Academics


How to Search the Website

Not on the menu?
Can't find the item you are looking for on a menu? You can use the SEARCH feature.


Where is the SEARCH feature located?

The SEARCH feature is located on the main menu which is just located below the school logo/name. The main menu contains the words - HOME  SCHOOL INFO  PARENTS  STUDENTS  TEACHERS  STAFF  COMMUNITY  HELP  SEARCH.


Why use SEARCH?
If you are searching for specific information, you can use the keyword facility to look at any entry on this website. Results are grouped to show for example all webpages together and then all documents, you can narrow down the search by category as listed at the top of the search page.

Search gives you the option to search only in the following parts of the web site - Attachments, Categories, Contacts, Articles, Newsfeeds, Weblinks, and Tags. 

Search feature includes a Search for option. This option allows users to search either for All words, Any words, or Exact Phrase.


How do you SEARCH?

  • Type in the word you want and press ENTER.
  • Type in the part of the word you want and press ENTER (i.e partial word fen finds fence, fender, etc.).
  • Type in the words you want and press ENTER.

Ways to improve the results of a SEARCH
AND
Use to join or separate words in the same section of an item or page (i.e. words in the title, or words in the page content), i.e. Dog AND Cat will return only results containing both Dog and Cat

OR
Use to separate words in the same section of an item or page (i.e. words in the title, or words in the page content), i.e. Dog OR Cat will return results containing either Dog or Cat, or both. 

Search for a phrase or string of text using quotes ("")
To conduct a search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around it like "Swimming Pool". This is a useful feature for place names, legal terms, document types and other situations where you want to ensure that words appear next to each other on the page.

How This Website Works

Overview

Five key concepts are the foundation for this website's design and functionality - ViewPoint, Responsive Design, Chunking, Data Refresh, and Feedback.


ViewPoint

The Problem
As this website contains a large quantity of information about the school, it's easy to get overwhelmed, lost or confused. 


The Solution
The concept of VIEWPOINT was designed into this website to make it easier for you to find the information that you are seeking. The website was designed with the viewpoints of PARENTS, STUDENTS, TEACHERS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY member.

Why use viewpoints?
Because WHO is looking typically drives WHAT information they are looking for. 
For example - A parent often is looking for different information than that of a student or teacher using this website.


How do viewpoints work?
For each viewpoint a unique menu (quick menu) of the most commonly sought for items was setup. The quick menu requires only a single click to get to your targeted item. No need to search through multiple menu branches to find what you are looking for. You access the appropriate quick menu by clicking on your viewpoint - PARENTS, STUDENTS, TEACHERS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY member - as listed in the MAIN MENUFor example - If you are a parent, then click on PARENTS in the MAIN MENU.



What happens if the item you want is not in your viewpoint's quick menu?
Click on SEARCH in the MAIN MENU. Type in your keyword or keywords. Click on the SEARCH button which looks like a magnifying glass. Then review the returned search results for your information. Alternatively you can click on SCHOOL INFO in the MAIN MENU and manual navigate in the traditional manner through the website's extensive menu listings.

How do we decide what items to include in a quick menu for each viewpoint?
Each quick menu must be kept to minimum number of items to ensure searching through the list is quick and easy for website users. Using Google Analytics and website search queries we can determine what are the most commonly sought for items in the website. Based on this data the quick menus are updated to include items covering 95% [2-sigma rule] of a typical website user's queries. We also test changes to an item name in the quick menu to determine which is easier for website users to find their information. For example - Place two different item names for the same information like "Inclement weather procedure" and "Weather related delays & closings" on a quick menu. Next we determine which item name was most commonly used and update the quick menu.


Responsive Design
We incorporated responsive design into the website. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at building a website to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices from smartphones to tablets to desktop computers.

Translation?

The web server automatically adjusts navigation and the arrangement of content based on the size of your device's screen.  If you ever attempted to scroll through a standard website without responsive design with your smartphone, then you know how difficult it is to navigate or view content.


Chunking
A website user doesn't want to scroll down page after page of text to find the information that they want. This is especially true on mobile devices with small screens.

Enter the concept of "chunking". Chunking is the technique of breaking down a large block of information into smaller units of information known as "chunks".

The quantity of content on a webpage is kept minimal using vertical menus combined with chunking. Using a vertical menu a user drills-down to view a specific chunk of information related to the topic being viewed. For example the vertical menu for LIBRARY includes access to chunks of information like HOURS, NEW ARRIVALS, SERVICES, etc.



Data Refresh
Data is not organic, but nevertheless data does get stale with age.

Whenever possible content data for the website is pulled from dynamic sources like Google Calendars, Google Spreadsheets, and RSS feeds to keep it fresh and up-to-date.

The Data Curator for the school website is responsible for managing on a daily basis short-lived, but critical information. Examples of short-lived data are events in the school calendars (academic, athletic, event, facility, and school lunch), daily announcements, and maintaining the photo gallery.

When feasible an object posted on the website is given a life-span indicating a birth date to start displaying and a terminate date to stop displaying. We don't want the website filled with stale announcements. For example displaying in May an announcement about an upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday Concert which occurred last November. The website software automatically manages objects based on their life-span.

A Content Curator writes new articles for publication and serves as editor for any content submitted by employees for publication on the school website.


Feedback
Though listed last, feedback in the form of suggestions from website users provides a valuable contribution. Feedback confirms (or not) the validity of website design changes on improving functionality. When analyzed, feedback can suggest new directions, helpful information or a criticism to improve the future experience of website users.


PowerSchool for Teachers - FAQ

GENERAL

Is the information that we are sending back and forth about the students, staff, and teachers encrypted? 
Yes. The school is following the federal guidelines to keep our information secure.


Do I have to change my password?
For the safety of our students' confidential information, please select a password that is secure. For your own security, use different passwords for different applications.


I teach at multiple schools. Can I see all of my classes from all schools on the same page?
You will not be able to see all classes on the same page but you should be able to switch from school to school under a single login and password starting in Fall 2014. PowerSchool v 7.11 finally added single sign on for teachers.


I can open PowerTeacher on my computer, but my attendance icons do not work. Why?
Attendance icons do not work on the weekends because Saturday and Sunday are not attendance dates for students. You can still check attendance but cannot enter or change attendance on the weekends.


How do I make the Class Attendance screen larger?
This has to do with how your display preferences are set on your computer.

For Mac users - To change them, click on the Apple in the upper left and select System Preferences. Once open, click on Displays. Select different-sized displays to see what works best for you. Quit System Preferences when done.

For PC users - Right click the desktop, click on screen resolution, change resolution, and click OK button.


How do I make a seating chart?
Seating charts are available in PowerSchool. On the Start page, click the seating chart icon which looks like a chair.


What happens if I forget to logout? Why am I always being logged out?
If you have not used the program for approximately 30 minutes, you will automatically be logged out. You will be asked to confirm your password (in Gradebook) or to log back in (PowerTeacher website) to do any more work.


GRADING

How do I enter grades for a student who has dropped my class?
When a student is dropped, their records do not leave your gradebook. Instead, they are filtered out of your active student list into your dropped student list. To display information for dropped students:
1. Launch PowerTeacher Gradebook.
2. Select a class from the Classes area.
3. Select the Scoresheets tab is you wish to view the assignment scores for a dropped student. Select the Students tab if you want to view general information about the student.
4. In the Student Groups area, change 'Highlight Selected' to 'Filter Selected' in the dropdown menu to see the grades for the dropped students.
5. Select the Dropped filter. Only dropped students will show in the Scoresheet and Students tabs and you can add/edit the records as usual.


Can I change the default view for assignments to Q1 instead of “This Week”?
Yes, you can. Change your Reporting Term to Q1 in the Scoresheet tab. When you leave the Scoresheet, the computer will remember the last selected view and keep it for the next time you go back.


How do I add extra credit without penalizing the students who don't do it?
You need to enter extra credit as a new assignment and leave the total points at zero. In the Scoresheet tab, enter points for this assignment if the student earns extra credit. This will not affect the rest of the class, but will boost that student's grade.

You can also simply give students more than the total value of the assignment. So, if your assignment was worth 25 points, you can put 29 into the scoresheet for that assignment and the gradebook will count that as extra credit. This is done in the Add Assignments field. There is a spot for Points Possible and then Extra Points as well. When you enter extra points, the Max Points automatically updates to reflect those changes.


How do excuse students from an assignment?
There are several ways to accomplish this task. First, if you do not have a score entered for that assignment, you need to highlight the assignment and type in EX for that student's grade. Press Return. You will see an italicized EX listed in the grade field for that assignment. You must SAVE to see the results.

Another way to do this is to use the Score Inspector. First, highlight the assignment that you wish to exempt the student from. Click on the Tools menu at the top and go to Score Inspector (you can also hold down the Apple + Click to get the same menu). To exempt the student, just check the box next to Exempt. Remember to SAVE to see your results.

Exempting a student from an assignment will not count against the student's total points.


How do I fill scores down?
In the Scoresheet Tab, highlight the assignment in which you wish to fill scores. Click on the Tools menu at the top and select Fill Scores. A dialog box will appear. Enter the score you want to assign students and click OK. Remember to SAVE to see your results.


How do I weight terms? I would like Q1 at 45%, Q2 at 45% and the Final Exam at 10%.
To weight grades, click on the Grade Setup tab. Select S1 in the top half of your screen and select Term Weights at the bottom. Change the weight of Q1 to 45, Q2 to 45 and F1 to 10. You should see your percentages change to reflect those numbers. Click Save when done


How do I drop the lowest score in a category?
Unfortunately, at this time, you can only drop the lowest score using total points.


ASSIGNMENTS

Why do I get an error message when I create an assignment?
When you create an assignment, the Gradebook automatically takes that name and adds it to the Abbreviation. However, an assignment abbreviation cannot be longer than 15 characters long. If it is longer, you will receive an error message and will not be able to save the assignment.


How do I copy an assignment from one hour to another?
In the Assignments tab, click on the assignment you wish to copy. Click on the Tools Menu at the top and select Copy Assignment. Put a check in the box next to the additional class periods. Click on OK to Save the assignment to other class periods. At this time, there is not an option to copy multiple assignments from hour to hour.


Can I choose to not publish and have the assignment be part of the final grade?
The two options are not compatible. You unfortunately have to choose one or the other. Alternately, you can choose to have that item published at the end of the term. However, the assignment will still figure into the final grade, regardless of when you choose to publish it. Final grades appear on the Student Portal.


How do I view the grades of a student that just transferred into my class?
In the 'Backpack' view for a class, select the new student from the list. Using the 'Select screens' drop down menu at the upper right, select 'Quick Lookup'. At the bottom of the Quick Lookup screen you will see a link to 'Show Dropped Classes'. After you click it, look for the previous class in the screen and, if available, click the grade for that class. A screen showing all the assignments and scores entered by the previous teacher will appear. Note that you may be limited by the term settings in PowerSchool in terms what previous classes you can see so check the previous grades ASAP after the student is added to to your class. If you are unable to see the assignments from the previous teacher/term, you will need to check with the previous teacher directly.


STUDENT INFORMATION

How do I email a student's parents?
In the Students Tab, click on a student's name. The student information should pop up on the bottom of the screen. Click on the email address, if listed. You will have the option to copy the address. Paste it into your mail program to begin your message.


Can I mass email my entire class through the Gradebook?
Yes. This feature was added to PowerTeacher Gradebook. Look under the Tools menu for 'Email Students and Parents'.


Can I view a student's counselor's name?
You can but only under the 'Backpack' pages for a given student. The homeroom and/or counselor is listed in the page header.

To see PowerSchool Backpack pages for an individual student:

Login in to PowerTeacher.
Click on the Backpack icon.
Click on the student's name you would like to look up.
In the top right corner, there is a drop down menu to select a page. Demographics is a good option.


How and where do I check a student's attendance information?
There are two ways to verify a student's attendance. You can do so by individual student or by class.

To check attendance by individual student:
Login in to PowerTeacher.
Click on the Backpack icon.
Click on the student's name you would like to look up.
In the top right corner, there is a drop down menu.
Select Meeting Attendance.


How do I change an absence that is placed in the program in error?
This needs to be addressed with the attendance secretary or main office.


How do I take attendance?
It is easy to take attendance in PowerTeacher. As soon as teachers take attendance, the data is available to school administrators, parents, and students. If all students are present teachers must still click the chair icon to open the attendance screen, and then click Submit. This tells PowerSchool that the teacher has taken attendance. Otherwise, the teacher’s name will be on a report that displays teachers who have not taken attendance.