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Nassau BOCES data privacy experts honored at NYS educational leadership summit

Three people standing together holding an award
Members of the Nassau BOCES RIC One DPSS (from left): Barbara Deal, Program Specialist for DPSS and NASTECH; Laura Pollak, Supervisor II for DPSS and NASTECH; and Dr. Meador Pratt, Supervisor for Student Support Services and Director of the RIC statewide service.

The Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) recognized Nassau BOCES as part of the RIC One Data Privacy and Security Services (DPSS) for their professional contributions to education throughout the past several years. AESA bestowed the Exemplary Service and Innovation for Technological Advancement Award upon the DPSS team during the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) Leadership Summit, held in Saratoga Springs this past fall.

The annual award recognizes individuals and agencies for their technological innovation, as well as for their support to local school districts and educational service agencies. DPSS is an integral part of the state’s Regional Information Centers (RICs), organized under BOCES across the state. RIC One, home of the DPSS team, comprises all twelve of the state’s RIC sites, and unites them under the central mission to build a culture of collaboration, innovation and risk-taking to benefit all school districts throughout the state.

“At the end of the day, it is of paramount importance that we protect our students and educators against threats that might compromise the safety and privacy of their information,” said Laura Pollak, Supervisor II for DPSS and the Nassau Association of School Technologists (NASTECH), as well as Chairperson of the annual RIC One DPSS Statewide conference. “We provide tools that help districts comply with federal and state data privacy laws, and offer timely information on critical vulnerabilities, and how to mitigate them to prevent cyberattacks.”

The RIC One DPSS team has had an extremely successful track record in addressing and resolving issues of data privacy and security in public schools throughout New York State. DPSS has been responsible for ensuring that all districts are compliant with Education Law standards; providing cost-effective resources; helping agencies comply with relevant data privacy laws and regulations; and providing tools to combat cyberattacks.

“To put it simply, my job would be impossible without the support and assistance of RIC One DPSS,” said Louise DeCandia, Chief Privacy Officer at the New York State Education Department.

“DPSS is a perfect example of the RICs working together to support districts across the state, maximizing our collective effort and reducing duplication of effort,” said Dr. Mike Doughty, Chairperson of the statewide RIC Directors’ Group, and Assistant Superintendent for the Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC) at Capital Region BOCES.