Thursday, August 22, 2019

Digital Safety

Safety, privacy, and student focus are top priorities for BVSD. As parents, students, principals, teachers, and staff return to school, I want to share a few changes that IT has implemented over the summer. We understand that oftentimes changes can be viewed as restrictive or less convenient, yet we hope these changes are implemented as smoothly as possible with the goal to increase our digital safety.

So what are the specific digital safety changes we’ve made over the summer?

At School
At Home*
Netflix/Hulu are blocked for K-12 students
Google Hangouts are blocked for K-8 students
Ads are blocked for staff/students while using the BVSD network 
Chrome extensions are limited to those that are whitelisted through a vetting process (Read more below)

Netflix, Hulu, and Ad Blocking changes should help keep our students focused. Additionally, all 2-12 teachers now have access to GoGuardian for device monitoring and focused browsing instruction. The Chrome extension change will help keep our devices free of viruses, malware, and ransomware at a time when these attacks are being targeted at K12 districts. The state of Louisiana recently declared a state of emergency after three school districts were impacted and data either lost or ransomed.
Both academic and technical reviews on hundreds of extensions have resulted in whitelisting over 100 approved extensions that can now be accessed. All other extensions from the Chrome Web Store are unavailable for download until a request is made for the proper approval.

With the majority of education and business software now running in the cloud, we believe the impact of this change will be minimal, but we do realize that it may have an effect on some programs. If you have an extension that needs to be installed, please submit an IT Service Request with the title of the extension, and it will go through the proper academic and security approval process.

Thank you for understanding each of these changes and supporting our students and staff in a safe, focused learning environment in BVSD!


* District Chromebooks and the Chrome browser on any device where a student BVSD id is logged in.