Stu­dent data breached at two LUSD schools

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - 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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