PowerSchool: Centralizing Student Data
Purpose of PowerSchool
Ada Christian uses PowerSchool to keep student data. PowerSchool allows middle school students and parents access to student grades and attendance in real time. The purpose of this feature is to increase communication and collaboration among parents, students, and teachers. While it gives parents and guardians more information about their child’s education, at the same time it encourages students to take increase ownership of their learning.
The grading system and posting grades
We are excited about this technology, but realize that with this tool also comes a shift from the way grades were communicated in elementary school.
We believe that, along with parents, it is also important for students to become educated in the process of grades and assessment. Before PowerSchool, students received grade information only upon request or at scheduled times – progress reports, end of each term. With the PowerSchool portal, it will now be possible for students and parents to check grade information more frequently. With that in mind, it is important for students and parents to consider the following:
- Each teacher has his or her own grading system. Some teachers work on a straight “total points” system while others weight the scores according to assignment categories (tests, quizzes, etc.). One teacher may give a grade for class participation while others do not. Your teachers should have shared their expectations and grading system with you already in their class outline but if you need to review this information for clarification, please contact the teacher.
- Most students need a chance to work through the process of learning. We encourage parents to check grades on a weekly basis not daily leaving the student a change to learn how to solve their own problems.
- Grades can change dramatically in the first few weeks of each marking period, or after a large test or assignment. In the beginning of a term, you may see dramatic shifts in your class average. The reason is simply that when there are only one or two assignments in the grade book, a low or high score can have a dramatic effect on the overall grade.
- Teachers need time to grade essays, projects, assignments and tests. Each day teachers are expected to have new materials and lesson plans ready for class. Many teachers are also involved in co-curricular activities that take time to plan and attend. Teachers should post daily assignment grades within 7 days following the due date; larger projects and papers should be posted within 14 days of the due date.
Working with your Student and Teacher
If you are concerned by a grade you see on PowerSchool, we ask that you follow these steps:
- Talk with your student and see if he/she has an answer to your question. Perhaps the student is fixing the assignment or did not turn the assignment in, but is working on it now.
- Check to see if there is an assignment description. In the Score page, if the assignment is listed in blue, click and it will have more information about the assignment.
- Check the due date of the assignment. An assignment handed in late may receive deductions from its score. Also, early in the marking period grades can fluctuate dramatically because of the small number of assignments in the grade book.
- Please remember that grades are fluid and can change dramatically over time. If you still have questions, email or approach your teacher during a time where it does not disrupt instruction. Make an arrangement to sit down and review grades you don’t understand.