PowerSchool

 
Overview
 
PowerSchool is an internationally recognized student information system (SIS) from Pearson (http://www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/products/powerschool/), a world leader in educational products.  PowerSchool also includes PowerTeacher, Pearson's premier electronic grade book for teachers.
 
PowerSchool is the fastest-growing, most widely used web-based student information system, supporting nearly 9 million students in all 50 states and over 50 countries. PowerSchool enables today's educators to make timely decisions that impact student performance while creating a collaborative environment for parents, teachers and students to work together in preparing 21st century learners for the future.
 
With over 150 reports and thousands of pages and functions, PowerSchool has the most complete feature set of any SIS available to educators today. In order to make the system accessible to all users: administrators, teachers, parents, and students, PowerSchool has evolved over the last decade to stay abreast of the latest web design standards. Users are presented with a simple and elegant interface that organizes the system in a way that makes sense for users of all experience and ability levels.
 
In Jackson county, all local public school districts, and one charter, have made PowerSchool their SIS of choice. In addition to this, these districts have chosen the JCISD as the host and supporting entity for PowerSchool, thus creating the JCISD PowerSchool Consortium. As recently as 2007 there were 7 different SIS systems being managed by Jackson county schools. Each district/school had to provide its own support model, facilitate its own training, and work independently with processing such as state reporting and student data management. The JCISD PowerSchool Consortium changed that.
 
When a district joins the JCISD PowerSchool Consortium, each and every user is provided with multiple opportunities to be equipped from principals to teachers. This is accomplished through group and individual training sessions, user guides and customized training materials. Each districts within the PowerSchool Consortium, receives the following benefits from JCISD staff members: Maximized productivity, data center cost savings, increase in data integrity, streamline synchronizations other applications such as DataDirector and Excent Tera, virtualization of servers, server maintenance, server updates, hardware/infrastructure upgrades, county wide SIS user group, updates and patches applied to server, custom report writing, custom page development, county wide report standardization, accessible from any Mac or Windows PC, mobile device access, Pearson certified instructors leading all major reporting period, processing or otherwise needed trainings, tech support for day-to-day operations with PowerSchool.
 
With the successful implementations within Jackson county, the JCISD PowerSchool Consortium team has/is approached from time to time to extend our services outside of Jackson county. In March of 2012, contracts were signed with seven districts/schools within Hillsdale county. PowerSchool was implemented for these districts and made available for the start of the following school year.
 
The challenges of implementing PowerSchool would be evidenced in the quality of existing data in each district. As well as the quality of existing data, the implementation timeline was the single greatest contributor to the implementation becoming more challenging. As an example, the seven Hillsdale contracts were not signed until the end of March. This did not allow for us to begin exploratory sessions until April and May. With the exploratory sessions, phase one, taking place so late in the year, we were rushing to implement PowerSchool. Also, we identified the type of data as well as the quality at which the data is stored would contribute to the implementation. These were the two greatest challenges for our implementations.
 
In conclusion, the level of expertise the JCISD PowerSchool Consortium team leveraged was the key to successful implementations of PowerSchool within these districts.
 
Last Modified on March 18, 2014
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