At PayGrade, student privacy and security is number one.
What is FERPA?
FERPA is ‘The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act’. It protects the privacy of students’ “Educational Records” by specifying how and with whom schools can share information from these records.
FERPA says that schools cannot share student information without parent consent. Without that written consent, FERPA only allows a school to share student information if an ‘exception’ is met. The two most common exceptions specified by FERPA are: the “Directory Information” and “School Official” exceptions.
Under FERPA, schools can use the school official exception to share some information with third-parties that provide a legitimate educational function. PayGrade teaches students financial literacy through an online mock bank. Alternatively, schools can choose to not rely on school official exception and get parental consent for each technology used. If a school prefers to get parental consent for PayGrade, they must first send out the consent form found here.
FERPA is very vague about whether the virtual deposits and withdrawals, and general account transaction of student actions would legally be considered an Educational Record. So, it’s really up to each school to decide. If deposits and withdrawals and general transactions on a student's virtual bank account is deemed to be an “Educational Record”, then one of the exceptions must be met, or parent consent must be obtained.
What is COPPA ?
How to comply with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
To address COPPA, PayGrade does not collect students’ addresses, telephone numbers or email addresses. The only information collected from a student is a username and name. This information is given directly from the student or through the teacher. There is no marketing back to the student, no contest winners and no way to make information publicly available to any external sites.
No student information is rented, or sold to third parties, ever.
If we employ other companies and people to perform tasks on our behalf and need to share any information with them to provide products or services to PayGrade, they do not have any right to use the personal information or student’s personal information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us. We also take steps to ensure that they agree to protect the personal information or student’s personal information shared with them.
Parents can request that their student has a pseudonym in place of their name when accessing PayGrade. Parents can review the student’s personal information, ask to have it deleted and refuse to allow any use of the information throughout the year. All parents need to do is tell the teacher and the teacher will need to delete the student’s profile on PayGrade.
Privacy Overview :
PayGrade takes student privacy seriously. That is why we collect only the minimal amount of information from a student to provide the service, just a first name, username and password. We don’t ask for anything else, such a gender, SSN, email, address, student ID, or age.
Below, we give an overview of the website, its educational function, and how we protect student privacy and security.
This policy does not apply to websites or services or practices of companies that PayGrade doesn’t own or control, such as third party services you might access through links or other features (e.g., social media buttons, lesson plan resources, etc.) on the Service. These other services have their own privacy policies, and we encourage you to review them before providing them with personal information.
Please take the time to get to know our privacy practices. If you have any questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is PayGrade?
PayGrade is an education software platform that allows teachers to manage their classroom while teaching essential finance skills to students. Students create a profile under a secure teacher’s account that they can login to, set up a profile picture (the student’s teacher is prompted to approve the photo taken by the student before it can be shared with other students) and resume. Students then manage virtual (not real) checking, savings and credit accounts. Students pay bills, purchase assets and learn the advantages of saving. Teachers can use PayGrade to help incentivize behaviors they want to see in the classroom like completing work and showing the school’s norms through deposit and withdrawals, called Action Items. Teachers can also teach essential financial literacy skills through the use of PayGrade and its functions. Students have access to see, but not alter in any way, other students profile pictures, resumes and personal account information. Students can see other students in their class, a news log of virtual deposits and withdrawals made each day, a leaderboard to see the virtual net worth and ranking of students, their virtual bills and virtual assets, the teacher approved profile pictures and student created resumes of that teacher’s class.
When students set up a PayGrade account, they input their first name and then create a unique username and password. We don’t ask students to enter any other personal information when setting up an account. If a student’s school or teacher wants to use any of the data created by a student such as their resume or transaction history, the school will be responsible for obtaining any necessary parental consent under COPPA.
School administration or other decision makers in the school may choose to purchase a school account in PayGrade. This allows the administration access to teacher and student accounts to add, edit or delete student accounts transactions (deposits and withdrawals).
How does PayGrade protect student’s personal information?
Protecting student privacy and overall security is number one at PayGrade.
What information does PayGrade collect from students, and how is it used?
PayGrade collects the minimal amount of information from students necessary to create accounts on our Service: we ask students to provide a unique username, a first name, a password, and the unique code (similar to Google Classrooms) they have been given by their teacher to connect with a classroom. We will not use or ask for parent or student emails and have no intention of spamming or marketing to anyone. We don’t ask students to enter any other personal information when setting up an account.
Photos and Videos
When students create an account, they are able to upload a picture of themselves. This photo is sent to be approved by the teacher prior to the class being able to see it.
If we discover that we have collected information from a student in a manner inconsistent with COPPA, we will take appropriate steps to either delete the information, or immediately seek the parent’s consent for that collection. We do not disclose any personal information about students to third parties, except to service providers when necessary to provide the Service, as required by law or to protect the security of the Service or other users. Information collected from students (including personal information and information collected automatically) is never used or disclosed for third party advertising or for any first- or third-party targeted advertising, and student’s personal information is never sold or rented to anyone, including marketers, advertisers, banks or other financial institutions.
If a teacher chooses to set up their students’ accounts, he or she can choose to provide full names for students (e.g., first name and last name) when setting up their class; they can also opt to only provide non-identifying information (e.g., just first name, only initials, or even just seat numbers).
What Student’s Information is Visible to Others?
Student’s profile, picture and resume is never made available or visible to the public through PayGrade. Teachers may share their classroom profiles with other teachers and administration in the building but without a media release and/or written permission from a legal guardian, students information is not available to use for any reason outside of the school. In addition, students can see each other’s profile pictures, resume, classroom jobs, networth, net currency, and transactions through the news log and class ranking - this is similar to how a teacher might display classroom jobs, behavior charts and progress toward a specific goal around the classroom. The only other time student information or teacher information is visible to others is when the teacher contacts PayGrade to assist in setting up, managing, navigating, editing or deleting their account. PayGrade staff will also periodically access teacher accounts to see if they are using the account and send follow up emails with how to better use the software but they will not change, alter or delete any information unless asked to do so by the teacher.
How Long Does PayGrade Keep Student Information?
We only keep a student’s personal information for as long as his or her student account is active for the school year, unless we are required by law to retain it, need it to ensure the security of our community or our Service, or to enforce our Terms. More specifically, BoulalyBank operates a 3-tier student data protection policy to protect all students’ information (3-Tier Student Data Protection Policy):
Teachers also have the abilitly to delete their students from their account by logging into their account and then typing in their password to confirm that they would like to delete all of their students. PayGrade strongly encourages teachers to delete all student data at the end of their time with that student to help protect student data.
If you are the parent or legal guardian of a student who has created a PayGrade account and you do not want your student to have a PayGrade account, talk to your teacher about alternatives or to have him/her delete your child’s account and/or email us at email@example.com.
What information does PayGrade collect?
PayGrade asks for some limited information directly from teachers and students (such as account information), and also collects some information automatically (such as crash reports when errors occur) in order to provide you with the best possible PayGrade experience.
Information you provide to us
There are currently three categories of users on our Service: schools, students and teachers. We describe the information collected from students above; for other users, we collect and store the following types of information from each type of user:
Information collected automatically
The technologies and information we automatically collect include:
How does PayGrade use the information it collects?
PayGrade does not sell or rent any of you, or your student’s personal information to any third party for any purpose - including for advertising or marketing purposes. Targeted advertising is not permitted on PayGrade. We only use information you provide us to:
Will PayGrade share any information it collects?
How does PayGrade protect and secure my information?
Your PayGrade account is protected by a password. You can help us protect against unauthorized access to your account by keeping your password secret and complex at all times.
The security of your personal information is important to us. We work hard to protect our community, and we maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards designed to protect against unauthorized use, disclosure of or access to personal information.
We make every effort to maintain the security of personal information, and we work hard to ensure the integrity and security of our systems, no practices are 100% immune, and we can’t guarantee the security of information. Outages, attacks, human error, system failure, unauthorized use or other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time. If we learn of a security breach, we will attempt to notify you electronically (subject to any applicable laws) so that you can take appropriate protective steps; for example, we may post a notice on our homepage (www.paygrade.io) or elsewhere on the Service. Depending on where you live, you may have a legal right to receive notice of a security breach in writing.
Can I opt-out of providing information?
You can always decline to share personal information with us, or even block all cookies. However, it’s important to remember that many of PayGrade’s features may not be accessible, or may not function properly.
How can I access and manage my personal information?
PayGrade aims to provide you with easy access to any personal information we have collected about you. If that information is incorrect, we give you easy ways to update it, or to delete it, unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business (e.g., we need at least an email address for your account) or legal purposes.
How can I delete my account?
You can delete your account at any time by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a school, teacher or student, you can delete your account anytime by logging into your account and delete your profile.
When you delete your account, we delete your profile information and any other content you provide in your profile (such as your name, username, password, email address, and profile photo).
How long does PayGrade keep information about me?
We store your personal information for as long as it is necessary to provide products and Services to you and others, including those described above. Personal information associated with your account will be kept until your account is deleted.
Please note that we may have to retain some information after your account is closed, to comply with legal obligations, to protect the safety and security of our community or our Service, or to prevent abuse of our Terms. You can, of course, delete your account at any time as stated above.
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How will PayGrade notify me of changes to this policy?