ESD 112 Insurance Programs Focus on Risk
With the increasing use of technology in the classroom, districts are grappling with how best to monitor student behavior while using district devices. Many districts are implementing digital student monitoring software programs like Gaggle or Social Sentinel. These programs scan for keywords and alert administrators when certain words or phrases are used. Alerted phrases can range from threats of harm to others or themselves, bullying, sexual violence, etc. Many districts are also using these programs to ensure compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

We recommend districts consider the following when researching student monitoring software programs:

  1. Has the District completed a thorough review of the service contract with the input of its general counsel?
  2. Has the District developed and documented its monitoring plan?
    • At what hours will the District be monitoring the program?
    • Will the monitoring continue during weekends, school breaks, and summers?
  3. Has the District developed and documented its response plan?
    • Who will be responsible for receiving the notifications?
    • Are multiple administrators listed to ensure timely response in case the primary contact is unavailable?
    • What type of notification will trigger the District to involve law enforcement and/or parents/guardians?
    • Is there an outline or rubric which categorizes all recorded items according to the nature and severity of the content in question and the District's resulting response?
  4. Have administrators received training on the program and the District's monitoring and response plans?
If you answered "no" to any of the above questions or want to learn more, please see the following resources:
Cyber Safety Considerations for K-12 Schools and School Districts
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
Children's Internet Protection Act: Questions and Answers
If you have any questions, please contact Trista Greenwood at or Wendy Niehaus at
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