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Q: Is there a Google Apps for Education Terms of Service Agreement?

A: Yes, each district or school enters into a formal "Terms of Service" agreement with Google that details all of the responsibilities of both parties and the level of service Google commits to provide.

The complete Google Apps for Education Terms of Service can be viewed at http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html

Q: Is Google Apps for Education secure?
A: Yes, Google Apps for Education is very secure and Google is transparent about how they store and secure user data. In fact, Google Apps for Education has passed independent audits and is certified for a variety of industry security and privacy standards.

You can read about Google Apps security at https://support.google.com/googleforwork/answer/6056693

You can read about Google Apps for Education privacy at http://www.google.com/edu/trust/

Q: Does Google own staff and student data within Google Apps for Education?

A: No, Google does NOT own any staff and student data stored within Google Apps for Education.

All information and content remains under the ownership and control of the Smithfield Public Schools

You can read more here, https://support.google.com/googleforwork/answer/6056650

Q: Is Google Apps for Education Reliable?

A: Yes, Google Apps for Education is very reliable.

Google guarantees 99.9% uptime for Google Apps for Education customers.

Q: Will students see advertisements within Google Apps for Education?

A: No, Google Apps for Education accounts are NOT the same as personal Gmail/Google accounts.

Advertisements are turned off for staff and student accounts and Google does not target ads for Education users.


Q: Do other schools use Google Apps for Education?

A: Yes, many K12 schools, colleges and universities are currently using Google Apps for Education, including a number of R.I. K12 school districts, Brown University and the University of Rhode Island.

In fact, 7 out of the 8 Ivy League universities use Google Apps, as do 72 out of the top 100 U.S. universities.

Q: Are students' browser histories being synced and tracked within their Google Apps account?

A: No, the Google Chrome Sync service is turned off at the district level for all Smithfield student Google Apps accounts. Students' browser history is not being tracked by Google as part of their account.

In fact, the Smithfield Public Schools does not enable Google services for our students that are not covered under the Google Apps for Education Terms of Service. This includes services like YouTube, Blogger, and Chrome Sync, even though other districts and schools may enable them for their students. We have taken this approach because we strongly value students' privacy and take that responsibility seriously, even though it may mean that our students do not have access to features or services that could ultimately be more convenient. We use the district’s Student Data Privacy and Security Policy (http://www.smithfield-ps.org/policies) that was approved last year by the School Committee to guide our approach to student privacy issues.

Q: Has a complaint been filed against Google to the Federal Trade Commission?

A: Yes, as part of our commitment to open and transparent communication, we want to make all parents aware of a complaint that has been filed against Google to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). While Google has publicly addressed the complaint, along with the two organizations that have co-authored the national Student Privacy Pledge, we want to make sure that all members of the Smithfield community have access to the information.

Please find below a link to our letter explaining the complaint, a link to the complaint, links to the public responses, and a reiteration of how the Smithfield Public Schools uses Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks with our students.

Q: When will 2015-16 students receive the Chromebooks?

A: 9th graders received their Chromebooks in early September

6th graders received their Chromebooks during the week of October 5th

3rd graders received their Chromebooks by the first week of November

Q: Will students take the Chromebooks home?

A: It depends on the age of the student.

The recommendation of the Implementation Committee is that high school and middle school students should be able to take the Chromebooks home and that elementary students leave the Chromebooks in school.

Q: What systems will be in place to keep students safe while using the Chromebook?

A: Student internet access on the Chromebooks will be filtered in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) whether they are using them at school or away from school.

The school district has enforced “Safe Search” settings on each student’s account

The School Committee approved a Student Data Privacy and Security policy in February 2015.

Q: Will students be using the Chromebooks all day while in school?

A: No, the students will not be using the Chromebooks all day while in school.

While we believe that it’s important for students to learn how to use technology to support their learning, other activities that do not involve technology are still equally important. The exact amount of time will depend on the age of the student and will be collaboratively worked out between the student's teachers and school principal.