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PowerSchool 10.1 (Winter Release)

posted Jan 17, 2017, 11:08 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Jan 17, 2017, 11:56 AM ]

Over the weekend WCSD update PowerSchool to 10.1. Several major changes and additions were made to PowerSchool and particularly PowerTeacher Pro.

PowerTeacher Pro Changes
  • Scoresheet Report
  • Metrics on Assignment Score Screen
  • Copy Assignments
  • Citizenship
  • Category Assignment Default Publish Options
  • Show All Assignments option on Reporting Term Selector
  • Workflow Improvements on Assignment Dialog
  • Training Videos in Help

PowerSchool Changes
  • Quick Info shows [i] instead of -- for no grade available in Quick Lookup Screen
  • Access to Health and Log Tables Data
  • Reports, Pages and Users are part of the Datapump backups
  • Email reports
  • Delete Database Extensions
  • Auto Migrate Core Custom Fieldsets
  • Data Export Manager Enhancement
In the Works but not Implemented
  • Continued usability refinements including even smaller row sizing to see even more students per page
  • Metrics on Scoresheet, Standards Grades, and Category Totals Screens
  • Reporting - Standards, Multi-section
  • Teacher Controlled Rounding Preference

How to Print Elementary Progress Reports

posted Oct 18, 2016, 1:48 PM by Lawrence Esplin

1. Login to PowerTeacher, where teachers call roll.
2. Select the Report Icon, looks like a printer.

3. Choose the blue Print button on the right of Progress Report.

PowerTeacher Pro Updates and FAQ

posted Aug 24, 2016, 9:53 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Oct 25, 2016, 2:15 PM ]

Thank you teachers for your efforts in adapting to the new PowerTeacher Pro. Despite some missing feature form the pervious Grade-book it is the future and has security and versatility advantages over the old grade-book. Because it is html5 not Java based it can be used on a Chromebook, Smart Phone or Tablet. We will try and track some of the issues, solutions and best practices on this page.

Please add comments, questions and answers to this forum so all teachers can benefit.

The list below outlines many of the items we are following with PowerSchool's response and best practices from teachers and staff. Issues will be listed in black, PowerSchool Responses will be red and Best Practices are Green.

PowerTeacher Pro reported Issues, status and best practices:

Newest update from PowerSchool (10/25/2016)
We're Making PowerTeacher Pro Better

With the start of the 2016-2017 school year, tens of thousands of teachers began using PowerTeacher Pro for the first time. Thanks to your valuable feedback, we already have many of the most commonly requested features and fixes in development.

In the PowerSchool 10.0.4 release, available later this month, you will see the following new features:

  • Compact View: Smaller text size and row spacing in order for teachers to see a more complete student roster without having to magnify the screen.
  • Improved Responsiveness: Smoother scrolling and score entry, making it easier to enter scores quickly.

The December PowerSchool update is expected to include the following highly requested features:
  • Copy Assignments: Copy assignments between different scheduling terms and school years.
  • Scoresheet Report: A new report that includes the ability to export assignments and scores.
  • Summary Metrics: Show metrics for assignments (mean, median, and mode).
  • Citizenship Scores: Record citizenship scores for each reporting term.
  • New Category Option: Define default settings for assignment publishing per category.

For more details on future PowerTeacher Pro updates, see the PowerSchool Product Status page on PowerSource. Keep up-to-date by clicking the Watch link on the page, and you will receive an email whenever new updates are posted.

PowerSchool was updated to version 10.02 on 8/31/2016. Let us know if any of the problems were resolved or if there are new issues. Please add comments below.
  • Where is the last student on the list? When entering assignment scores the last student is intermittently omitted.
    • Reported to PowerSchool (8/15/2016)
    • Trouble Ticket escalated to a level 2 tech (8/16/2016) trouble reproducing the problem reported to us (8/16/2016)
    • Missing last student update a few things that are working for teachers: 
      • Make sure the browser zoom is set to 100%. Click on the triple dots menu on the top right of the Chrome Menubar and look at the Zoom setting. It should be 100% for best results.

      • Enter scores in assignment mode (not the scoresheet). 
      • Screen resolution can also make a difference. 
      • We have notices that computer connected to projector are more likely to experience the missing last student than unconnected computers.
    • Another work around is to sort the names reverse - alpha (click on the triangle next to the STUDENTS(##) heading and the last student is now at the top of the list. You can also go to students, find the student and enter the score.

    • Feedback form PowerSchool and our teachers indicate adding scores using the individual assignment screen not the scorebook is faster and more efficient.
  • No Left - Right Scroll bar to view assignments o then right.
    • No response yet from PowerTeacher Pro. Hopefully it will be addressed in a future release.
    • It looks like PowerSchool thinks we all have tablets or touch screens. For now the best options are to click on the Show Assignments from Most Resent link on the top right.That way the assignments most likely to need editing can be viewed.
    • Teachers can also click in any cell of the far right column and use the arrows to move to the right. Originally we thought this issue was related to the missing last student have been tracking (see above).
  • Can't attach documents and links must be entered manually in Class Descriptions and Assignments.
    • Know Issue with PowerTeacher Pro. Links are a planned future release along with a more robust comment editor. No implementation date given.
    • Best Practice: Make a note in the comment field and past the link direction the user to use the link to access the webpage or document from Google Drive.
  • Grade Scale are not teacher 
  • No CSV Import Assignment Scores available.
    • Planned future release not available in the initial release.
    • No work around available at present.
  • Can't see all the students on the screen in the score sheet.
    • PowerSchool chose to eliminate Java and make PowerTeacher Pro usable on other platforms. This change added capabilities to use smaller screened devices but limits the number of columns and rows available for all users. Future releases my partially mitigate the inconvenience by adding a mode for higher resolution monitors.
    • Users can zoom out in their browser using the Control - command but it is only a partial solution.
  • Schoology doesn't sync to PowerSchool Pro.
    • Schoology is updating its product and APIs to sync with PowerSchool. The tentative date is soon after Labor Day.
    • We are moving to the Schoology Beta as of September 13 and will be testing the Sync. 
    • Best Practice: Create assignments on Schoology or PowerSchool but not both. Once the sync is available the PowerTeacher Pro data will be updated with Schoology. Currently the sync between PowerSchool and Schoology is not two way on every table. PowerSchool data populates Schoology students, courses, and sections. When the sync is working assignments are pushed form Schoology into PowerTeacher Pro.
  • Entering scores in the Scoresheet is slow an jumpy.
    • PowerSchool Pro was designed to enter assignment scores using the Assignment Screen and updating random late or missing scores using the ScoreSheet.
    • Feedback form PowerSchool and our teachers indicate adding scores using the individual assignment screen not the scorebook is faster and more efficient.
  • Can't change the colors of default categories.
    • Default categories are set in District Setup. Schools can choose which categories are available for use for their teachers. Teachers can choose to use or hide district categories unless the school requires specific categories be used. Teachers can also create their own categories and change the color to any available hue.
  • To edit assignments teachers must leave the scoresheet.
    •  There are several methods to get to the assignment edit screen.
      1. On the left choose Grading and then click on the Edit (pencil) Icon of the assignment.
      2. From the ScoreSheet click on the assignment name at the top of the column. Next click on Edit Assignment near the top right.
      3. If you are already entering scores and want to edit an assignment just click on Edit Assignment near the top right.
  • Summary data like mean, mode etc is not showing at the bottom of assignments
    • Planned future release not available in the initial release.
    • We can create a report to show mean, mode, max, min it that helps but at present we cannot customize the core pages of PowerSchool Pro.
  • If a teacher wants the missing flag to go away when a score is entered automatically follow Cameron Hansen's advice below.

    What I discovered is this: When I fill an assignment with the "missing" flag and a "zero (0)" score, the "missing" flag will remain even when I replace the zero with a different value. However, when I fill a cell with only the "missing" flag, the flag will disappear when I enter a numerical value into the cell (zero included).

    So, what I've determined is that I can't have both a zero and a "missing" flag and expect the flag to disappear when I enter a new score for a student.

    New question: Is there somewhere where we can tell PTPro to make the "missing" flag worth zero points? If I enter grades on an assignment for the class, any empty cell is not being calculated into the final grade. Students get a false impression that their grade is accurate when an empty cell is being ignored by PTPro. (Unless I'm missing something).

    What I want is for an assignment column to impact the grade once I enter scores for the class, whether an individual student is missing that particular assignment or not. In the old PT, we had that option as I recall.

2016 Back to PowerSchool

posted Aug 2, 2016, 8:41 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Aug 3, 2016, 8:14 AM ]

PowerSchool Top Ten List for 2016-2017
  1. Breath often and deep. If you hyperventilate find a paper bag. Do not use plastic.
  2. Teacher and Staff PowerSchool Passwords (LDAP). See James' message below and on the PowerSchool login screen.
    • If you have a district email address, your username is now the first part of your email address before @washk12.org. Eg. sally.teacher@washk12.org would use sally.teacher as the username. If you still can't sign in, reset your password
  3. Transfer Documentation - Use Quick Info Report as a reminder to check on TO, TH, TC, TP, TR, TR. By the end of the year undocumented transfers are DO or UN. TD will check if the transfer is not complete. Entry documentation? Use phone to scan documents and add to PowerSchool. 10 day rule and ramifications (X and Class Enrollment). Secondary and Elementary schools. 
    1. 10 day rule and ramifications. Secondary and Elementary

  4. Scheduling 
    1. New Teachers (created when SunGuard Record is Complete) and Transfers (use Add Staff to School link)

    2. Master Schedules 
      1. (Delete Section Password - only-empty) 
      2. The easiest way to change a teacher is to change the teacher. Not to add a new Lead Teacher and delete the old one or delete the section and create a new section.
    3. Student Schedules (Review mass enroll) 
  5. PowerTeacher Pro - New for teachers, resources are available online.
  6. Student Attendance Process - Clear and archive last year's date before starting. Wait a week or two before starting.

  7. PowerSchool Form Letters and Labels - Please never change or steal District Wide Reports

  8. Quick Info Reports - At Risk, Student Locators (added  bus#), Current Selection Filter Reports. We will be pruning out unused and duplicate reports in the fall.
  9. Third Thursday PowerSchool open discussion and training. Tech computer Lab 7:30am and 3:30 PM?
  10. Questions
Thank you for everything you do to keep the schools running and the state auditors happy.

PowerTeacher Pro

posted May 3, 2016, 8:39 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Aug 9, 2016, 9:12 AM ]

PowerTeacher Pro improves on the previous PowerTeacher Gradebook, combining an intuitive user interface with robust functionality for standards-based and traditional grading, and includes new features for managing the classroom. It offers the same great user experience and full functionality from any computer or tablet, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Chromebooks.

PowerTeacher Pro includes the following features:

Teachers (Take a look at the Quick Reference Guide)

  • Works on almost any device with an internet connection
  • Abbreviated Quick Start:
    • Login to PowerTeacher - remember we use email credentials to authenticate: first.last and then your email password
    • PowerTeacher hasn't changed, we still call roll, check student pages and run reports form the home page.
    • Goto the new Pro Grade-book by selecting the top link on the right or the link associated with each class.

YouTube Video

Additional Tools to Help You Get Ready for PowerTeacher Pro

UTREX Year End Review

posted May 2, 2016, 12:44 PM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated May 3, 2016, 10:23 AM ]

  • Transfer Documentation Type
    • Where is the new field?
    • Report to catch up on missing documentation Clearinghouse #6, The new report shows transfers without documentation.

    • Pupil Audit Findings - All transfers out of district must be documented
  • Other Information
    • Common Passwords and Usernames for PowerSchool, eMail, Wireless Access and Computer Access (LDAP).
    • UTREX access to Transcripts. State schools, Regents Scholarships and BYU will begin transitioning to Online Transcripts. Schools can request access to view electronic transcripts for their schools. 
    • UTREX access can also be used to view school summary reports.
  • Graduating Students - Auto Set Graduation Date and HSCS - Schools edit non graduates DO, RT, GP do not mark CT if the student will be enrolling at Post High in the fall.
  • Early Graduates
  • Post High Students - Mark next school as Post High school number 240. Set HSCS to RT not CT or GR.
  • Students transferring over the summer - Mark th appropriate Transfer code but do not transfer out of the school.
  • Fixing Clearinghouse errors - Make sure and run reports 1 - 6 until all errors are fixed. All reports include error messages and data needed to correct errors. Use Make Filtered Selection and fix the errors on individual students.
  • Make sure school counselors or schedulers commit before leaving for the summer. Before committing:
    • Check calendar and term dates in PowerScheduler
    • Make sure students are scheduled and course balances are correct.
    • Check for dual enrollments in the same period
  • UTREX complete by July 7, 2016 - Do not drop students after school is over just change the next school field and the transfer code.
  • Rollover July 11 - 15 (PowerSchool Down)
  • Check Calendar Setup and student schedules after the rollover
  • Elementary - Call us for a review anytime
  • Secondary - Make sure and call before committing and leaving for the summer.

Food Services Lunch Balance below - $12.00 Notice Procedure

posted Mar 16, 2016, 7:09 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Mar 16, 2016, 7:47 AM ]

The the -$12 notice should be sent at least monthly and not more frequently than once a week. A daily call goes out at 7:30 AM to the parents of students with a negative lunch balance.

Procedure for sending and recording the Delinquent Lunch Balance Notice.

Choose Quick Info from the left PowerSchool Menu.

Open the Food Services section in the right screen and choose Delinquent Lunch Balance Notice.

Enter -12 in the parameter for the standard report. You can use a different amount to see other information. For example 1000 would show all student balances and 0 would show all negative balances.

The report will list students meeting the criteria entered in the parameter. Last Meal is the date of the last meal activity. Last Payment is the amount and date of the last payment. The Balance Notice Note is inserted when the Notice Process updates the database.

After reviewing the list print the report for archiving and notification of school administration. Use the printer icon on the top right in the blue band.

Select the students to update and send notices by using the filter options or use all students on the list. Type [empty] in the Balance Notice Note column filter to exclude those who have previously received a notice.
Other filtering options:

Update the database by clicking on the Update Database link on the bottom left.

Click on one of the Make Filtered Selection buttons located on the top or the bottom of the report.

Now send the message using School Messenger. Click on the SchoolMessenger (CS) link in the left PowerSchool Menu.

Enter the Subject for the email include a date, i.e..: Overdue Lunch Balance 3/16/2016. Check the number of recipients and make sure it is the number of students on the report printed.

Enter the From Name and From Email then click Stationary to select the standard notice.

Pick the Template labeled Food Services Delinquent Notice. Then 

Save Email and proceed,


After one last check of the Recipient Count to make sure you are only sending to the appropriate group, send and you are done.

Safe Schools Incident Reporting Guide 2015-2016

posted Dec 14, 2015, 10:00 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Dec 14, 2015, 10:21 AM ]

Correctly reporting Safe School Incidents is required for State (UTREX) and Federal Reporting (CRDC). A school with no incidents is likely not in compliance and could incur a CRDC audit for the district. Even a simple bullying incident when no action other than a parent contact is taken should be reported in PowerSchool using the Incident Management Screen. Logs are not used for reporting to the state or CRDC.

Incidents initiated on the student page do not automatically include the selected student as the Offender. The Incident Builder must be used to define all participants.

The link to PowerSchool's Utah Quick Entry Guide is the official guid for State reporting. Details below include screen shots and notes regarding Incident Creation.

Only complete forms report correctly. Each form has two parts that must be completed. Below is an example of a complete Incident Form:

-- Form Top --
-- Form Bottom -- 
The offender(s') name must appear in the Participants' Offender box. If a victim is to be attached that name should appear in the victim's box. Each offender should have a Behavior, Action and Object attached and an attribute should be added on the Incidents Elements box.

Step by Step Incident Creation
  • Special Functions - The link is on the left under Functions.

  • Incident Management - The link is near the middle of the list.
  • Create New - The screen shows your schools incidents and lets you filter by date, Title, or currently selected students. To add a new Incident just click on the Create New Incident button.

  • Incident Type
    • Only incidents with a type of UT State Reporting^ will report in the UTREX collections. The ~ designates a state reportable field any items in pull down menus without the ~ will not report.

  • Incident Date - The current date and time can be changed to the actual Incident Date and Time.
  • Time Frame - choose form the list

  • Title and Description
    • Make the title descriptive enough to find the incident easily at a later date.
    • Write a complete description and it will serve s notes for referrals and audits.

  • Location - Choose from the list

  • Incident Builder - The bottom of the form links Students - Behaviors - Actions and Objects to the Incident

    • Participants - To add a participant click on the + on the top right corner of the Left column.
      • Offender - Every reportable Incident must have at least one Offender to report correctly.
        • First find the student using the form. Note you can search for students outside your school.

        • Select the appropriate Role and Attributes 

      • Victim, Witness and other roles - Can be added in the same manner as Offenders.
      • Participants will show on the left in the Incident Builder.
    • Incident Elements - On the right Elements are added to the Incident Builder Click + to add a new Element. Start with Behavior and then add Action, Object and Attributes
      • Behavior - At least one behavior must be attached to each Offender. Multiple Behaviors can be added for each incident. Behaviors require a type and a subtype. Bullying is found under Harassment.

      • Action - An action must be added for each offender and once linked actions no longer appear on the right under elements. Parent Contact is not a reportable choice so please choose No Action Taken^ for State Reportable Incidents (^). Make sure all Action Information is complete.

        • Date and Duration date is critical to an accurate CRDC report.

        • Complete Action Attributes as needed according to State Reporting Guidelines.

      • Object choose and object for each Incident and Offender, No Weapon^ , is a valid choice.

      • Attribute - Complete the incident by adding Incident Attributes. Attributes do not need to be linked to Participants on the left.

    • Attaching Elements to Participants - Incidents are not complete until Behaviors, Actions, and Objects are attached to Participants. Just drag the corresponding element from the right to the Participant on the left. The element will now show beneath the Participant.

2015 Back to School

posted Aug 3, 2015, 8:26 AM by Lawrence Esplin   [ updated Aug 4, 2015, 8:07 AM by Jim Black ]

What's New
  • PowerSchool is no longer affiliated with Pearson
  • Updated to PowerSchool 9.01 over the summer
  • Teachers and staff are now created using Sunguard
    • Search in Staff, Schools will need to complete teacher activation and passwords
    • Teachers can be transferred using a new link on the staff page

Key Features and Enhancements as reported by PowerSchool

  • Data Visualization and Grid features
  • Data Export Manager improvements
  • New Parent/Student Mobile app with notifications
  • Standards hierarchy and course associations by year
  • Standards grades by section with new data access abilities
  • New object report templates that use the new Standards grades features
  • Grade scales improvements
  • Scheduling enhancements
  • PowerSchool API and single sign-on enhancements
  • Improved API and Plugin documentation
  • New module - PowerSchool Registration feature (additional fee)
  • Usability enhancements
  • Oracle update
Things That Never Change
  • SchoolMessenger
    • Remind Parents and Teachers to opt in to SMS
    • Us ShortMessagesSimple for SMS
    • Where possible use student name fields in email, SMS and test to speech Phone Messages
    • Try as much as possible to focus your message even if it requires a different message for staff and students 
    • Review reports to correct contact information
  • Immunizations
  • Searches using built in function, List of Functions i.e.: Grade_level=1;*number_of_classes = 0
    • Transfer Audit coming soon
    • X-Records enter on the 13th and exit on the 14th. Fix the Exit Code or the High School Completion Status. Only works until the October 1 Report is complete.
    • SSID and Grad rates
    • School Entry Date <= Exit Date. If you need to drop now drop today and then edit the dates before leaving the student record. Entry and exit on the day before school is fine. Out of district transfers can transfer out after 9 days.
    • Class Entry >= School 
  • Schools are responsible for PowerTeacher Access
  • Parent access information can only be given out by schools. Parents create their own account and need the students Access ID / Password which can be found on the Modify Info page. Schools can also search for Parents and reset parent passwords.

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