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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.