Personal information compromised

Outside testing source experienced breach of information involving elementary district students, teachers

ROCHELLE — Parents in Rochelle Elementary District 231 are being notified of a data breach in conjunction with a testing platform previously used within the district.

On Aug. 5 the elementary district received a confirmed communication from Pearson Clinical Assessment that one of its testing platforms, AIMSweb, had experienced a data breach back in November of 2018. The company became aware of the breach in mid-March of 2019. Rochelle is one of many districts in Illinois and across the nation involved in this data breach.

Pearson has confirmed that personal information of past and present students and teachers has been compromised.

  • Student first names, last names, and date of birth has been accessed by unknown parties.
  • For teachers, first names, last names, and email addresses has been accessed by unknown parties.
  • For both students and teachers, the data breach did not contain Social Security numbers, credit card data, or other personal financial information in the Pearson system.

Rochelle Elementary School District 231 stopped using Pearson’s assessment program (AIMSweb) as a progress monitoring test in 2016. The district has not used AIMSweb for the past few school years.

“The district moved to Renaissance Learning's STAR testing platform in 2016 because STAR uses a dynamic testing model. This means the assessment changes based on the performance of the student during the assessment. Because of this testing model, we feel STAR results give parents and teachers more accurate and timely data to measure student growth,” superintendent Jason Harper explained.

Pearson says there is no evidence that student or adult information has been misused as a result of the data breach and that they are working with law enforcement on the matter.

“If a parent/guardian has questions about personal information, contact Pearson at 866-883-3309 or e-mail [email protected]. Please note that Pearson is offering free credit monitoring services from Experian,” Harper said. “I understand that this data breach is concerning for parents. I recommend that parents/guardians make contact with Pearson and take advantage of the credit reporting services being provided.”

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