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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

South Glens Falls Central School District – Student Access to Information Technology (2011M-278)


Released: May 25, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the controls over student access to the District’s information technology for the period July 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011.

Background

The South Glens Falls Central School District is located Saratoga County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises nine elected members. The District’s budgeted expenditures for the 2011-12 fiscal year are $52.4 million.

Key Findings

  • Some District computers allowed students to access personal accounts through the Internet, including an external instant messaging program for chats with outside contacts. This not only allows students to use District resources and class time for non-educational purposes, but also exposes them to potentially inappropriate or exploitative communications from outside users.
  • Although the District maintains audit logs of students’ Internet activity and network sessions, these logs are reviewed only on an exception basis when there is a known, suspected, or reported incident.

Key Recommendations

  • Address the weaknesses allowing students to access instant messaging programs that are intended for internal use.
  • Improve the monitoring of students’ Internet access and user account sessions by implementing compensating controls, such as periodic spot checks of audit log entries.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236