District 6 vendor Illuminate Education admits student demographic information in data breach

A nationwide data breach earlier this year of a California-based software development company used as a vendor by Greeley-Evans School District 6 led to the compromise of demographic information for every District 6 student – more than 22,000 students at charter and non-charter schools , the school system said this week.

District 6 said it was notified within the last three weeks of the breach, though the compromise of a product called eduCLIMBER occurred in January. Greeley-Evans posted information about the breach on its website earlier this week and the district also sent an email communication to all families.

The convictions communications to families said its student information services personnel have been working with Illuminate Education to identify what data was involved in the breach. Greeley-Evans District 6 with 22,694 students is among the biggest 15 school districts in Colorado.

The district says it’s been told the data was student-demographic and enrollment information including names, gender, birthdate, grade, class and school. District 6 said it does not maintain social security numbers for students and this information was not included in the breach. No home address or parental information was also included, the district said.

District 6 in its communications told families to expect official notification from Illuminate Education explaining the breach and to arrive via US mail. The district asked families to read the letter upon arrival; it will contain information on who to contact for questions or concerns.

The district said the company plans to offer a year of identity monitoring free of charge.

“Although this breach was not the fault of our school district, we are sorry for any worry or inconvenience it may cause,” District 6 said in its communications to families.

The District 6 board of education discussed the breach during an executive session at is meeting on Monday. The board will discuss the matter at its May 23 meeting.

Illuminate Education, based in Irvine, California, makes apps to track grades and attendance according to Infosecurity Magazine. The Illuminate Education website says more than 17 million students and 5,200 districts and schools in all 50 US states use Illuminate products. eduCLIMBER provides school districts with a data platform to gather, visualize and analyze academic and behavioral data, according to the Illuminate website.

THE Journal, a California-based digital publication covering K-12 education, reported earlier this month from 9News KUSA-TV in Denver that Douglas County School District issued a note to parents informing them the district was impacted by the data breach.

Previously, Mesa County Valley School District 51 in Grand Junction with more approximately 21,000 students notified its parents of an impact related to the breach, also according to THE Journal.

The magazine also reported the New York State Department of Education said 565 schools in New York with more than 1 million current and former students were among those whose private student data was compromised during the January incident.

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