SDPC Update, November 2020

“Moving the Educational Marketplace”

This was one of the first informal goals when the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) was established.  It was determined at that time, and after a TON of homework and listening, that the best way to do that was to address streamlining how applications get from marketplace providers into the hands of practitioners and ultimately learners.  You might have heard us call it “tactical student privacy”.


Today the needle is definitely moving!  When we first began, each vendor had to work on Data Privacy Agreements (DPAs) with each of the more than 13,000 US school districts.  With the establishment of Alliances that was streamlined by 18 states using the same DPAs within their borders – but that was not enough!   With the release of the National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA), ideally that number will drop to 1 with small modifications addressing state specific laws.  A win for resource strapped districts and a win for marketplace providers.  This then led us to our main formal goal of the SDPC:  Setting common expectations between end users and providers.


That work continues with some exciting next streamlining steps outlined in this update edition.  We also have decided to streamline the words used by the Community.  Access 4 Learning and the SDPC is the ONLY organization addressing BOTH interoperability AND privacy and has done now for some time.  The new issue is there are so many organizations, consultants, etc. coming out of the woodwork in these two areas that their definitions are now fuzzy.  That is why you will be hearing more on “Connecting and Securing Effective Learning Systems” – the REAL work you are all involved in.    Check out the webinar link in the section below!


The marketplace movement continues…


View as PDF



New Management Board

We are proud to announce the Management Board for 2020-2021 to oversee day-to-day management of the SDPC, approve projects and tools that have “on the ground and real-world” impact as well as contribute to the development of strategies for the global Community.  Their leadership, guidance and overall dedication to the Community has proven critical to our collective successes, and they lead the education marketplace’s maturation into real world solutions for data privacy for school and state data stewards as well as marketplace providers globally.


Community members elected to serve on the 2020-2021 SDPC Management Board are:

•  Libbi Garrett, California IT in Education (CITE)

•  Jessica Kallin, Utah State Board of Education

•  Allen Miedema, Northshore School District

•  Steve Setzer, Kimono

•  Tyler Park, Future of Privacy Forum

•  Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools

•  Andy Bloom, McGraw Hill – Appointed

•  Anthony Yaremenko, NSIP – Appointed

… next year we add 3 more seats (for two-year terms)!



Connecting & Securing Effective Learning Ecosystems Webinar

Thanks for the GREAT turnout – over 160 school CIOs – for the A4L/SDPC “Connecting and Securing Effective Learning Ecosystems” webinars hosted mostly by your CIO peers.  We are thrilled many of you attended and already have had a number of requests for follow-up.


As promised during the call, and asked for by those of you who could not attend, the recording of the webinar and slides can be found HERE.  We are thrilled you are a part of the growing Community – so lean on it to help support your daily data stewardship issues since we are all in the same boat!   Your action items from the call were:


Lean on YOUR Community to help support your challenges or sharing of great ideas.  Again, your State Alliance and the entire SDPC Community continues its growth, but it is all about supporting your work in getting the right information to the right person in a safe and secure manner – vendors and end users!


Demand openly built technical standards from your vendors in your RFP’s to ensure you are in the driver’s seat in leveraging resources and the ability to switch to new applications.  Some getting started help can be found HERE.


Chat with your SDPC State Alliance leads on the progress of your maturation to the National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA) for you to use with ALL your vendors.  It makes getting apps into your ecosystem much easier and makes expectations clear with your vendors.



New CIO Support Groups

During those two well attended “Connecting and Securing Effective Learning Ecosystems” webinars, a set of survey s were responded to asking for CIO “pain points” – no matter what the topic!  After a huge amount of responses, two things jumped out:

>  There was a STRONG interest in getting together to share challenges and opportunities

>  There was a pattern of about 50% responders interested in follow up conversations about operational SDPC issues. The other 50% were a variety of District Level Technology issues that individuals would like to get together and share perspectives and experiences etc.


Thus, we have decided to establish two separate threads of meetings;

1) SDPC Support Issues; This will be scheduled during normal working hours and provide a venue for an open conversation any and all SDPC Support issues for District Leaders.

2) District Technology Leaders Special Interest Group; This will be a less formal open discussion for any and all District operational issues. A place for District Leaders to vent, share stories and possible solutions. The first one of these will be scheduled off hours to provide a more relaxed atmosphere and open discussion.


Meeting information has been sent directly to all SDPC District CIOs, but if you are interested in attending, or would like to find out more information, please contact us.


We hope you can drop into these calls and share with your peers success and challenges in this strange 2020-21 school year!



National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA): Hints and Tips

The previously mentioned “moving the marketplace” needle jumped with the release of the National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA) draft.   The NDPA has been developed with extensive review and comments from schools, districts, state organizations, marketplace providers and their legal representatives.


It is designed to address common student data privacy concerns and streamline the educational application contracting processes for schools/districts who do not have the legal or fiscal resources and vendors who previously had to sign “one off” contracts with each of the over 13,000 US school districts.  While the NDPA allows for any state specific legislative requirements, the majority of the privacy expectations are standardized and can be used by any entity as part of their Terms of Service Agreements.


Now in use by many Alliances and marketplace providers, here are some tips on using this draft for national impact:

>  Each Alliance will review the NDPA and add any additional “state specific” legal requirements to Exhibit G. These additions should be ONLY be in Exhibit G and additions should address state legal requirements and NOT wish list items

>  Each Alliance, once they approve their draft, may name the draft “(state)_NDPA_v1)

>  The name may only be used if the Exhibits are the only location where the supplemental terms or changes are added



Come Join Us

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, and its Special Interest Group the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) is partnering with numerous other educational organizations to bring you and your organization a Symposium that actually works in your calendar – no all-day blocks of time!


Connecting & Securing Effective Learning EcoSystemsTM is a month of “tactical” data interoperability and privacy conversations with real-world strategies and examples to support the work of schools, states and marketplace providers.   It makes sense since the A4L Community is the ONLY place where end users and providers are addressing BOTH interoperability and privacy of student data.


Put in your calendar today and plan on joining us for five informative, interactive 90-minute sessions to find out from your peers how to ensure and support your own ‘connected & secure effective learning ecosystem’.


Find out more >> 



National DPA POD

A “POD” may sound foreign to you but this one addressing student privacy expectations is not a group of killer whales – on second thought that may not be a bad idea!  The SDPC “Privacy Obligation Document” (POD) is a machine readable “meta-data” document that contains detailed contract expectations.  The POD is part of the Global Education Privacy Standard (GEPS) and can be “carried over the wire” utilizing the newest ‘Unity’ SIF Specification, developed by the A4L Community.


The new National Data Privacy Agreements (NDPA) is the first step in getting common expectations around safeguarding student privacy – but only the first step.  What if you could automatically communicate between end users and vendors:

>  Simply what you can and can’t do with data

>  Stipulates purpose – why you are being supplied with the data

>  Legal obligations and technical benchmarks

>  A green list of data elements you can access

>  Data conditions (subsets of data e.g. senior years only)

>  What you should do with the data if the data is no longer required

>  Details of recipient of the data, who to contact if there are issues, who is handling the data, countries impacted


The GEPS and developing PODS are in pilot mode now but stay tuned.  It is the next step in simplifying and streamlining getting applications connected and secure for effective learning ecosystems.



Calling All SDPC Vendors

We are delighted to confirm that we will be continuing our SDPC Vendor Showcase Webinars in 2021!  These Showcases offer our SDPC marketplace provider members the opportunity to co-host 30 min webinars touting their great products and services, highlighting their support to student data privacy.  These “drop in” sessions will be a great benefit to both provides and end users in setting our common expectations.


If you are a SDPC VENDOR MEMBER and interested in providing a webinar, please drop a line to Penny Murray to get your session on the calendar and promoted to the entire Consortium.



How Do I

Find (basic) On-Boarding tutorials?


Get ‘refresh’ training on how to use the SDPC Resource Registry

VIDEO: SDPC Resource Registry training for District Admins
VIDEO: SDPC Resource Registry training for Alliance Admins

Find out more about the National Data Privacy Agreement?       

VIDEO: National Data Privacy Agreement Briefing

Inform your Teaching Staff about their role in student data privacy?  

VIDEO: Student Data Privacy – What are YOUR Obligations?

Find out more about the SDPC Resource Registry?

VIDEO: SDPC Resource Registry
VIDEO: SDPC Resource Registry: Vendor Walk-through

Find out more about the SDPC Signatory Vendor Badge Program?


Show vendors the benefits of being part of the Student Data Privacy Consortium?

DOWNLOAD: SDPC Vendor Benefits
DOWNLOAD: How Are You Showing Your Customers a Commitment to Student Data Privacy?


More resources can be found on the SDPC website here:



Update: 2021 Meeting Schedule

SDPC Consortium Updates – these webinars are held to provide you with a concise 1hour overview of all the latest information from the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC). Open to all SDPC participants, come find out what your peers have been up to!

• 1st Wednesday, every 3 months (November, February, May, August) – 2pm Eastern

Download the meetings to your calendar

Watch November’s Update recording:


Management Board

• 1st Wednesday, every 3 months (January, April, July, October) – 2pm Eastern

• Open to elected SDPC Board Members, please go to the group page to download meeting information:


Alliance Leadership

• 2nd Wednesday, every 3 months (November, February, May, August) – 2pm Eastern

• Open to SDPC Alliance Leaders by invitation only.


Legislative Activity Project Team


• 1st Thursday, every 3 months (November, February, May, August) – 3pm Eastern

• Open to SDPC Members, please go to the group page to download meeting information:


Vendor Project Team


• 1st Thursday, every 3 months (October, January, April, July) – 3pm Eastern

• Open to SDPC Members, please go to the group page to download meeting information:



View as PDF