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    Week of May 22, 2017
    Posted on 05/31/2017
    PowerSchool Training Helps Schools Ready for Next Year

    PowerSchool is our Student Information System. One of its key roles is to schedule students in classes. This is a complicated process that can take many hours, but PowerSchool makes it easier with its PowerScheduler function that provides users with the tools to build their next year Master Schedule. PowerScheduler considers all schedule factors and determines the best possible schedule from hundreds of thousands of possibilities. The resulting master schedule satisfies the most complex requirements and minimizes the most conflicts.

    DoTS provides training and support to our schools to make their master schedules with Power Scheduler and complete this process in a timely manner to be ready for the start of school.

    This year, middle and high school scheduling teams attended training sessions and hands-on workshops to prepare and finalize their 2017-2018 Master Schedules. This was included but not limited to principals, assistant principals, counselors, and registrars. Forty-six staff members from 21 schools participated in these trainings and workshops. DoTS will continue to support these schools with ongoing Open Labs every Friday until June 23 and daily from June 26 to July 13. Elementary school teams will be attending workshops from June 6 to June 14 and K-8 schools will be attending a workshop on June 2.

    PowerScheduler Online Course Request functionality was also implemented this year. This allows students to log into The Source and sign up for next year’s courses. PowerScheduler allows schools to set up and copy grade level online course request forms from year to year, as well as provide specific windows of time where groups of students can access the form. Counselors are also able to use this screen to review and update student’s requests as necessary to support graduation requirements.

    This year 21 schools set up at least one Online Course Request form and three high schools used the Online Course Requests functionality for scheduling. These schools provided feedback which included:
    - Faster and more accurate data entry of course requests
    - Student ownership of the submitted request
    - Increase in counselor and student interaction
    - No reduction in instructional time for teachers

    Improvements to the Online Experience for the Advanced Learning Referral Process

    On May 15, 2017, DoTS and Advanced Learning were pleased to open the Advanced Learning Referral Window for the 2017-2018 Advanced Learning Eligibility Referral and Decision Process. This is the first year that Advanced Learning has been able to open the window for accepting referrals this early and for this long. This has been made possible by the combined efforts of the DoTS and the Advanced Learning teams over the past 10 months to improve not only the efficiency but also the security of the Advanced Learning Referral Process by taking it online through the Source, our parent portal.

    While there have been many small refinements to the 2016-2017 Advanced Learning Referral Process, this year’s launch includes some exciting new features that we expect will greatly improve parent and student participation in the Referral Process as well as improve efficiency in the administration and maintenance of the process by both DoTS and the Advanced Learning teams.

    The ability for parents to schedule their own child’s Advanced Learning tests is a significant step forward. We expect this improvement to eliminate countless hours spent by the Advanced Learning team simply scheduling and rescheduling testing for parents – as well as improve the turnout by students whose parents now have ownership in the process of scheduling their own tests.

    The addition of teacher recommendations – an expansion of the ability for teachers to rate students who have already been referred by parents – provides teachers the opportunity to submit a recommendation for a student which will then be sent to parents encouraging them to refer their child. This should greatly improve Advanced Learning’s ability to serve those students whose parents are not aware of the opportunities that Advanced Learning may present for their children.