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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — A data breach at a third-party tech vendor could have exposed sensitive information about individual students in Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS).

A “breach” is where an unauthorized person or group digitally breaks into a computer network and harvests information to be sold to other parties not authorized to have it.

District spokespersons responded to our requests for comments at the close of business on Friday by sending a statement that essentially said the same thing that was in the parent letter, adding, “District leaders are working with Illuminate to notify impacted families.”

Notification to parents

Around 10:00 a.m. Friday, OKCPS notified parents and guardians of the breach that exposed data at a company called Illuminate, a vendor for the district that handles individual students’ performance data and other sensitive information.

In the email the district delicately referred to the breach as a “cyber event” that affected Illuminate. The email said that the district does “not have any cybersecurity concerns within OKCPS’ network.”

However, the vendor does collect data on individual students in order to provide its services to the district.

“Illuminate has assured us that they are taking all necessary steps with the assistance of their IT staff and a team of third-party computer specialists to investigate this incident,” the parent email read.

The statement continued, “That said, Illuminate has indicated that some of your/your child’s information may have been impacted.”

The email assured parents that they would be getting a letter directly from the vendor to be mailed out Friday, May 13.

The district claimed to have no other information about the breach but that anyone concerned could call a “dedicated call center to help provide information regarding this incident.” The call center can be reached at (833) 749-1673.

Illuminate company

The company provides services for district personnel to evaluate the performance of students over time which would involve fine details of individual students for planning and intervention. The platform for that is called eduCLIMBER.

From the company’s website:

eduCLIMBER is an interactive system that integrates all whole child data into a single platform with built-in tools for intervention tracking, collaboration, effectiveness reporting, early warning, driving system-level improvement, and more.

  • Automate or input academic, social-emotional behavior (SEB), attendance, behavior incident, intervention, and qualitative data (like notes and observations) in one platform
  • Bolster student achievement and wellbeing by evaluating and monitoring effectiveness of both Tier 1 practices and Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions
  • Quickly shift from data analysis to taking your next steps with built-in workflow tools, like student plan templates, a dedicated intervention module, action items, and more
  • Drive impactful system-level decisions around resources and professional development based on a holistic view of what’s happening in the district

Last Updated May 13, 2022, 4:25 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor