At Peergrade, we believe it’s important for parents (which we’ll use in this article to include guardians) to understand how their children use Peergrade in the classroom. This FAQ will help primary and secondary (K–12) schools that use Peergrade ensure that they can communicate effectively with parents and guardians about their students’ use of Peergrade, and help obtain parents’ consent where appropriate.

Because school administrators can determine which services are available and the policies for each service, each school’s use of Peergrade is different. Most schools have policies that govern the use of third-party services like Peergrade, and compliance with annual notice requirements under the Family Educational Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We believe that schools are in the best position to tailor the information they share with parents based on their school’s actual use of Peergrade. Peergrade aims to give schools the information they need about our services and our privacy and security practices so they can keep parents well informed. Teachers must work with their administrator to determine if they already have proper permission to allow their students to use Peergrade in the classroom.

What permissions are needed in order for teachers to allow students to use Peergrade student accounts?

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) protects the online privacy of children under the age of 13 and requires Peergrade to obtain parental consent or notice (as appropriate) prior (with limited exceptions) to the collection, use, and disclosure of that child's personal information. Due to the requirements of COPPA and similar to other cloud-based educational tools, Peergrade requires that schools obtain parental consent if they set up student accounts on behalf of their students and allow students under the age of 13 to access students accounts in the classroom.

Teachers may obtain parental consent in what is commonly referred to as "school consent" under COPPA, where teachers have certified that they have directly received parent consent for their child to use Peergrade for education purposes at the school. For more information on "school consent" under COPPA, please see the FTC's FAQ Section M.

NOTE: Schools in different countries and communities have different regulations and approaches, and Peergrade cannot advise you on compliance with the laws applicable to your school. You should obtain any parental consent that may be required by your school (including for COPPA and FERPA) in a manner that complies with the laws of your jurisdiction.

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