Letter Regarding Nationwide Pearson Breach

Letter Regarding Nationwide Pearson Breach
Posted on 08/09/2019

August 9, 2019

Dear Parents and Staff:

Earlier this week, you might have seen news reports about a data breach involving Pearson, an education assessment company, which is used by school districts and universities across the United States. Pearson is a third party company, which District 60 has used for more than a decade, to provide benchmark and progress monitoring assessments in reading and math to our students.  

In November 2018, a Pearson AIMSweb 1.0 Platform database was breached, and information from more than 13,000 school districts and universities were affected. Pearson notified its clients of this breach last month. At the time of the report, we initially believed that Waukegan Public Schools’ student and employee data was not compromised. However, we learned very recently that Waukegan Public Schools’ data going back several years, was indeed part of the large, nationwide breach. 

According to information provided to our District from Pearson, the student information that was obtained in the breach was Waukegan Public Schools students' first name, last name, and  student school identification number. At this time, we do not believe any further student information was obtained. 

In addition to student information, staff members’ first names, last names and affiliated District email addresses were also compromised. No other staff identifiers were exposed in the breach. 

We understand that this information can be unsettling, and I can assure you that as a District we are working closely with representatives from Pearson to ensure they are taking all necessary steps to safeguard our students' and staff members’ information in the future. Pearson does not have evidence that any information which was obtained has been misused.

In the meantime, Pearson is working with Experian Identity Works to help monitor identities or credit information for those affected who sign up for their year long monitoring service. You can find more information about that program here, including how to access this service.  

Our Information Technology Department is also available during business hours to assist at 224-303-1001. Please do not hesitate to reach out to share any concerns you may have.


Theresa Plascencia

Superintendent of Schools

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