Digital Resources in FCPS
Learn more about the FCPS-approved instructional digital resources included in the digital ecosystem library.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is committed to providing access to digital resources that respects and protects student privacy while maximizing learning opportunities for our students.
FCPS Digital Resource Process
FCPS has a process for reviewing and approving technology at the District level. This process follows best practices identified by the Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission. In 2014, FCPS was commended by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for our process.
FCPS Regulation 3008 outlines how we identify, evaluate, and approve of program and supplemental instructional technology products: software, websites, and apps. This regulation
- Describes how schools and central offices request approval of digital resources.
- Outlines the responsibility of departments that conduct reviews.
All reviews are based on FCPS environments, support standards, and policies. They protect student information in compliance with federal and state law.
Approved Instructional Digital Resources
Instructional Digital Resources reviewed and approved for use in FCPS are listed in the FCPS Digital Ecosystem Library. Some of these approved resources are supported by the division and paid for centrally. In addition, schools can select other resources from the list that are most appropriate for their students’ instructional needs.
The approved list can be categorized based on parental consent implications:
- Vendors Designated by FCPS as School Officials Under FERPA
- Non-contracted vendors
- Tools that do not collect any Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Vendors Designated by FCPS as School Officials Under FERPA
When FCPS creates contracts with vendors who host student information, they include a data confidentiality agreement. These contracts require the vendor to use student data only for the designated purpose. These vendors are under FCPS’s direct control, therefore FCPS is able to classify these vendors as a school official and is not required to seek parental consent under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
FCPS does not have contracts with every instructional resource vendor. These vendors are not designated as school officials under FERPA. However, we conduct the same technical evaluations for all products that use student information.
The vendor Terms of Service (TOS) governs many valuable instructional resources; this includes both free and paid resources.
Parental consent is required before a school can use an approved resource where
- student information is collected or shared by the student
- a formal data confidentiality agreement has not been established between FCPS and the vendor
Examples of the data that may be provided to, or collected by approved applications:
- FCPS email
- course enrollment
- student work.
Each school provides a list of approved instructional digital resources that they plan to use that require parental consent. For more information, please contact your student's school.
Tools that do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII)
Schools may also use websites and approved instructional applications that do not collect, use, or share any personal information (PII) from students. FERPA does not require FCPS to obtain parental consent before these resources can be used.