An Update on Zoom and the Redwood Day Distance Learning Program

by Haroon Tahir, Manager of Information Systems
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been enhancing our Distance Learning program - assessing, implementing, updating, and communicating with various constituencies. The feedback from parents, students, teachers, and administrators at Redwood Day enables us to work together to make the best choices for our Distance Learning program. 
Even when not in distance learning mode, we have always partnered with technology companies who uphold the same high standards that we demand of ourselves. Recently news about Zoom has brought their company into the spotlight in regards to security and privacy. Even though we have not had a problem with Zoom, these reports have brought us concern, including what has been termed "Zoombombing," where strangers have joined zoom meetings and shared inappropriate content to the participants.
We have been closely monitoring Zoom as they have confronted these challenges; we’ve been in communication with them and since our student’s safety is our number one priority, we have taken steps to address how we use Zoom. We have also been consulting with peer schools in the Bay Area as to what they are doing.
To address the known issue of “Zoombombing,” we have asked all of our teachers to:
  1. Enable the waiting room, admitting students one by one, to protect against strangers entering the virtual “classroom”
  2. Lock the meetings after attendance is full
  3. We asked our teachers to require passwords’ Zoom has recently made this a default
  4. We have also provided our teachers with this link for best practices
Additionally, Zoom has taken the following actions to confront the challenges:
In consultation with our peer schools, we’ve learned that an overwhelming number of these schools will continue with Zoom to provide their Distance Learning Programs. For now we, too, will continue to use the Zoom platform within the safety protocols stated. At this time the company's efforts to improve security, privacy, and reliability since this crisis began shows them to be trustworthy partners.
If you have any questions about Zoom or our other Distance Learning platforms, please reach out to me, Haroon Tahir, at