Chris Siniscalchi, Director of Technology
Deb Radice, Manager of Educational Technology Services and Operations
The District technology committee is composed of parents and district employees. This committee meets throughout the school year and receives information on new/ongoing initiatives. It also receives feedback from committee members on areas for future enhancement.
The New York State Education Department requires Districts to develop a District-wide Technology Plan every three years. This plan must also be approved by the Board of Education. The 2022-2025 Williamsville Central School District Technology plan was approved on October 11, 2022.
Data Privacy and Security
Summary of Rights and Information for Parents and Students
The legislature and governor passed a group of bills that adjusted the Regents Education Reform Agenda. These bills are known collectively as the “Common Core Implementation Reform Act.” One of the key components of this act (Chapter 56, Part AA, Subpart L, of the laws of 2014) directed the Commissioner of Education to appoint a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). A major function of this new position is to work with school districts and parents to develop elements for a parents’ bill of rights to help ensure that student data is private and secure. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the CPO must also recommend regulations to establish standards for data security and privacy policies that will be implemented statewide.
The NYSED Parents Bill of Rights can be found below. The Williamsville Central School District is issuing this summary of parents’ rights under the law 2d. While some additional elements will be developed in conjunction with the CPO, districts, parents and the Board of Regents, this summary sets forth the key rights and information that parents should be aware of in regards to ensuring the privacy and security of their student’s educational data. Parents should be aware that:
1. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial purposes;
2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record;
3. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls, and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred;
4. A complete list of all student data elements collected by the State is available for public review online or by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, New York 12234; and
5. Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints should be directed as follows, using this form.
Mr. Chris Siniscalchi
Director of Information Technology/ Data Protection Officer
105 Casey Road, PO Box 1500
East Amherst, New York 14051
Chief Privacy Officer
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
If the Williamsville Central School District enters into a third-party contract in which the service provider receives student data or teacher or principal data in order to provide a needed service for the District, supplemental information shall be developed and provided to parents that states:
6. The exclusive purposes for which the student data or teacher or principal data will be used;
7. How the third-party contractor will ensure that the subcontractors, persons or entities that the third party contractor will share the student data or teacher or principal data with, if any, will abide by data protection and security requirements;
8. When the agreement expires and what happens to the student data or teacher or principal data upon expiration of the agreement;
9. If and how a parent, student, eligible student, teacher or principal may challenge the accuracy of the student data or teacher or principal data that is collected; and
10. Where the student data or teacher or principal data will be stored and the security protections taken to ensure such data will be protected, including whether such data will be encrypted.
As indicated above, once the CPO is appointed by the Commissioner he or she must secure input from parents and other education and expert stakeholders to develop additional elements for the Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security. The Commissioner of Education will also be promulgating regulations with a comment period for parents and other members of the public to submit comments and suggestions to the CPO.
In the meantime, you can access additional information and a question and answer document issued by SED as a preliminary Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact:
Mr. Chris Siniscalchi
Director of Information Technology/ Data Protection Officer
105 Casey Road, PO Box 1500
East Amherst, New York 14051
Family Rights and Privacy (FERPA)
The District’s procedures for the confidentiality of student records are consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The parents, those acting in a parental relationship, or eligible students of the Williamsville Central School District are hereby notified that you have the following rights in relation to student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Board of Education Policy #7240:
The right to inspect and review student’s education records, unless otherwise limited by court order or other legally binding instrument, within 45 days of receipt of request.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may request such amendment by writing to the School Principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of this right.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
There are exceptions which allow for disclosure without consent:
Educational records may be released to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by a school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Education records of a student concerning disciplinary action taken against a student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community may be disclosed to school officials in other schools who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the behavior of the student.
Educational records may be disclosed by school officials, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to another school or postsecondary institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
If either a student’s parent, those acting in a parental relationship, or the eligible student desire to obtain copies of the policy pertaining to student records, notification should be presented to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Exceptional Education, 105 Casey Rd., PO Box 5000, East Amherst, NY 14051-5000.
Release of information beyond that noted above requires parental consent.
Note – All rights and protections given parents under the FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 and petitions for self-determination, or attends a post-secondary school, or has been designated an “emancipated minor”. The student then becomes an “eligible student.”
Designated Directory Information
The school district designates the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information” and shall release the information without prior written consent, unless it is for commercial purposes.
Student’s name and date of birth (if required for school-sponsored course, organization, activity or report) Name(s) of the student’s parent(s) or legal guardians Student’s address and phone number to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of complying with active investigations
Student’s grade designation (i.e. first grade, tenth grade, etc.)
Student’s extracurricular school activities and offices (e.g. member of the Math Club; Secretary of Student Council)
Student’s school achievement, awards and honors (e.g. member of National Honor Society; selected for MVP award in Soccer)
Relevant statistics and personal data if a member of an athletic team or other school sponsored course, organization or activity
Present and previous school(s) attended by the student
Opt Out - If you do not want the District to disclose the above directory information from your child’s educational records without your prior written consent, including to military recruiters, institutions of higher education, and potential employers, you must notify the District in writing by September 30 for the current school year. This notice must be sent to the building principal of your child’s school on a yearly basis.
Please note – A student photograph, video, or recording is not designated as “directory information.” However, these may be used without prior written consent in District programs or to provide information or publicity for a school activity, the student, school or District. If you refuse to permit use of your student’s photograph, video or recording for these District purposes, you must notify the District in writing as directed above by September 30 for the current school year and expires on June 30 of that school year.
The District adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Private health care providers must follow other laws called Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In instances where the school needs to communicate with private health care providers, the parent will need to complete the required form(s) from their health care provider in order for school officials to be able to speak with them. Please be advised that confidential medical information will be shared with district personnel who need to know. This may include understanding the impact a medical condition may have on a child within the classroom setting and/or how to recognize and potentially manage significant medical concerns until medical help arrives. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.
Protection of Pupil Rights
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education or is issued by a “third party”:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent’
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
- Sex behavior or attitudes’
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior’
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- Legally recognized privileged relationships such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers’
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:
- Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
- Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Inspect, upon request and before administration or use:
- Protected information surveys of students;
- Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and
- Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law. Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
The Williamsville Information Tracking System, more commonly known as WITS, is an online tool that will help parents and guardians monitor their children's progress in school. This page serves to guide parents and guardians of students who currently attend the Williamsville Central School District, with the registration process to access the WITS Parent Portal.
To learn more about WITS, please click here: WITS Information Page (LINK)
- Register for an Account: https://wits.williamsvillek12.org/register
- Account Already Activated: https://wits.williamsvillek12.org/data/WITS
Middle School 1:1 Chromebook Device Plan
At the middle school level, the District implements a 1:1 mobile learning program. This means, each middle school student is provided a Chromebook during the course of their middle school educational careers. As a part of this program, students are provided technology tools that help engage our students with rich online resources that support student research and learning. Professional development opportunities are also available for our teachers to join students as digital learners.
The Williamsville Central School District aims to ensure students have the tools and skills they need to be successful today, and to be career and college ready when they graduate from high school. The following outcomes have been articulated:
• Enhance and accelerate learning
• Facilitate self-directed learning and creative problem solving
• Increase the effective use of a wide variety of digital environments and platforms to access information, conduct research and communicate with others
• Strengthen the 21st century skills necessary for future success
For additional information in the middle school 1:1 program, please review this question and answer document: 1:1 Mobile Learning
High School Chromebook Loaner Program
At the high school level, the Chromebook loaner program is available through the school library at Williamsville East, Williamsville North, and Williamsville South for students throughout the year. If you have questions regarding the program, please contact your school’s librarian.
Equipment/Software for Non-Public Schools
To request ordering technology equipment and/or software from the Williamsville Central School District for your non-public school:
- Click HERE for a printable IT request form.
- Print and mail (or email) completed form to:
IT Department Office
Williamsville Central School District
105 Casey Road
East Amherst, NY 14051-5000
For additional assistance, please contact the IT Department at 626-8070.
Board Policy – Technology
- Policy #5676: Privacy and Security for Student Data and Teacher and Principal Data
- Policy #7315: Student Use of Computerized Information Resources
- Policy #7316: Electronic Devices with Photographic or Text Messaging Capability
- Policy #8271: Children's Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy
The District completes mandatory hardware and software maintenance on a regular basis. When maintenance occurs, the District’s network will not be accessible to users. The schedule provided provides information on maintenance time periods for the school year.
ISTE Standards - https://www.iste.org/iste-standards