APS Google Policy FAQ

  • Does Google require parent consent for student use of Google Apps for Education?
  • What is COPPA and why should I care about it?
  • What is FERPA and how is it related to Google Apps for Education?
  • What is CIPA and how does it apply to use of cloud computing?
  • What do I need to archive within my Google Apps for Education domain?
  • G-Suite for Education Privacy Policy

COPPA and parent permission: Andover Public Schools contract with Google states all students using Google Apps for Education must have a signed parent consent on file with the school district. COPPA is the federal law that limits the age at which advertisers can collect information from consumers and the reason parent consent is required. Consent can arrive at the district in paper or electronic format. APS utilizes electronic signatures through our registration system.  

FERPA: This law is related to the transfer of records for minors. Once a district has verifiable parent consent from students using Google Apps, FERPA is not a concern. You can read their data security FAQ page.

CIPA: The Children’s’ Internet Protection Act states school districts must protect minors from *images* considered inappropriate. Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). CIPA does NOT apply to any internet connection not discounted by eRate. Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.html

Archiving: There is no state or federal law specifically stating educational agencies need to archive all email. There are a number of laws requiring us to archive communications falling within certain descriptions. Since communications of differing types have differing schedules for retention via state and federal law, most districts archive documents and messages based on the longest retention schedule. The way the law has been interpreted, a district can simply require staff members to back up their documents and messages according to policy (specific training is recommended if you go this route) rather than purchasing extra storage space and applications to archive communications stored on the internet. Use (URL to state archiving information) as a reference when deciding how long to archive communications in your district.

There are no current laws around archiving communications for students (including email). However, if you write the archiving of students’ email communication into your local policy, you’ll be expected to follow it.

Google Apps Policy: Google Apps is a special account-based service that has several useful features for students and staff members. The free tools provided by Google are available to students at school and at home online, and some tools may be used offline. Google is cloud based and can be access from any devices at any time. These tools help students keep organized, prevent lost homework, and allow students to work individually or collaboratively on school assignments. When using Google Apps and Tools, students work in a safe environment because people in the outside world cannot participate in the assignment. In order to participate in an assignment, a person must be added to the site or file as a "shared collaborator." With collaboration comes increased responsibility in the hands of those who are sharing a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or site. Therefore, all users of the APS Google Apps system must be aware of and agree to the following guidelines regarding use of this system.

All rules, regulations, and guidelines already covered by the district Acceptable Use Policy document, as well as all local, state, and federal laws still apply to use of this system. Nothing illegal, immoral, or otherwise deemed inappropriate by all other school policies and outside laws may be entered into or displayed via the Google Apps system.

Google Apps is for school projects. Students or staff members using Google Apps for their own purposes are cautioned that the district offers no guarantees to the safety or permanence of ANY data in its Google Apps system. Google Apps files or sites should not be created unless assigned by a teacher or after specific permission by a school employee.

When sharing a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or other file with other users, one agrees that:

  • all users are agreeable to receiving an invitation to collaborate,
  • all users must report any violations of any school policies or government laws immediately,
  • all users must be treated with respect, and
  • all users are expected to contribute fairly, citing sources whenever necessary, and following all rules, laws, and guidelines.

In the case of a shared space (i.e. Google Sites), all of the above guidelines also apply. In the case of Google Sites that need to be marked as “public” in order to be visible throughout our school community, users must not give out the addresses of such Sites to people outside our school community.

Deliberate destruction or vandalism of other users’ data or shared data is prohibited. Nothing should be deleted without the permission of the person who created it.

Google Apps will not be used to post any information for commercial activities, product advertisement, or political advocacy, nor will it be used to post any obscene, discriminatory, or offensive material.

District employees have the right to monitor all postings and activities in Google Apps.