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PowerSchool FAQ

Questions
1)  How do I get help with a problem I am having concerning PowerSchool?
2)  How do I access the different web resources for Power School?
3)  How do I customize the Class Roster?
4)  How do I save a link to PowerSchool to my desktop?
5)  How do I search for all students with perfect attendance?
6)  How do I change a students grade level?
7)  How do I quickly find field names that I can use in reports and queries?
8)  How do I mass enroll students for a new year or grading period?
9)  How do I mark a student as a "No Show"?
10)  How do you find students that have not been assigned classes?
 
Answers
1)  Q How do I get help with a problem I am having concerning PowerSchool?
A
There are many online resources for PowerSchool, and generally a problem needs to be documented in a work order. However in an emergency and a quick escalation of your question please use one of the following resources according to the severity of the problem;

1. The attendance mailing list: attendance@sesd.org

2. Call any Student Information System staff;
a. Guadalupe Tovar
b. Linda Moore
c. Tim Tyndall
d. Bruce Selzler
e. Mike Starr
2)  Q How do I access the different web resources for Power School?
A
Pearson provides us with an excellent online resource on their support site. The "knowledge base" is extensive and can be search by a variety of criteria. You will have to log in with our customer number and password.

http://support.powerschool.com

username: US2007CA452
password: ssdsis08

Also, the help files built into PowerSchool, accessible via the "?" on every page, are extremely helpful and include screen shots of the activies you search on.

In addition to the documents posted by our own SIS department, many other school districts maintain online resources for PowerSchool. Here are a few of them;

http://www.cmsgrizzlies.org/powerschool/Data/documentation.html

http://cl.k12.md.us/PowerSchool/PShome.html

http://www.elsegundousd.com/docs/powerschoolresources.htm

http://www.nicktech.org/Powerschool.html

http://www.pwrschoolsupport.com/Pages/index

http://web.lrm2.k12.wy.us/nurse/healthps.htm

http://homepage.mac.com/calldredge/store_grades/practice.html

http://www.levittownschools.com/computer/tutorials/?topic=4

http://www.floydcalderwood.com/breadcrumbs.html

http://www.sisresources.com/ps/default.html

http://www.powerdatasolutions.org/home.html
3)  Q How do I customize the Class Roster?
A
The ability to print class rosters is found under the report menu;

Start Page > Reports > Run Reports > Class Rosters (PDF)

There are two fields that need to be populated with information;

Enter the following in the Header Field;

Teacher: ^(teachername)
Students: ^(No_of_students)
Period: ^(Expression)


Enter the following in the Roster Columns Field;

Student_Number Student Number 1 left
Last_Name Last Name 1 left
First_Name First Name 1 left
Grade_Level Grade 1 center
Custom Attendance 1 left
Custom Comment 1 left

There is a visual example of this in the files section of the SIS website as well as at the bottom of this entry. But basically you select the teachers you want to print and set your printing parameters.

Remember, you can customize these as needed. Most fields don't change once you set it up. For example the student information, first/last name will be pretty constant. And you can tweak the other fields to meet your current needs pretty easily.

I've attached a text file that contain the formatting for a pretty decent class roster. I'm sending the text file because we've found that if you copy and paste the information from an email the code doesn't always work. Let me know if copying from the text file doesn't work for you.

Also, one of the key elements on this roster is the use of the "custom" field. Right now its just a blank field. So if you want more colums, just add more custom field lines. Like this;

Custom Attendance 1 left
Custom Comment 1 left
Custom Whatever 1 left
Custom You Want 1 left

The text after the first "" is just the column header and it can be anything you want.

On the attached text file I included the period for Middle Schools;

Period: ^(Expression)

Elementary schools will not want to use that line and should probably remove it.

4)  Q How do I save a link to PowerSchool to my desktop?
A
Here are the instructions for adding a PowerTeacher, or any website, icon to your desktop, so that you can click on it to send your attendance and lunch count.

The website for PowerTeacher is:

http://powerschool.sesd.org/teachers/pw.html

1. Copy and paste this address into Internet Explorer

2. Right click on the page and select "Create Shortcut"

3. It will ask if you are sure you want it to go on your desktop - click Yes.

Voila, you have an icon; one click to your attendance!

When you login for the first time and your computer asks if you want to remember the password, click yes. Then your login info will be automatic and you don't have to enter it each time.
5)  Q How do I search for all students with perfect attendance?
A
1. Go to the PowerSchool Start Page.

2. Select the "All" students link. This will selct all of the students in your school.

3. On the Left Menu click on "Special Functions"

4. On the Special Functions screen click on "Group Functions"

5. Click on "Search for Perfect Attendance"

6. Set the dat parameters that you wish to search on. And include any additional attendance codes you wish to exclude.

7. Click on submit.
6)  Q How do I change a students grade level?
A
To change the students grade level, go into the Transfer Info student screen and edit the current enrollment > change the grade level to whatever the grade level should be and add the appropriate comments, indicating mid year promotion, etc.

In the Scheduling Setup screen (at the bottom of the student links on the left) you will want to change the next year grade to reflect the next accurate grade;

Start Page > Student Selection > Scheduling Setup.

If appropriate, then go into the Modify Schedule student screen and change the students teacher.
7)  Q How do I quickly find field names that I can use in reports and queries?
A

You can quickly find the names of fields on pages you are looking at by changing the url you are on slightly;


 Command Result
 htmlr  Shows codes and field names on a web page except for input fields.
 htmle  Opens page into an html editor of your choice.
 html?ac=structure  Shows every field in every table.








Just edit the url you are on with the appropriate "command".

8)  Q How do I mass enroll students for a new year or grading period?
A

How to use the Mass Enroll Function

You can use the Mass Enroll group function to enroll a group of students into the same course and section at the same time.

  1. Select a group of students that you would like to mass enroll into the same course and section.
    1. IMPORTANT! You can select your students from their current teachers and year to make a mass move. But make sure you change the school year to the next school year before mass enrolling your group of students for a new year. You will find it helpful to test the process with one student before moving an entire class.
  2. Select the Mass Enroll group function from the group functions menu.
    1. Start Page > Special Functions > Group Functions > Mass Enroll
  3. This function can be used in one of two ways.
    1. Select a Teacher and Period combination from the popup menus.
    2. Enter a specific course and section combination in the "course.section" format. For example, if the course number is 12345 and the section number is 1, you would enter "12345.1" in the text field.
  4. Enter the enrollment date in the Enrollment Date field. This is usually the first day of class. 
    1. For example, if you are enrolling students into a Semester 2 course, the enrollment date will be the first day of the Semester 2 term.
  5. Click Submit to save your changes.

Also, be aware that the teacher list in the Mass Enroll tool lists everyone that has access to your schools data in addition to your teachers. You will see yourself in the list as well.

9)  Q How do I mark a student as a "No Show"?
A

To remove a student from your school you have to perform a transfer out.  Just as if the student was leaving school for another public school or another school in the district.  There is now a choice for "No Show" in the transfer out reasons drop down menu.  Remember to place a descriptive comment in each transfer you initiate.

The 2nd place you need to mark as no show is in the following path;

Start Page > Student Selection > California State Information > CSIS Student ID Information 

When working with the student that you wish to "no show" click on the State/Province - CA link on the left hand side of the screen, then click on the Student Information link on the top of the new page.

About a third of the way down the page is the;


Dropout/No Show Indicator

Not Applicable


Change the indicator from Not Applicable to;


Dropout/No Show Indicator

(2) No Show

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Submit". 

That's it.  If you've completed both steps the student has been marked correctly.  Give these locations a look at when you get a chance.

10)  Q How do you find students that have not been assigned classes?
A
Please remember that taking a student out of a class, does NOT drop them out of school. You need to transfer them out. Students are still active until you transfer them out.

There is a search command that you can use to find any students that are active at your school, but do not have any classes;

*number_of_classes < 1

This search command, to be entered at the "home"/"top" page, is basically asking for any active student that is enrolled in less than 1 class.

You can also use the "=" sign to find students with "0" classes. Additionally you can also change the number to whatever you wish. For example at CMS you might want to search for any students with < 4 classes. To see any students that aren't scheduled completely.

Please run this search command at your school and see what you come up with. Remember, if you find duplicates, don't just transfer them out. Tell me who they are.