Mom, wife, daughter, & sister at home. PowerSchool guardian & data cruncher at work. Web developer and entrepreneur on the side. Love every minute!
I teach ages: 1 to 22
PowerSchool helps us keep up with student grades & information and delivers it back to parents & students via a portal, an app, and/or emails; it pairs up with SchoolMessenger to help us send announcements to parents; it feeds information to our Google accounts, our nutrition program, our library program, and Active Directory.
My (new-ish) favorite part of the PowerSchool platform is customization via insertion points and plugins. Insertion points allow users to customize pages without the need to rebuild links & other data each time a PowerSchool update changes that page’s coding.
Plugins allow PowerSchool to become modular, adding functionality simply by browsing for the zipped plugin file and clicking “Install”. And uninstalling is as simple as disabling the plugin by unchecking a checkbox. No more going back through the files in the web root, deleting a file here, a snippet of code there, etc.
I also love our state reporting support team. They are quickly reactive to new procedures and policies required of them by our state DOE.
We love that PowerSchool easily connects up to so many third party vendors! We use SchoolMessenger for our notification program, and it seamlessly integrates with PowerSchool right inside the interface. Even our state Department of Education has integrated a couple of its applications so that faculty sign in to PowerSchool and enter the DOE portals through SSO without further credentials.
We are implementing online registration and a health suite that will link up our state vaccine database with PowerSchool to keep nursing staff from dual data entry.
The ability to attach student documents is also very handy. Our Student Services Department is able to store and attach important medical information and 504 documents directly to the student’s page so that they are accessible digitally, not in a filing cabinet.
Another program we attached to PowerSchool allows us to turn our in-house SQL queries into embedded reports that PowerSchool administrators and / or teachers can run.
Whether by learning how to do it within their own organization or by purchasing customizations, PowerSchool users can take the program most anywhere they want to go.
Every SIS will have things some users like and some things they don’t. There is no product that will satisfy every user from the admin to the teacher to the substitute to the parent to the student. No SIS can do it all. However, whenever a great new product comes into our view that we consider purchasing, and they claim to be able to sync with our SIS, we ask if they work with PowerSchool, and the answer is always either “yes, we do” or “we are building that support now”. Having the ability to add the pieces PowerSchool doesn’t have in its stock product goes a long way in keeping stockholders and users happy.