Austin Public Schools address Seesaw learning platform incident

Austin Public Schools wrote staff, families and caregivers Thursday to inform them about a nationwide incident related to Seesaw, a learning platform used in the district’s PreK-4 schools, the actions taken, and how seriously Austin Public Schools and the entire Seesaw team took the incident.

Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent of the Austin Public Schools stated in the letter that the district learned that a link to an inappropriate message was being shared via the Messages feature within Seesaw. The Seesaw platform itself was not compromised, however, Dr. Page stated that specific individual user accounts were used to send the inappropriate message.

Dr. Page stated that the incident was led by an outside actor, meaning that the inappropriate message was not created by the sender of the message or by the school. It occurred as a result of a coordinated external attempt to guess user account passwords associated with this group of user accounts.

Dr. Page indicated that the Seesaw team took several immediate actions to contain and address the issue, including turning off messages for all users while the issue was investigated.  He went on to write that the messages feature will be enabled again only after taking the necessary actions to ensure the security of accounts. To learn more about the details of what action was taken, Dr. Page stated that you can visit status.seesaw.me

At this time, Dr. Page stated that they have no evidence that any Austin Public Schools Seesaw accounts were compromised. Austin Public Schools staff have enhanced monitoring their Seesaw activities throughout the day on Thursday, September 15th and will continue to monitor for any inappropriate content.

Dr. Page went on to say that if your account was compromised, your password was reset and you have already received an email notifying you of this.  He went on to say that it is essential that you always use best practices to ensure your password is secure, and he added that Seesaw takes protecting your security and privacy seriously and there are a number of measures in place to protect the integrity of your information.

The district recommens that users refresh their web browser and if using Seesaw on a mobile device, you can update your device to the latest app version (version 8.1.2, released today) and re-launch Seesaw or close and re-open the Seesaw app.

Dr. Page stated that the safety and privacy of the district’s teachers, students, and families is their number one priority, and he went on to say that the district is taking this incident extremely seriously. If you have any questions or concerns for the Seesaw team, you can contact Seesaw at help.seesaw.me.

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