ScholarChip Enhances Student Safety at Bay Shore High School

ScholarChip, a GG4L Safer Schools Initiative EdTech partner, helps create a safe, secure school environment in an efficient and cost-effective way; it’s an automated, easily implemented solution.

Clayton Moore is the Security Surveillance Technician at Bay Shore High School in Long Island. He’s in charge of maintaining their security systems, technology, cameras, and ID card management for the 2,000 students in attendance.

“I’m the Key Master,” Moore joked. “No one can get past me!” In spite of his quip, Moore takes student safety very seriously and has been working with ScholarChip since 2008.

Tapping into Security

“All of our students hold a smart ID card badge from ScholarChip. They tap in at one of five kiosks at our school entrances, and because it’s an electronic process, I can tell who is in the building in real time, which is vital information from a security standpoint,” said Moore. Moore added, “We use the kiosks at the cafeteria entrances too, so only kids who belong there, for that period, can get in.”

Bay Shore uses stand-alone kiosks for building attendance so they can be moved and used for other things, too. Kids can tap in with their ScholarChip smart ID cards at events that take place after school like a sporting event, dance, concert, or any other school-sponsored program. These cards strengthening accountability, safety and control, and provide event administrators real-time attendee counts.

ScholarChip’s smart ID cards carry a chip that is encoded with a unique ID number assigned to one individual. It is the back-end computer that maintains detailed information on the student to whom the ID is issued, so administering the program is simple and straightforward, and cards can be activated and deactivated on demand.

“The ScholarChip system is very good,” added Moore. “It gives us a lot of control over knowing where students are, when they come in, and when they leave. That’s important in today’s school climate.”

Locking It Down

In the old days, schools used to practice fire drills. Now they practice lock-down drills, too. And sometimes it isn’t a drill. “We’ve had a few lock-downs where things happened in our community, close to the school. Recently the Suffolk County Police Department had a wanted suspect about a mile away from us, which triggered a lock down. Thankfully, nothing came of it, but we knew who was in school that day, and who wasn’t.

An accurate attendance report is available on a tablet or computer that shows which students used their card to get into the building, which can help first responders react fast.

Expanding the System

Bay Shore High School recently implemented ScholarChip’s SALA (Student Ad-hoc Location App) in the library. With SALA, students tap their ID cards outside of the classrooms in locations like the nurse’s or a guidance counselor’s on­ce. Moore said, “Previously, we built a program that the librarian used to register kids into the room. It wasn’t as good as SALA. Now you can view a photo, match it to the student, see who belongs there, and you know that’s where they’re supposed to be.”

Staying Safe

In this day and age, schools are faced with the threat of active shooters, drug dealers lurking on the grounds, sex o‑enders trolling events, and parental abductors waiting for an opportunity to strike. Real threats are reported all the time. But dedicated security professionals like Clayton Moore are on the job, using advanced tools like ScholarChip, to make sure that his students are safe, every day.

School Passport Offered Free To GG4L Members Worldwide

GG4L Announces Availability of School Passport, an Enterprise-Grade Single Sign-On and Identity Management Platform, Sponsored Free to all Members

Today the Global Grid for Learning (GG4L), a Public Benefit Corporation, announced that it plans to release School Passport as a free add-on to GG4L Connect. GG4L Connect is an open standards based school data governance, integration and interoperability platform that is specifically designed for educational institutions. GG4L leverages corporate sponsorships and philanthropic funding programs to offer a free membership based program and associated benefits, including unlimited access to GG4L Connect, to any school globally.

School Passport helps school districts securely and cost-effectively distribute third-party EdTech applications and content to students and staff using an enterprise-grade, standards-based Single Sign-On (SSO), Identity Management (IDM) and Identity Federation services. Schools choose from hundreds of applications listed in the GG4L Catalyst Catalog. School Passport seamlessly works with any school’s or district’s LMS, SIS, third-party applications and devices. 

The cost of School Passport is subsidized through Corporate Sponsorships. Working together, sponsors, districts, application vendors and GG4L bring the power and security of world-class, standards-based SSO and IDM to school students and staff worldwide. 

All EdTech Vendors are welcome to publish their applications and content in the GG4L Catalyst Catalog at no cost. GG4L membership is encouraged but not required to be listed in the catalog.  School Passport integrates with both Microsoft Office 365 and Google G-Suite in addition to hundreds of third-party applications and connectors.

Corporate sponsorships are available through GG4L, with an average sponsorship cost of $1,000 per school site per year for support of an unlimited number of applications within School Passport. GG4L welcomes schools and districts to bring their own sponsors. While it continues to recruit corporate sponsors, GG4L will sustain the free cost of the service to its current 7,500 on-boarded school members, and all new on-boarded members before December 31, 2019.

“We are very eager to deliver on our mission as a B-Corp through various innovative technological offerings combined with sustainable business models and impact initiatives that are purpose-built for schools,” said Robert Iskander, Founder and CEO of GG4L. “Our goal is to lower the schools’ IT management overhead, subsidize recurring software licensing costs, and eliminate the data interoperability taxes incurred by schools and their EdTech vendors through new and disruptive business models!”

School Passport will be released by August 1, 2019. Schools and school districts are encouraged to apply for a free GG4L Membership through the GG4L website (

GG4L Announces $9M in Phase I Grants

GG4L Announces $9M in Phase 1 Grants

54 School Districts Awarded $9M in Phase I of GG4L’s Safer Schools in America Impact Grant Program

Safer Schools In America Grant Distributions Phase IFebruary 14, 2019 | Bay Area, California  Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) is pleased to announce an estimated $9 million in EdTech grants have been awarded to 85 schools from 54 US school districts across 15 states in Phase I of the Safer Schools in America Impact Grant Program.

Additional grants will be awarded to 400+ US schools across more than 200 school districts in Phase II, which is open for applications until April 30th. Safer Schools in America is jointly operated by GG4L and McREL, a Tier 1 educational research institute, and will run through 2022.  

The Safer Schools in America Impact Grant Program will support the implementation and usage of select EdTech products from leading education providers who are focused on school safety solutions for K-12. These solutions will be implemented and studied for a period of 3 years at no cost to the school grant recipients. The grants will also address an industry wide need to capture data-driven validation research around a significant range of activities believed to foster safer teaching and learning environments. These include emotional, physical and digital safety as well as emergency preparedness, school facilities, culture, and community engagement.

“Montgomery Public Schools has become involved with the Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) on multiple initiatives that are aimed toward school improvement,” commented Dr. Ann R. Moore, Superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools, Alabama. “We are so grateful that GG4L has brought together solution providers and the funding to accomplish these important goals. School safety is our number one priority. Every parent must know his or her child is safe. Our children flourish in learning environments that are not only welcoming but secure. The teaming of GG4L and our staff should be a comfort to our employees and our parents. To my knowledge, this partnership is a first of its kind to fill this critical need in America’s public education system.”

“We want to thank all of the school districts who submitted their applications,” said Dr. Sandra Elliott, GG4L Chief Academic Officer. “We were truly impressed with the quality and quantity of these applications that validate the need for a comprehensive data-driven framework for school safety, along with an integrated suite of validated, innovative EdTech solutions. So far, we have over 25 EdTech vendors partnering with us in this program, with more expected to join us over the next 90 days. We are proud to have Amazon AWS, LightSpeed Systems, and Instructure as our initial Sponsors. We are looking forward to welcoming Fortune 500 companies participate as Corporate Sponsors.”  

For a full list of participating EdTech Members, Corporate Sponsors and the Phase II Grant Application, please refer to:

About Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) – A Public Benefit Corporation seeking to democratize access to and sustained implementations of digital learning solutions for K12 schools. GG4L’s  platform as a service solution, which helps manage critical data co-dependencies between schools and digital learning providers, is offered at no-cost-to-schools as a platform that is combined with a set of impact initiatives. GG4L is supported by a unique membership-based corporate, philanthropic and community-based funding model. For more information please visit us at or contact us at

About McREL International – A nonprofit research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world. McREL provides schools, districts, and other education organizations with high-quality research and evaluation, professional development and coaching, strategic planning, and assistance with improvement and innovation projects.

GG4L Media contact:
Mark Middendorp, VP Marketing

T|H|E Journal Highlights Safer Schools in America Grant

The education technology publication T|H|E Journal reported on the Safer Schools in America Impact Grant to disburse $25 million worth of safety solutions to as many as 500 schools, and then study the effectiveness of the technologies deployed. The participating vendors focus on a wide variety of safety-related issues, from emotional well-being to managing sports injuries to keeping in touch with parents. “Parents, students, teachers and administrators expect schools to be safe, secure, and supportive for teaching and learning, but little research has been done to date to measure the effectiveness of the solutions that we purchase to address safety and well-being,” said Sandra Elliott, chief academic officer at Global Grid, in a statement.

Read the full article.

Protecting Student Data Privacy – Everyone Plays a Role

Current legislation does not take into consideration the high-tech revolution that has occurred in EdTech. As beneficial as innovations like internet access, affordable devices, and e-learning tools can be for students, protecting the private information that schools possess can be challenging. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does protect families and their children to some extent; however, student data is often required to effectively provision cloud-hosted EdTech solutions.

Parents as Advocates

While there are certain bits of student data, such as directory information, that do not require a consent form to be shared by third-party vendors, parents do have the right to know what information is being used and why. A child’s education record can hold everything from their date of birth and home address to physical descriptors and school activities. When schools are managing multiple EdTech vendors, parents must have the ability to play a key advocacy role in ensuring privacy and data protection.

Schools as Trustees

It’s not uncommon for schools to contract with 25 or more different EdTech vendors, many requiring access to student information. Schools must develop and enforce strict data protection policies with their EdTech vendors as well as require an option for parents to opt-out of providing identifying information. Many programs, despite being school-related, do not fall under FERPA and are not automatically guaranteed the same data protections, so schools are forced to provide the additional necessary data security.

EdTech Community Working Together

Protecting student data is everyone’s responsibility, from the schools who store the data to the EdTech vendors who access it, to the corporations who demand highly-qualified candidates and drive the need for EdTech, to the communities that benefit from a well-educated population. Proper oversight is pivotal in the protection of sensitive student data, which has become more important as technology advances. Mobile portals and other third-party EdTech services are convenient, but they can pose a considerable privacy risk. We can all do more to help protect data.

Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) is committed to promoting data security in schools, and protecting the data of every user is a top priority. GG4L’s Connect platform makes integrating and deploying education technology safe, easy, and inexpensive. It’s free for schools to use, less expensive for EdTech vendors, and safer for students. As a Public Benefit Corporation, GG4L welcomes collaboration and support from corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropic foundations. Help us keep K-12 data interoperability costs low for schools, while maintaining the security and privacy of student data.  Contact us today to learn more about becoming a GG4L Corporate Sponsor.

Most School Districts Lack Necessary Interoperability

In a recent article in Education Week, interoperability in schools was found to be severely lacking, even in those districts on the leading edge of EdTech. Interoperability, the “seamless exchange of information between different systems and devices [t]hat can include class rosters, student performance information, digital content, and more” is necessary in order to efficiently use data while also ensuring security, but there is a long way to go. Top EdTech leaders site a lack of agreed-upon technical standards as part of the problem.

Read the full article.

The members and sponsors of the Global Grid for Learning are democratizing access to K-12 data and applications. We’re making EdTech easier to deploy, more effective for teachers and students, and more affordable for districts and vendors. Connect to the Grid. Take part in an Impact Initiative. Be a sponsor. Let’s make EdTech better together! Learn more.

Eliminating Data Security Risks in EdTech

Data security in the school enterprise world is an enormous challenge. Typically, the basic data needed by any EdTech solution vendor will consist of what is referred to as the roster data, which consists of the names and course affiliations of students and teachers within every school building.  Without these names and corresponding data, the application vendors could not create accounts for the end users of their systems. This process usually requires a bulk upload of the data using an extracted report from a Student Information System (SIS) that the school or the district office uses. The roster data changes frequently, so it is important for these files to be updated and uploaded daily through an automated data extraction and upload process, which is labor intensive to set up and maintain.

Managing Multiple EdTech Vendors Is Costly and Time-Consuming

If we assume that a typical school uses a minimum of 25 enterprise applications from 25 different vendors, then the data upload process needs to be set up in 25 discrete instances. That is a lot of work for any school with limited resources, and all schools have limited resources.  Complicating the process further, many vendors require other forms of data that go beyond the roster data, which means that there may be more than one source of data that is needed by a vendor and needs to be extracted (e.g. food, transportation, and gradebooks, to name a few).  Imagine the challenge! Some vendors bypass this process and take shortcuts that involve using the teachers in the classroom as a source of data, yet we all know that this is not a good utilization of teachers’ time and skills, and in many cases, schools create policies forbidding teachers from providing student or parent personal data to vendors, to minimize risks of data and privacy breach.

Protecting End Users Must Be a Priority

Most innovative consumer-oriented solutions today are accessed and used by end users through mobile applications that run on one of many forms of web-connected devices. This means that each user, regardless of age or the role they serve in the school, will most likely have to set up a personal account, agree to the vendor’s data privacy terms, and provide their profile data to the third-party vendor, to be able to use the product effectively. Some vendors, not all, do a great job taking data security and consumer privacy seriously, protecting the personal data of their end users and being transparent about what they do with the data. But you’re still asking students to interact with third-party platforms and provide personal information that may or may not be adequately protected.

GG4L Connect is designed to address the issue of data security so that schools can take advantage of multiple EdTech solutions without worrying about data security. GG4L Connect is consent-based, requiring the school data administrator to be 100% in control of inviting or approving a vendor to access a data subset or all the school’s stored SIS data. GG4L Connect is a global infrastructure with the ability to on-board any school’s data from any location in the world. We offer our EdTech vendors the option to invite an unlimited number of their school customers to join GG4L for free.

The members and sponsors of the Global Grid for Learning are democratizing access to K-12 data and applications. We’re making EdTech easier to deploy, more effective for teachers and students, and more affordable for districts and vendors. Connect to the Grid. Take part in an Impact Initiative. Be a sponsor. Let’s make EdTech better together! Learn more.