UNION CITY — A team of experts from outside the New Haven school district is recommending that the district take new steps to better safeguard student information and improve its technology.

The recommendations were compiled in a report that will be shared with school board members at their meeting tonight. The board hired the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team for about $7,500 in October to study the district's technology system to try to keep hackers at bay.

The decision was made on the heels of a security scare last spring, when it was mistakenly believed that an unauthorized user broke into the student information system. Superintendent Pat Jaurequi said at the time she wanted the district to conduct this study to prevent security breaches in the future.

Team members visited the school district Oct. 10-11 and interviewed employees, collected data and reviewed information about technology in New Haven. They found the school district's technology department hasmotivated employees who are willing to improve the system, but lacks leadership.

Some obvious security risks the team discovered during its two-day visit included teachers who let students work on their classroom computers and shared passwords with them, giving them access to confidential information.

Team members found the door to New Haven's main data center unlocked and discovered there is no system in place to end an employee's access to confidential information before he or she is fired, leaving the district open to a security breach by a former employee.

The meeting begins at 7:30 at the Educational Services Center board room, 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road.

Staff writer Grace Rauh covers education for The Argus. She can be reached at (510) 353-7010 or grauh@angnewspapers.com.