Privacy & Interoperability Symposium - AGENDA

Wednesday, May 17

To download a printable copy of the agenda, please CLICK HERE

Please note: The agenda is still in draft and all timings/sessions are subject to change.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Evening ‘Social’ Networking Reception

Coming and join us for our evening networking session!

Meet A4L Staff, Board Members, and your peers in an informal setting. Put faces (and legs) to Community members you have seen on the virtual Project Team calls and settle in before the Symposium sessions begin.

7:00pm >

Dinner on your own

Form your own dinner groups with your peers, keep the conversations going and explore Chicago at night!

Thursday, May 18, 2023




Welcome / Introductions

State of the Community and Strategic Direction update plus induction for the Symposium

Presented by: Alex Jackl, Bardic Systems; Ben Silberglitt, Cedar Labs; and Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools


KEYNOTE:  Privacy or Interoperability?

Which takes priority when balancing the needs of educators and students.

Educators need effective tools with easy access, a great deal of data and they need it quickly. Students appreciate the new online tools but at what cost; should they have to give up some privacy to receive an effective education?

Come hear a lively moderated conversation between Ross Santy and Ross Lemke as they dive into privacy vs interoperability issues.

Presented by: Ross Santy, NCES & Ross Lemke, AEM Corp.  Moderated by Steve Smith.


Data Standards United

Data Standards United and how we are working with other standards…. plus privacy and the implications of this partnership for schools.

Presented by: Alex Jackl, Bardic Systems; and Ben Silberglitt, Cedar Labs


Refreshment Break


District Level Privacy by Design

An example of a district leveraging SIF, an integrator, multiple standards, in house development and the SDPC Resource Registry to create a robust & secure data exchange ecosystem. In addition to state reporting, edtech app vetting and live monitoring cloud collaboration site.  The session will include real time ecosystem monitoring of data sharing as well as an automated out of school time/community partner portal for data sharing.

Presented by: Eric Levy & Lisa Waters, Cambridge Public Schools, MA


Using the Project Unicorn Interoperability Rubric to Your Advantage

The recently revised Project Unicorn Interoperability Rubric, developed collaboratively by a diverse group of vendors and education stakeholder organizations, is a powerful tool to help LEA’s, SEA’s, and vendors assess edtech tools on key aspects of interoperability. Whether you are a customer evaluating edtech products before purchase or a vendor planning out your interoperability strategy, the Project Unicorn Rubric is a uniquely valuable resource. The Rubric also serves as the basis for the Project Unicorn Interoperability Certification, which signals to customers that edtech service providers prioritize interoperability in their products. Join this session to learn the importance of the Project Unicorn Rubric and how you can implement it in your school system or your company’s edtech products today!

Presented by: Chloe Sanducci, InnovateEDU

Special Announcement




Supporting Student Data Privacy: A Ten Step Approach to Success

(30 mins) Learn21 Ohio SDPC Alliance is working collaboratively with Ohio educational leaders in the quest to develop strong student data privacy governance in their districts. In this session, we will share our journey with student data privacy work including how Ohio got started; what processes we have developed that have led to our success; lessons we have learned; partnerships we have developed; how we have messaged our work, wins and losses; and our plans for the future. Attendees will leave with 10 concrete steps that can be replicated in their state.

Presented by: William Fritz, Learn21

Developing a Multi-State Data Privacy Program

(30 mins) Learn about The Education Cooperative’s journey from a single district struggling to secure signed data privacy agreements with digital providers to a five-state program improving operating efficiencies and reducing costs for all.

Presented by: Ramah Hawley & Cindy Tougas, The Education Cooperative (TEC)

Solving SEA and LEA interoperability needs with one cloud-native platform.

How the modern SIF standard is uniquely positioned to take advantage of cloud-native tools to maximise efficiency, scalability, and solve multiple problems with one solution.

Presented by: Ben Silberglitt & Mike Reynolds, Cedar Labs


Refreshment Break


National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA) V2 Update

After several months of review by the Alliance Leadership & Vendor Projects Teams, the NDPA v2 is completing its final editing and review with the SDPC Legal Project Team (NDPA v2 Sub-Committee). As we near the NDPA V2 coming into Community Review very soon, come and hear about the changes/updates and reasoning behind them.

Presented by: Libbi Nelson, CITE; Steve Setzer, Loop Data; and Jim Siegl, Future of Privacy Forum

A Modern Approach to Data Certification

In this session, we will be sharing Wyoming’s real-world approach and experiences to show you how you can leverage data interoperability standards and modernization tools to offer a seamless and automated user experience for all stakeholders. In Wyoming’s case, data is collected from the districts using SIF. You will learn how Wyoming uses the SIF-based data collection process to automate data certification.  The session goals are to inform state data collection teams about how you can use the same approach Wyoming has implemented to automate and modernize your data certification process while delivering a seamless and effective user experience for all stakeholders – both district and state.

Presented by: John Paul, Wyoming Department of Education; and Aziz Elia, CPSI Ltd


Session Break


Vendor Considerations for IT security

Cybersecurity is not an us problem or a them problem… it is a “we problem.” By providing a software service to a school in most cases you are serving as their agent which means you have a responsibility to ensure that information is safeguarded. In this session we will discuss some of the threats that face the edtech ecosystem and some tangible steps you can take as an organization to help ensure you are a good steward of the student data you are entrusted with.

Presented by: Ross Lemke, AEM Corporation/PTAC

Iowa Transcript Exchange

Iowa transcript exchange from SIF State system to Higher Ed system via PESC transcript over SIF infrastructure.

Presented by: Jay Pennington, Iowa Department of Education


SDPC Alliance Management: Best Practices

A panel discussion consisting of Alliance leaders from around the country. Best practices for Alliance leadership and Registry use will be shared. Come ask all your questions of the most productive Alliance leaders from across the country.

Panel: Libbi Nelson, CITE; Ramah Hawley, The Education Cooperative (TEC); Connie Coy, MOREnet; and Josh Olstad, NH CTO Council

Data Standards United and how the A4L Community is working with other standards

A technical “deep dive” into how the SIF Infrastructure can move other data standards.

Presented by: Alex Jackl, Bardic Systems

6:00pm >

Dinner on your own

Form your own dinner groups with your peers, keep the conversations going and explore Chicago at night!

Friday, May 19, 2023



A recap of what has happened so far and what to expect on our closing day together!


Global Education Security Standards (GESS) & Privacy Obligation Documents (PODs)

Where the rubber meets the road; true privacy over the wire and security/privacy enforcement.

Presented by: Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools


Privacy Obligation Documents (PODs): A Deeper Dive

Confused about what a POD is and how it may streamline secure data transfer? Come learn everything you ever wanted to know about PODs; what they are, how are they created, how they might be exchanged or validated in the real world.

Presented by: Mike Reynolds, Cedar Labs; and Lisa Waters, Cambridge Public Schools

Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) & the SIF Specification

CEDS is developing a P20W ontology that can be expressed in multiple languages (JSON, JSON-LD, XML, RDF, etc.). As this work takes shape, there will be a natural evolution of stakeholders asking for infrastructure to move CEDS over the wire. The SIF infrastructure, which is decoupled from the SIF data model, provides a resource that is ready to move that data. This session focuses on the effort it would take to make this a reality and will provide opportunity to discuss this possibility and potential benefits for A4L, CEDS, and stakeholders from each organization.

Presented by: Duane Brown, Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) and John Lovell, A4L Community


Refreshment Break


SDPC Resource Registry what does it look like moving forward?

The Resource Registry Roadmap project team has defined a path forward for the registry. This session will outline the roadmap plan and dive into the core services of the registry and provide an opportunity to help guide the future of the registry

Presented by: Steve Smith & Lisa Waters, Cambridge Public Schools

Next Steps for A4L Specifications

Session description coming soon…!

Presented by: Alex Jackl, Bardic Systems


The global future of privacy & interoperability

…more than just a ‘wrap-up’ session!  Come and find out what have we learned & the future of the A4L Community.

Presented by: Alex Jackl, Bardic Systems; Ben Silberglitt, Cedar Labs; and Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools


Grab & Go Lunch