Does your school use an on line student information/grading package?
Where is the data? Does the school run the server or is the data on a server in Chicago/elsewhere?
Does the school regularly archive a copy, of the data onto local storage?
Is the data stored in a portable format?
I went through three data conversions as my district changed Student Information Management Systems from different vendors. The only thing I liked about the conversions was being finished.
There is an interesting article about Cloud Computing (all the rage these days) and “ownership” of the data people are putting there.
The following quote is from The Economist.
Clouding the picture
But now there is the danger of a new form of lock-in. “Cloud computing”—the delivery of computer services from vast warehouses of shared machines—enables companies and individuals to cut costs by handing over the running of their e-mail, customer databases or accounting software to someone else, and then accessing it over the internet. There are many advantages to this approach for both customers (lower cost, less complexity) and service providers (economies of scale). But customers risk losing control once again, in particular over their data, as they migrate into the cloud. Moving from one service provider to another could be even more difficult than switching between software packages in the old days. For a foretaste of this problem, try moving your MySpace profile to Facebook without manually retyping everything.
The obvious answer is to establish agreed standards for moving data between clouds. An industry effort to this effect kicked off in March. But cloud computing is still in its infancy, and setting standards too early could hamper innovation. So buyers of cloud-computing services must take account of the dangers of lock-in, and favour service providers who allow them to move data in and out of their systems without too much hassle. This will push providers to compete on openness from the outset—and ensure that the lessons from the success of open-source software are not lost in the clouds.