On July 19, 2019, West Chicago Elementary School District 33, like many other school districts across the country, was made aware of a third-party data breach that occurred within the Pearson AIMSweb 1.0 platform. The Pearson AIMSweb 1.0 platform is a product of Pearson Assessments that was utilized for assessment purposes in elementary and middle schools through and including the 2018-19 school year. The District no longer utilizes the AIMSweb 1.0 product.
However, as a former AIMSweb 1.0 platform customer, we were notified by Pearson that this product was affected by a data security incident. In mid-March of 2019, Pearson became aware that an unauthorized third party gained access to a set of data related to the AIMSweb 1.0 platform. Pearson immediately launched a review, which included outside cybersecurity experts, to determine the nature and extent of any data potentially affected. At this time, a specific date range for this breach is not known. Pearson is also working with law enforcement.
According to Pearson, the student data affected is limited to first and last name, and in some instances, date of birth and email address. No educational records were included in the data security incident. No grade or assessment information was affected in this incident. The account administrator data affected may include first and last name, job title, work email and work address. The AIMSweb 1.0 platform does not contain Social Security numbers, credit card data, or other financial information. All of the information affected by the breach is subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and the student information is classified as “directory information” under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Illinois School Student Records Act.
As a result of the incident, Pearson is undergoing a review to determine additional steps they need to take to further enhance the safety and security of personal information to help prevent recurrences. In addition, Pearson is offering complimentary credit monitoring services from Experian for affected individuals. While Pearson does not have any evidence that this information has been misused, Pearson is providing this option for those who wish to enroll as a precautionary measure. If you are interested in learning more about this option, please call 866-883-3309 or email [email protected].
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 is not currently using, and has no plans to use AIMSweb 1.0 or any of their newer versions in the future which, we are informed by Pearson, is unaffected by this incident.
Any new or additional information regarding this data security breach will be posted on the District’s home page and communicated to you as quickly as possible.