Data breach exposes info of 36K Poway students

Poway Unified School District
Posted at 4:58 AM, May 17, 2016

The Poway Unified School District is responding to a report that the personal information of thousands of students was inadvertently exposed.

According to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, a parent who is a member of the district's Technology Advisory Committee, requested records in April but was mistakenly given a disc that contained the personal information of more than 36,000 students.

The data included names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, test scores and parents' names and occupations, the newspaper reported.

District officials said the information did not include Social Security numbers. They acknowledged that all information has been secured and they are investigating the matter.

The parent who was given the disc turned it over to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, and the newspaper reported that the incident is being reviewed by the DA's office.

The district sent out the following email to parents:

Dear Parent/Guardian:

We are writing to inform you that during the fulfillment of a Public Records Act request, many students' education records were inadvertently released to a community member who made the request.

The information released did not include social security numbers; however, it included directory information and district-based test scores, some of which are protected information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The Poway Unified School District takes the protection of students' information very seriously. Please know, as we investigate the inadvertent release of this information and work diligently toward ensuring it will not happen again, the PUSD administration has confirmed with the San Diego County District Attorney's office the released information has been secured.

Should you have questions, or need further information, please email

Poway Unified School District received 84 CPRA requests from July 1, 2015 to present. 
Starting in late January/early February of 2016, due to the sheer number and volume of the PRA requests, and the lack of District staff available to do the work of processing, collecting, and responding to the PRA’s, the Superintendent made the decision that the PRAs would go to their attorneys.