Parent Guide to Google Meet Recordings, Student Privacy and Security

Frederick County Public Schools staff will provide live virtual instruction as an important part of the Remote Virtual Program. In the event that students are unable to attend live virtual instruction via Google Meet, these sessions or parts of these sessions will be video and audio recorded. The recorded session will be available for students who would like to review that content and instruction. We are balancing student privacy and the need for flexibility. 

Overview of Google Meet Video Recordings

Classes will be recorded using Google Meet video-conferencing. Students who do not have permission to be recorded will turn off their cameras and microphones when the session is being recorded. Teachers will limit the display of students in the recording when possible. If your child has permission to be recorded, questions asked and comments spoken by your child may be part of the recording. 

Please see the list of frequently asked questions below. As we continue to learn, refine and improve our virtual learning environment, the guidance in this document may change. Please be advised that while FCPS has and will continue to undertake reasonable measures to protect your child’s privacy, 

FCPS cannot control the unauthorized actions of others. However, you have our commitment to take swift appropriate action should this guidance not be followed. Please notify your child’s teacher or administrator should you learn of a breach of these rules.

Process and Approach 

The primary goal is to capture direct teacher instruction (as opposed to students) as a support to families. In this way, we have implemented the following approach to recording: 

We have identified preferred methods for teachers to use in recording in order to reduce what and who is recorded. The goal is to focus on the teacher and the direct instruction and lesson modeling. Each teacher will select the approach that works best for their students and families among the options below. 

  • First Preferred Method: Teachers will create or deploy videos of instruction that were pre-recorded when no students were present.
  • Second Preferred Method: Record only the teacher’s live classroom presentation or lesson, and once completed cease recording before there is any interaction with students.
  • Third Preferred Method: Record the lesson and students during live instruction. Teachers will take measures to reduce the frequency with which students appear on video and audio.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will we know when a lesson is being recorded? 

  • Live virtual lessons will begin with all student microphones and video cameras muted or turned off.
  • Classroom expectations for student conduct will be summarized either through an opening slide or statement at the beginning of each lesson. 
  • Teachers will inform students when they will begin recording and when the recording ends. 

Where will the recording be stored and who can access it? 

  • Teachers will store recordings in Google Drive and will post links to the recordings to their Schoology classroom. Access to the video will be limited to students in the class with FCPS email accounts. Only students within that class will have access to that classroom. 
  • Students and families will not be able to download or share the video. We have blocked the ability for students and families to download the videos to their computers, clouds, etc. 

What additional safeguards have been put in place to protect student privacy? 

  • Just as FCPS staff is required not to disclose a student’s personally identifiable information (PII) in the regular classroom, this requirement continues in live sessions online.
  • Lessons will be recorded solely for educational purposes. Due to student privacy concerns (such as a student’s presentation on a controversial topic or a student’s self-disclosure of a health-related issue), not all Google Meet sessions will be recorded nor may all recorded sessions be shared.. 
  • Parents/guardians may indicate the student does not want to be recorded during virtual classroom sessions via the Google Meet Recording Parent Permission Form. 
  • All teachers and staff are required to take the mandatory precautions identified below. 
    • At the beginning of each recorded live session, teachers are required to inform students that their class is being recorded and if they have opted-out or do not have permission, the teacher will direct students to turn off their cameras and microphones. 
    • The recording must be for educational purposes only. Potentially sensitive content should not be recorded, such as the morning meetings, advisory periods and social emotional learning instruction. Quizzes and formative assessments should not be recorded, either. If such content is mistakenly recorded, it must be deleted/edited before the recording is shared in Schoology. 
    •  If a student discipline event occurs during a recorded class, the recording may be downloaded by the teacher and shared with the school principal/designee. The same will apply if staff become aware that the recording contains information regarding staff misconduct or an incident that is the subject of concerns raised by students, staff or parents. 

How long are the recordings being stored? 

  • Recordings will be deleted when a teacher deems them no longer necessary for educational purposes. 
  • As a best practice, we recommend teachers delete videos periodically when they are no longer needed for instruction. 

How will FCPS handle students who opt out or don’t want to be recorded? 

  • Students who opt out are responsible for keeping their camera off and audio on mute. 
  • A student who opts out of being recorded shall not suffer negative consequences for that decision, provided they participate in other ways. 
  • FCPS staff is cognizant that some students may not feel comfortable having their cameras on and recording. Using the video function is not mandatory for students. Parents/guardians can opt out of using the video function at any time or during specific times. 

What if a student engages in inappropriate behavior? 

  • All allegations of inappropriate behavior will be investigated in accordance with Board of Education Policy and FCPS Regulations. 
  • Behaviors that are academically dishonest, constitute bullying/harassment, or an inappropriate use of technology will be addressed and may result in disciplinary consequences. 

What if a teacher is not adhering to FCPS Guidelines for Recording Google Meets? 

  • FCPS is requiring all teachers and school staff to adhere to these guidelines and training will be provided. Teachers will also receive training for how to safely record, store, share and delete Google Meet sessions. 
  • In the event that a parent feels a staff member did not adhere to the guidelines they should contact the school administration. 
  • FCPS staff are subject to disciplinary action if they do not follow the procedures outlined herein which includes, but is not limited to, not properly saving, storing, sharing or deleting recordings as outlined in these guidelines.