio­ns,” he said. “We live in a very hightech world now, and there are a lot of smart people out there who want to do evil things. But we can stand up to whatever is thrown at us.”

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