Leander ISD moving toward safer communication apps

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Leander ISD is no longer using several apps to communicate with parents because of privacy concerns. 

Photos and messages are sent to parents through the apps used by teachers. It could be about homework or what happened in the classroom. 

“I love the quick response. I love to get the picture updates on the apps,” said mom Veronica Garretson. “It feels like I’m there with her.”

The district says apps like ClassTag and Bloomz no longer meet the district’s standards of privacy. 

“School districts around the country are dealing with this,” said Corey Ryan with Leander ISD. “We know that student data privacy is of the upmost concern, and we want to make sure anytime we have a system that is sharing student work and student information, that we want to make sure we have the tightest security protocols of that how that data is being shared and is being stored.”

The district says nothing security wise happened with those apps to cause concern for them, but after taking a closer look, the tech team decided there were more private ones which could be utilized. 

“We want to empower teachers to be able to do cool things and to be able to build engagement in their classrooms, but at the same time we have to balance that with our need to keep data secure and to keep student information private,” said Ryan. 

The district approved app now is Seesaw. Parents will only see posts created by their child or their teacher. 

Other districts have a similar policy.

San Marcos Consolidated ISD uses Remind and School Status. A spokesperson with AISD said they encourage these types of communications to occur through the district supported and approved learning management platform, BLEND. Georgetown ISD’s main communication channel and app for communicating with parents and the community is School Messenger.

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