Fairfield, Lakota, other districts’ student records hacked

Thousands of former Fairfield and Lakota school students’ academic information may now be in the hands of hackers after district officials reported a security breach in their computer records handled by an outside contractor.

And other Ohio districts may be impacted.

According to an announcement posted Monday by the 10,000-student Fairfield Schools on its website, the hack of student records goes back as far as 2011 for some former students.

No social security numbers of former students were compromised in the ransomware attack, said Fairfield officials.

Lakota school officials made a similar announcement Monday for its 17,000-student school system.

“The Ohio Department of Education requires the Fairfield City School District to upload certain student information regarding state testing through a third-party organization,” according to the district’s statement. “The district utilized a company named Battelle for Kids to fulfill this requirement.”

“Battelle for Kids informed us that on December 1, 2021, it was a victim of a ransomware attack which involved access to information about former and currently enrolled students within the Fairfield City Schools and other districts across the state.”

Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for Fairfield Schools, said “we were just notified by Battelle.”

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“The information includes student names, state student IDs, grade level, school year, assessment results, birth dates, and schedule-related information such as the student’s class and teacher name. Social security numbers were not shared with Battelle. The breach did not occur under the control of the Fairfield City School District,” said school officials.

Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller said “while Battelle has informed us that the information that was accessed as a result of this attack is not considered identifiable and does not require legal notification, as your school district, we felt that it was important to share this with you.”

The Lakota breach involved some students records in some grades from 2011 to 2017.

The Fairfield records include some student records in some grades from 2011 to 2018.

For more details on what school years and grades may have been impacted, school families and former students should go to Lakota’s website or Fairfield’s website. Other Butler County school families, former students should check their local school district websites for similar announcements.

Miller added his district “will keep you informed of any further information we receive from Battelle or the Ohio Department of Education regarding this data breach.”

If you have specific questions about whether or not your student’s information was impacted by this security breach, please email inquiry@bfk.org,” said Lakota and Fairfield officials.

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