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Using Teacher Comments in PowerTeacher and PowerSchool

posted Nov 11, 2008, 10:17 AM by Lawrence Esplin
Introduction

This article clarifies the difference between entering teacher comments in PowerGrade, PowerTeacher Gradebook, and the PowerTeacher Portal, as well as enhancements to the Stored Grades process and Data Access Tags (DAT).

In PowerTeacher Gradebook, teacher comments are associated with Final Grades, stored in the [PGFinalGrades] table. In the PowerTeacher Portal (the browser interface), teacher comments are associated with course enrollments, stored in the [CC] table.

Entering Teacher Comments

PowerTeacher Gradebook

  • Use the Score Inspector to enter comments for final grades
  • Comments are stored in [PGFinalGrades]Comment
  • Comments display in PowerSchool under Start Page > Student > Quick Lookup when clicking on the final grade
  • Comments do not display in PowerSchool under Start Page > Student > Teacher Comments
  • Final Grade comments are retained from term to term; teachers will be able to view comments that have been entered for prior reporting terms, and there is no need to clear comments.
  • Upon storing grades, the text that exists in [PGFinalGrades]Comment_Value is copied into [StoredGrades]Comment.
  • This is the preferred comment entry method for PowerTeacher Gradebook users

PowerTeacher Portal

  • Select the backpack for the class and select the Teacher Comments screen
  • Comments are stored in [CC]TeacherComment
  • Comments display in PowerSchool under Start Page > Student > Teacher Comments
  • Upon storing grades, the text that exists in [CC]TeacherComment is copied into [StoredGrades]Comment
  • This is not the preferred comment entry method for PowerTeacher Gradebook users.

Viewing Teacher Comments

Entered via PowerTeacher

PowerSchool: Comments entered via the PowerTeacher Portal can be viewed on the Teacher Comments screen for each student in PowerSchool.  Any comments stored in the [CC] table are viewable via the Teacher Comments student screen.

Public/Parent Portal: Teacher comments entered via the PowerTeacher Portal or PowerGrade can be viewed by clicking on the "Teacher Comments" icon at the top of the page.

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Entered via PowerTeacher Gradebook:

PowerSchool: Comments entered via PowerTeacher Gradebook can be viewed via the Quick Lookup page for each student.  On the Quick Lookup page, click on the final grade associated with a comment.  If you do not see the final grade, navigate to Start Page > School > Current Grade Display and enter the final grade name in the "Store Code" field.  Select "Gradebook" as the Source of Data and submit the page.

After clicking on the final grade via the Quick Lookup screen, the Scores page appears, listing each assignment score.  At the top of this page, you will see the teacher comment.  Any comments stored in the [PGFinalGrades] table are viewable via the Quick Lookup/Scores pages.

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Public/Parent Portal: Teacher comments entered via PowerTeacher Gradebook can be viewed by selecting "Grades and Attendance" then selecting any one of the final grades.  The Class Score Detail page will appear with section information, including teacher comments.

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Reporting on Teacher Comments:

  • ~(TeacherComment) - use with Class Roster Reports
    When this DAT is used, PowerSchool pulls the comment from the [CC] table.  This DAT can only be used for comments entered via PowerGrade or the PowerTeacher Portal.
     
  • ~(reportingterm.teachercomment;Q1) - use with Class Roster Reports and in a Transcript List set to pull current grades. When this DAT is used, PowerSchool checks the gradebook type recorded in [PGFinalGrades]GradebookType to determine from which table ([CC] or [PGFinalGrades]) to pull teacher comments. This DAT can be used for comments entered via PowerTeacher Gradebook, the PowerTeacher Portal, or PowerGrade.

    This DAT uses the final grade name.  In this example, Q1 is the final grade name for the reporting term.
     
  • "Reporting Term tchr cmnt" - use with Report Card Schedule Listing
    In the Report Card schedule listing use "Reporting Term tchr cmnt" from the drop down and input the Final Grade in the field to the right of that setting.
     
  • "Current tchr comnt." - use with Report Card Schedule Listing
    When this option is used in a Report card, it will pull the comment from the [CC] table regardless whether the teacher is set to use PowerTeacher Gradebook or PowerGrade, thus this DAT will not pull comments entered in PowerTeacher Gradebook.
     
  • ^(*period_info;4(A-B);teacher_comment) - use with Object Reports
    In this example, 4(A) is the schedule expression for classes to be displayed.

    This DAT pulls comments from the [PGFinalGrades] table for PowerTeacher Gradebook users and from the [CC] for PowerGrade users.

    For PowerTeacher Gradebook users, the DAT will choose the final grade comment that matches the "Current Grade" setting in the Current Grade Display screen in the school setup of PowerSchool Admin (Start Page > School Setup > Current Grade Display > Current Grade).

    If the teacher has not saved any data from PowerTeacher Gradebook and there happens to be a comment in the related [CC] record entered through either PowerGrade or the PowerTeacher Portal, the DAT will pull from the [CC] record.
     
  • ~(stored.by.course.number;MA101;Q1;comment)
    DAT codes such as the store.by.course.number code that are designed to pull comments for historical grades from the [StoredGrades] table are unaffected.

Additional Information

The Role of [PGFinalGrade]GradebookType

  • If [PGFinalGrades]GradebookType is set to 0 if the final grade originates from PowerGrade
  • If [PGFinalGrades]GradebookType is set to 1 if the final grade originates from PowerTeacher Gradebook

Stored Grades Logic

  • If [PGFinalGrades]GradebookType = 0, teacher comments are retrieved from [CC]TeacherComments
  • If [PGFinalGrades]GradebookType = 1, teacher comments are retrieved from [PGFinalGrades]Comment
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