Friday, December 4, 2015

Score Inspector Will Not Open or Other Weird Gradebook Preference Issues?

Sometimes the Gradebook properties file seems to get corrupted and it causes a glitch with the Score Inspector or other preferences you have in your Gradebook. For example, you click to open the Score Inspector and it doesn't.

Here is the solution:

  1. Save you work and close your Gradebook
  2. Open windows explorer
  3. Click on you C:/ drive
  4. In the search bar on the top right of this window, search for
  5. Once found, delete this file.
  6. Open Gradebook again and your score inspector will be working. It will also regenerate the properties file.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Printing and Viewing Object Reports, Form Letters and Mailing Labels

When you print a object report, form letter or mailing label in PowerSchool it is rendered in PDF format. It is important to remember that you should save this document to your computer before viewing it. 

This is particularly important when you are printing a report that must line up (like labels) or keep the same formatting. Left clicking on the view in your print queue opens the document in the web browser which does not render the pdf in the intended format. You will find sometimes labels will no longer line up, fonts will not print correctly or other formatting issues.

Instead, right click on the "View" in the print queue and select "save link as" in Firefox or Chrome or "save target as" in Internet Explorer to save it on your computer. Then find the file on your computer and open it with adobe reader, etc.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Half Day Bell Schedule

In the AVRSB, we have both "Regular Day" and "Half Day" Bell schedules. PowerSchool should reflect this but in many cases I am not seeing that both have been created. If you create one, it will mean your teachers don't have to take attendance for classes that actually aren't occurring that day (e.g. Homeroom Attendance PM or afternoon classes in High School). This will lead to more accurate attendance.

If you go to Startpage --> School --> Bell Schedules, this is what we should see.

The number of periods in your half day should reflect the number of periods you have before the dismissal.

For example, compare the Half Day and Regular Day bell schedules for a school.

Once created you need to go into your calendar to set it up correctly to reflect your Half Day bell schedule on the half days.

Startpage --> School --> Calendar Setup

Monday, March 9, 2015

Using Preferred Name In Gradebook

Many times teachers wish they could display the preferred name of a student in their Gradebook, on Gradebook reports and in Report Card Comments.

There are a couple of set-up items first:

  • In all your classes enter the Preferred Name of the students in the appropriate column of the Student Info Tab in Gradebook.

  • Under Tools --> Preferences --> Student Tab make sure to check both boxes that make the Preferred Name now active in Gradebook and on all Gradebook Reports.

Once you have them entered using the <preferred name> Smart Text in your comments will make them appear on report cards.

Searching for Student Percent Grades

There are a couple ways to search for percent grades. The first is a Pearson developed report and the second is one I created. In either case, you can make the results the current selection to print a letter of concern, run other reports, etc.

Search By Grades/Attendance

After you select the group of student go to Special Functions on the StartPage. Then click Search By Grades/Attendance. Highlighted below are the setting you want to change. You can make the results your current selection or have the results displayed.

Search Current Percent Grades

After you select the group of student go to System Reports on the StartPage. Then click SQLReports --> Grading --> Search Current Percent Grades. Select the terms and percentage range you want to search. After the results are displayed you can make the resulting students the current selection. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Family Rep and Linking Family Members

Too often we send home multiple copies of the same notice, newsletter, etc with siblings. Also, there are times when we may want to contact home and know each household is only receiving one phone call (e.g. unexpected early closures, etc)

We can pull lists or create reports from PowerSchool if you enter Family Reps and link Family Members.

Family Rep

The check box is found on the Modify Info page for each student.

To enter them for your school, you can check each of the students separately...but I would recommend selecting all your students and using the Student Field Value Function to change the field family_rep to a value of 1. Then you can go back and remove just the older siblings' check mark by hand.

Linking Family Members

To link siblings, go to one of the students' Family page.

Click on the Search for Additional Family Members link.

Ensure the Include Student's Last Name in Search checkbox is checked and hit submit. If the sibling has a different last name, enter it in the field before hitting submit.

You will get a list of possible siblings based on the last name. Click the related checkbox for each sibling and hit submit. Note: At this time, please do not use the copy function!

Reports that I have created for you:

1. Number of family reps in each homeroom.
2. Emergency contact list with the family info only listed once for the family rep.

Please take a look at the available reports on and send me an email if you would like any others.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Attendance Reports

From time to time you may be asked to provide teachers, parents, the Board, etc with the attendance year-to-date or another specific range. I have created several reports that will give you this information if various forms. (Go to my other blog for sql code.)

They all work by first selecting the group of students for which you want the attendance information (e.g. homeroom, grade level, etc.). Here are the steps:

1. Select the student(s).
2. From the Start Page click System Reports.
3. Select the SQL Reports4 Tab.
4. Select Attendance
5. Choose the Report and enter the required Parameters.

Here are the report Samples:

Monthly Absent Totals (NLY) or (LY)

Note: NLY - used when the school year does not contain a leap year.
         LY - used when the school year contains a leap year

LY -

Present and Absent Totals

Full Attendance Report (With Comments)

Attendance Comment Report

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Searching For Students

Using the search bar in PowerSchool to search for students will greatly simplify your life! Below is the provincial guide.

Inschool Search Guide

If you feel good using search bar, here are some common searches for the AVRSB. Remember compound searches (when you want more than one thing to be true in the selected group) are separated by a semi-colon.

Common Search Examples:

Home_Room contains Jack
  • Will find all students with Jack in their homeroom name. Great if you don't remember how you set-up your homeroom names, especially with split classes. For example 1/2 Jackson or Jackson1/2 or Jackson
  • Finds the students in the Student Support Worker Program
  • Finds the students in the Native Student Advisor Program
  • Finds students in grade 6, 7 and 8. Wonderful for separating your middle school students from other students in your school.
  • Finds the female students in grade 2.
  • Finds the students in grade 10 that are in the Early French Immersion Program. Great search for separating student to print report cards.
  • Finds the students with a current IPP.
  • Finds the students with current adaptations.

***If you have a specific search and you would like me to give you the code, leave me a comment below.***

Sunday, January 4, 2015

String Key Errors

Sometimes when you are working in PowerSchool or PowerTeacher you will start to see "String key was not found" errors.

These occur when the appnode you are connected to needs to be restarted. We have 5 appnodes in the AVRSB, they are the access points to our PowerSchool Server...sorta like the on ramps to the highway to our server.

What do you do when you get them?

The province gets an automatic notification when they occurs so you don't need to let anyone know. They will reset the appnode to fix the issue. However, they can be a real pain if you still have work to what do you do to keep working?
  • Logout of PowerSchool/PowerTeacher so you can see the login screen. 
  • On the login screen make note of what appnode you are currently on. See below you will see a number between 01 and 05.

  • Close out your web browser completely (i.e. exit all windows in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).
  • Open to the PowerSchool/PowerTeacher login screen again. Check the appnode you are on. If it is the same, close all the windows again, repeat until you are on a different appnode.

  • If it different, login and you should be able to work without issue.