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MCPS Web Privacy Statement

REVISION NOTICE: The Email section was updated July 22, 2005 reflecting our collection and storage of user email addresses for the Directory and Online Course Bulletin.

The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Web site exists to inform the community about and to engage it in our joint mission to provide a quality education to all children. We use the site to publish as much information about MCPS as possible and to enhance two-way communication between the district and community. Your privacy is important to us. Please take a moment to become familiar with our privacy statement.

Management
The Web site is managed by the MCPS Web Services Team in the Department of Communications in Rockville, Maryland. The site is comprised of many smaller sites representing schools and offices, many with their own webmasters. All but a few of these sites are hosted by MCPS. Those schools with their own hosting arrangements also must conform to this privacy policy. Principals and office administrators are responsible for content published to their sites.

Statistical Reports and Cookies
Like publishers of most Web sites, MCPS collects data from visitors to its site. The purpose of this data collection is to analyze how people navigate the site and then use that analysis to make changes that improve the user experience. This information is not used to track individual users or create user profiles. The data collection process does not enable MCPS to discern who individuals are, only that a computer with a specific number (IP) is accessing the Web server. Typical information gathered and analyzed by our statistical software includes:

  • Date and time of your visit
  • Pages you visited
  • The web address (URL) of the link you followed to reach the site.
  • The domain of your Internet service, e.g. aol.com.
  • The type and version of your web browser, e.g. Internet Explorer 5.0
  • The operating system of your computer, e.g. Macintosh.

The site also includes several third-party applications, such as a professional library database, that rely on cookies to enable users to save their searches and return to them later. Some MCPS applications also use cookies, but they expire when you leave the site.

Gathering of Your Personal Information
Many schools and offices use interactive tools on their Web sites to gather comments and feedback from visitors. The most popular interactive tools include email feedback forms, guestbooks, and surveys. Typical information visitors are invited to submit to us includes:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Local school
  • Affiliation, e.g. parent, teacher, etc.

Many of these forms and surveys also include a blank space the visitor can use to send us any type of comment or information. Do not use this field to convey highly personal or sensitive information.

User Email Addresses
Two features of the MCPS web require users to submit a valid email address as a login. The Staff Directory's My Sticky List enables users to create their own list of phone numbers. This email address is used only to connect the user to her or his Sticky List. The High School Course Bulletin web site includes a My Worksheet feature that requires users to submit a valid email address as a login. This email address is only used to connect the user to her or his worksheet. The email addresses will not be shared with internal or external parties. They will not be used to send email messages to users.

Use of Your Personal Information
Information submitted by users to a specific school or office Web site is managed and archived by that office. If the occasion warrants, it may be shared with other appropriate staff. While MCPS does not share visitor information with or sell it to third parties, most information submitted to us is considered part of the public record and could be made available to others if requested under the Maryland Public Information Act. However, personally identifiable information about students, for example, is not considered public information.

Links to Other Sites
The MCPS site links to many Web resources considered educationally valuable. Each school's webmaster also may choose to link to external sites, but these sites must have an educational purpose. Principals and office administrators are ultimately responsible for links published on their sites.

Children
Our site does not directly solicit or collect information from children. If a child wishes to share information via a form, we recommend that he/she obtain parent permission and that the parent supervise the activity. If the information is published to the site via a guestbook, we urge that no personally identifiable information be shared.

Security
Our site does not solicit personal, highly confidential information such as social security or credit card numbers and is not equipped to guarantee highly secure transactions at this time.

Contact Information
As the site evolves, MCPS may update this privacy statement. We will note the change on our home page to alert you to the modifications. Please contact us at webmaster@mcpsmd.org if you have comments or questions.

Updated July 22, 2005 | Maintained by Web Services
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