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Sterling Academy Privacy Policy

We use your data to provide and improve Sterling Academy’s service to our students.
Details on how we collect and use information you submit are explained below.


the information we ask for and why

(in plain english, not written by a lawyer)

When someone inquires about our school, we ask for basic contact information so that we can communicate with the person who inquired.  The information we collect, such as student name, parent name, phone number, email, grade level, and program interested in help us to effectively answer questions about our program. This information is kept in our systems for these purposes; it does not go outside our systems.

When someone decides to enroll at our school, more detailed information is needed.  Here are the categories of information we ask for:

Contact information -- student name, guardian name (if student is under 18), relationship of guardian to student, email address, phone number, billing address, and residential address of student and guardian.

Demographic information -- student date of birth, gender, ethnicity, and race.  Please note that the Florida Department of Education requires us to report ethnicity and race of our student body each year, thus we are required to obtain this information according to their official categories.  The ethnicity and race information we submit to Florida is only a total student count by category; no data other than the total counts are involved in the submission.

Official IDs -- we require a copy of an official government photo ID of the guardian.  For the student, a government photo ID is required unless they do not have one (i.e. too young to have needed one); in that case, we require a photo.

Academic information -- Previous school(s) attended (along with contact information), dates attended, current grade level, expected graduation year, the student's English language ability (i.e. native, advanced, etc.).  For full-time students, we will request a transcript from schools where the student previously received high school credit, and in some instances may request a transcript for middle school students.  (Transcripts are not needed for part-time students unless some proof is needed for a pre-requisite course.)

Optional information -- The registration form has some additional information that is optional but helps us serve our students and parents better, such as preferred contact method for guardians, preferred pronouns and nicknames for students, English language ability of the guardian, and any explanatory notes the registrant would like to add.

Students and guardians have direct access to update their information if they find an error or if their situation has changed (new contact information, new legal name, etc.).

Once a student enrolls with our school, additional information will be collected and stored in the educational process.  This includes:

  • Academic information -- courses, grades, dates of study.
  • Disciplinary infractions and action taken -- plagiarism, disrespect to teacher, etc.
  • Communication between student/parent and teacher/staff, among teachers and staff about the student,  and the student's communication with other students.

Where your information resides

As a 100% online school, we have no paper files.  Student information primarily resides in our student information system (SIS), and in the system of the curriculum companies who provide the student coursework, which is done on their learning management systems (LMS).  The LMS has minimal information about the student, only enough to provide grades and other academic information back to our SIS.

Students will also sign up for a Sterling Academy Microsoft 365 for Education account. This is primarily used for communication with teachers and other students.  Generally, the only information Microsoft has from us will be the student's school email address and any communication they do in their school Microsoft account (i.e. Teams, Outlook).

The following is Microsoft's privacy policy for Microsoft 365 for Education:

For Microsoft products provided by your K-12 school, including Microsoft 365 Education, Microsoft will:
  • not collect or use student personal data beyond that needed for authorized educational or school purposes;
  • not sell or rent student personal data;
  • not use or share student personal data for advertising or similar commercial purposes, such as behavioral targeting of advertisements to students;
  • not build a personal profile of a student, other than for supporting authorized educational or school purposes or as authorized by the parent, guardian, or student of appropriate age; and
  • require that our vendors with whom student personal data is shared to deliver the educational service, if any, are obligated to implement these same commitments for student personal data.
For more details on their privacy policies, go to their Microsoft Privacy Statement, where the above text was quoted from.

After a student leaves our school

After a student graduates or withdraws, the information remains on our system in order to provide requested information from future schools or places of employment, such as transcript requests or confirmation of dates of study or graduation.  The information may also be used for internal reporting, such as graduation rates, length of time in school, academic performance comparisons to current students versus past students, etc.  


Students residing in Europe are under the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation, and students residing in California are under the rules of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

For details on GDPR from the Data Protection Commission, "the national independent authority in Ireland responsible for upholding the fundamental right of individuals in the European Union (EU) to have their personal data protected," see Your Rights Under The GDPR.

For details on the CCPA from the California government, see the California Consumer Privacy Act.

If you want to exercise your rights under GDPR or CCPA, contact the principal (see the Contact Us page for up-to-date information).