February 11, 2016
Dear parents and families:
We are contacting you because on February 9, 2016, the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) inadvertently made personally identifiable student information available through our responses to the DC Council for the fiscal year 2015 performance oversight hearing. The inadvertently disclosed data included universal student identifiers (USIs), names, ages, grade level, race, local education agency (LEA) and school of attendance, disability categories and services for 12,000 District students receiving individualized education plan (IEP) services. Social Security numbers and dates of birth were NOT included in those records.
While we believe access to OSSE’s files – and the specific files at issue with this disclosure – was relatively limited, this accidental disclosure should not have happened. We have taken the following actions in response:
• Immediately worked to delete the two files on the website.
• Completed a review of all other files and confirmed that no other inadvertent data disclosures were present.
• Reported the issue to the Executive Office of the Mayor and LEA leaders.
• Launched a thorough review of the agency’s data policies to ensure there are no further incidents of this nature.
We have also established a dedicated hotline, (202) 481-3400, and email address firstname.lastname@example.org, for families to contact if you would like further information.
We recognize the importance of your child’s privacy and personal information, and I apologize deeply for this situation. It should not have happened, and you have my commitment that we will make every effort to ensure the security and confidentiality of your child’s information and to prevent this kind of inadvertant disclosure in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this situation, or if you would like more information about the records concerning your student that were disclosed, you can contact our hotline at (202) 481-3400, or email us at email@example.com.
State Superintendent of Education