What do you like best?
PowerSchool allows our staff to input academic and behavioral data for our students, and these updates can be viewed by all, including parents, in real time. As the school social worker, I review this data during sessions with my students, and it's helpful to see their most updated grades and most recent behavioral infractions. PowerSchool allows me to be responsive to my students' day-to-day behavior, which at middle school, is always in a state of flux.
What do you dislike?
PowerSchool has the potential to be a great tool for the parents of our students. When working with our students, we do not work in a vacuum, and the alignment between home and school is a key leverage. On PowerSchool, each student is given an individual key that a parent can use to create their own PowerSchool account. In order to protect the privacy of this account, we, as a school, rightfully do not have access to a parent's login and password information once an account is created. Unfortunately, once a parent loses their login information, we have to point them to a third-party to recover their information, which is oftentimes cumbersome and confusing. If there was a way that a parent could easily reset their password, and there was a way we as a staff could facilitate the reset, that would be helpful. Many of our parents do not have access to a computer at home, and access PowerSchool on their phones, and many staff use their work laptops to help parents set up an account.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Like all software, training new staff on how to use PowerSchool takes time. Fortunately, when inputting log entries, all staff can create, edit, or delete an entry. This flexible feature is important, especially when needing to correct student data quickly.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Using the data inputted by all my colleagues who work with a student, we are allowed to easily glean academic and behavioral trends from the aggregate on PowerSchool. As a social worker, this allows me to identify areas of intervention. With the high number of students with whom I work, PowerSchool is invaluable.