PWCS Addresses School’s Missing External Hard Drive Containing Limited Student Information | News
From Prince William County Public Schools:
Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) recently learned that certain personal student information from Glenkirk Elementary School may have been contained on an external hard drive that is missing from our school. It is important to note that the information does not include Social Security Numbers. This student information is varied but includes such things as students’ names and addresses, the name of their classroom teacher, and some grades and screening information for student services.
After discovering that the external drive was missing, the PWCS Office of Risk Management and Security Services commenced an investigation and the Prince William County Police Department was notified to determine whether the device may have been stolen. The investigation is ongoing.
The missing student information was limited to students who attended Glenkirk Elementary School and the parents/guardians of each student are being notified via an automated phone message and a letter from the principal. School staff is also being informed.
Parents with direct questions about what specific information about their child may have been contained on the missing hard drive can call 703.753.1702 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, August 1 and 2. Glenkirk Elementary School office staff will be on-hand to answer phone calls and provide that information. Parents will be asked to answer multiple identifying questions in order to prevent any unauthorized disclosure.
The School Division’s primary concern is the safety and security of students. PWCS policies, regulations, and practices protect the confidentiality of certain personal student information. For those reasons, PWCS has had a comprehensive Acceptable Internet Usage and Safety Policy in place for many years and provides related training to all employees who are responsible for the security of confidential student data. Even with these policies and regulations, it is difficult to prevent the loss of confidential data resulting from potential criminal activity, such as theft.