ThinkCentral Privacy Policy

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is committed to assuring the privacy of its users.  This privacy policy (the "Privacy Policy" or "Policy") covers how we collect, use, and treat personal information that you may provide to us through our ThinkCentral website (the "Website" or "Site"), while participating in the services that we offer on the Website (the "Services"), or while accessing and using the content that we provide via the Site (the "Content").  The terms “you” and “your” refer to any visitor to the Website, including casual visitors ("Site Visitors"), as well as users who are authorized to access the password protected areas of the Site ("Authorized Users").  The terms "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company", “we” and “us” refer to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.



1. Your Consent

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully as it imposes legal obligations on you and on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, and establishes our legal relationship.  By using the Services or accessing our Site, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood this Privacy Policy and agree to be legally bound by it.
We ask you to show your consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy in different ways depending on your relationship to the Site, which is determined based on the type of Account that you have.  For more information with respect to the types of Accounts available on our Site, please refer to our Terms and Conditions of Use (the "Terms").  The procedures for consenting to this Policy are: (i) less formal if you are simply a casual Site Visitor, (ii) more formal if you have a District or School Administrator Account or a Teacher Account (District and School Administrator Accounts and Teacher Accounts are referred to collectively as "Overseer Accounts"); and (iii) the most formal for those users with Student Accounts.

1.1. Consent by Site Visitors. By accessing and using our ThinkCentral Website as a Site Visitor, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood this Privacy Policy and agree to be legally bound by it.  If you do not agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use our Site. 

1.2. Consent by Overseer Account Holders. If you register for an Overseer Account, you will be prompted to click an "I Accept" button linked to this Policy during the registration process.  Clicking "I Accept" confirms your agreement to be bound by this Privacy Policy.

2. Scope of Policy

This Privacy Policy applies to: (i) anonymous information you provide to us online while visiting or using our Site, (ii) personally identifiable information you provide to us as part of the process of registering as an Authorized User; and (iii) personally identifiable information that Authorized Users provide to us, such as assignment responses or test scores.

3. The Information We Collect, and Our Uses of This Information

We will not share personally identifiable information you provide via the Website with any third party, other than as expressly disclosed in this Policy.  By "personally identifiable information" we mean information that identifies you, such as your name, student ID, or any combination of this or similar information that may reasonably be used to identify you. 

We collect information from Site Visitors and Authorized Users at different points on our Website, and use this information as follows:

3.1. Registration. In order to participate as an Authorized User in the password protected areas of our Site, we require that you be a registered member of our Site.  Information required to obtain an account varies depending on the type of account that is being created, as set forth in greater detail below.

3.1.1. District and School Administrator Account. After a successful program order has been placed, we will send an individual access code to the party named on the "key technical contact" portion of the order form.  Provision of this individual access code, along with the user information (including first and last name) and selection of the appropriate school district, will allow a user to create either a District or School Administrator Account.

3.1.2. Teacher Accounts. Teachers may self-register by selecting the appropriate district and school, providing their user information (including first and last name), and entering the individual access code that accompanies the print material package that they receive along with the program that was purchased.  A district or school administrator must approve a Teacher Account before that teacher may create Student Accounts, and otherwise obtain access to ThinkCentral's full teacher-based functionality. 

3.1.3. Student Accounts. Those with Overseer Accounts can either import Student Accounts or manually register particular students, in order to create a Student Account.  In order to register a Student Account, the registering party must provide: (i) the student's first and last name, (ii) grade, (iii) username; and (iv) password.  Registering parties may also provide additional information about students during registration including: (a) a middle initial, (b) student ID, (c) gender, (d) English proficiency, (e) ethnicity, (f) special conditions, (g) special services; and (h) economic status.

3.2. Postings; Information Exchanges. The Website may allow Authorized Users to (i) provide and receive a range of information on education-related topics and other matters, and (ii) engage in other activity through Website discussions that may include, at the option of the Authorized User, an exchange of personally identifiable information.  In these instances, we use any information you provide to us strictly for the purposes for which you submit the information. 

3.3. Information to Schools. We may provide personally identifiable information collected on our Site to school administrators and teachers as part of providing the Services to our Authorized Users.

3.4. Anonymous, Aggregate Information. The term “Aggregate Information” means information that does not identify you, and may include statistical information concerning use of the Services, or the pages on our Site that users visit most frequently.  We use Aggregate Information to analyze the effectiveness of our Site, to improve our Services, and for other similar purposes.  In addition, from time to time, we may undertake or commission statistical and other summary analyses of the general behavior and characteristics of users participating in our Services and the characteristics of visitors at our Site, and may share Aggregate Information with third parties.  Rest assured, though, that Aggregate Information provided to third parties will not allow anyone to identify you, or determine anything personal about you.  We may collect Aggregate Information through features of the software that supports our Services, through cookies, and through other means described below. 

3.4.1. IP Addresses. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company may automatically receive and record information in our server logs from your browser, including your IP address (the Internet address of your PC), the type and version of your web browser, referrer addresses and other generally-accepted log information.  We may also record page views (hit counts) and other general statistical and tracking information, which will be aggregated with that of other users in order to understand how our Website is being used. 

3.4.2. Cookies. A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier, which is sent to your browser from a website's computers and stored on your computer's hard drive.  Cookies can be used to provide you with a tailored user experience and to make it easier for you to use a website upon a future visit.  We may include cookies on our Website and use them to recognize you when you return to our Website.  You may set your browser so that it does not accept cookies.  Cookies may need to be enabled on your web browser, however, if you wish to access certain Services that we offer on our Site.

3.4.3. Computer Configuration. In order to determine whether your computer is supported by our system, we may collect certain anonymous information.  This information includes, but may not be limited to, your operating system and browser, as well as the presence of any software that our Website may require to operate with your computer, or other third party software on your computer.  This information is kept strictly confidential and is not shared with third parties, except as provided for in this Privacy Policy.

3.5. Extent of Information Collected; Student Accounts. We do not collect any more personal information than we reasonably believe to be necessary to provide our Services and to allow Authorized Users to participate in these Services and to enable those with Overseer Accounts to, for example, generate reports on individual student academic progress.

4. We Do Not Disclose Information to Unaffiliated Third Parties; Limited Exceptions

We will not disclose your personally identifiable information to unaffiliated third parties without your express consent, except in the following limited circumstances:

4.1. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company Site Vendors. We may employ other companies to perform functions on our behalf, such as maintaining the Website, providing services related to the Site, collecting information, or other functions necessary to our business.  We may need to share your personally identifiable information with these companies (collectively, "Site Vendors").  We will provide Site Vendors with only that information necessary to perform their functions, and we will not allow them to use your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

4.2. Imminent Harm. We may reveal your personally identifiable information to school officials, attorneys, private investigator organizations or law enforcement agencies if we believe that you are: (i) in risk of harm from another, (ii) harming or interfering (or will imminently harm or interfere) with others; or (iii) violating (either intentionally or unintentionally) our Terms or otherwise violating any legal rights.

4.3. Legal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company will reveal your personally identifiable information to the extent we reasonably believe we are required to do so by law.

4.4. Transfer of Site. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company shall be entitled to transfer to a third party information it collects, including any personally identifiable information, in connection with a sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the business entity responsible for the information under this Policy provided, however, that the acquiring third party has agreed to safeguard your personally identifiable information with protections that in all material respects are the same as or more protective than those set out in this Privacy Policy.

5. Deleting Information; Parental Review

5.1. Deleting Information. If you request, we will remove your name and all other personally identifiable information from our databases.  Please understand, however, that it may be impossible to remove this information completely, due to backups and records of deletions.  In addition, please understand that, if you request deletion of your information, you will be unable to utilize associated features of the Website and any services provided through password protected areas of the Site.  You may not remove de-identified or aggregate data from our databases. 

5.2. Parental Review. Parents and guardians are entitled to review the information that we have collected from or concerning their child, withdraw their consent to our further use of such information, or direct the deletion of such information by contacting

6. Security

We have put in place security systems designed to prevent unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, information you provide to us, and we take all reasonable steps to secure and safeguard this information.  Our Site's password protected section requires users to give us unique identifiers such as their username and password.  Moreover, we store all personally identifiable information we receive on a separate system, designed to be secure and isolated from direct connection to the Internet.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company employees (and employees of our affiliates and Site Vendors) are required to acknowledge that they understand and will abide by our policies with respect to the confidentiality of personally identifiable information.  Moreover, we provide access to our databases containing personally identifiable information on a need-to-know basis only.

Our security systems are therefore structured to deter and prevent hackers and others from accessing information that you provide to us.  We also use software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.  Please understand, though, that this information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided by or submitted to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.  Due to the nature of Internet communications and evolving technologies, we cannot provide, and expressly disclaim, assurance that the information you provide us will remain free from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties who, despite our efforts, obtain unauthorized access.

7. Modification

We reserve the right to modify, in our sole discretion, this Privacy Policy.  If we modify this Privacy Policy, any such modifications will take effect proactively, upon your subsequent access to the Website.

8. Relationship to Terms of Use and Other Contracts

This Privacy Policy must be read in conjunction with our Terms, and the provisions of our Terms are incorporated herein.  To the extent the Terms conflict with the terms of this Privacy Policy, the terms of this Privacy Policy shall control.

9. Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this Site, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at:

Attention: Tech Support
Phone: 800.419.3900

10. Effective Date

The effective date of this Privacy Policy is August 3, 2007.


Copyright © by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company All rights reserved.

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