PowerTeacher Frequently Asked Questions

We will attempt to answer as many FAQs regarding PowerTeacher here, as well as update the site in a timely fashion. If you have a question that remains unanswered after reviewing the list below, please contact your building PowerSchool Mentor, or contact the Help Desk at 994-5040 or helpdesk@aaps.k12.mi.us.

 

Common Questions

General Grading Assignments
Student Information Reports  

General (top)

 

Grading (top)

 

Assignments (top)

 

Student Information (top)

 

Reports (top)

 

General

I am missing my graphics when I log into PowerSchool. What do I do?
This sometimes happens after an upgrade. The way around is to CTRL-Click on a graphic and ask to View Graphic. This should trigger the browser to ask you to reconfirm the server certificate. View the Certificate and the Confirm that you want to accept it permanently.

You should then be able to see the graphic. Click on your bookmark or re-enter the usual PowerTeacher address. This should pop you back into the PowerTeacher screen with pictures.

Return to Common Questions

 

When I click Gradebook, nothing happens or my machine opens a text file instead of the Gradebook. Why? 

The gradebook currently uses Java which gets updated frequently. In some cases, Apple actually prevents machines from launching Java apps until the version has been updated. In other cases, the little Java 'jnlp' file that should launch the Gradebook gets associated with TextEdit.

If the gradebook appears to download but then doesn't open, first check to make sure you have the most recent version of Java by checking and running Software Update under the Apple menu.

If your machine is opening a text file and not the gradebook, we need to remind your computer what to use (in geek-speak we want to re-register JNLP files with Java Web Start.app):

  1. In the Finder, open the /System/Library/CoreServices folder. Apple says simply opening this folder will re-associate JNLP files with Java Web Start.app. [in peoplespeak, open Macintosh HD then open System then Library then Core Services]
  2. Close the CoreServices Finder window.

That should fix it. If not, please give the help desk a jingle at 994-5040.

 

Return to Common Questions

How do I clear my cache in Firefox and/or Safari
Sometimes you just need to clear your cache to reset your browser. In Firefox, cilck on the Tools menu at the top and select Clear Private Data. A dialog box will come up asking you what you would like to clear. Make your selections and click Clear Private Data Now.

firefoxcache.jpg

firefoxcache2.jpg

 

It's even easier in Safari. Just go to the Safari menu at the top and select Empty Cache.

safari_cache.png

 

In Chrome:

  1. Click the Chrome menu chrome_menu.png on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  5. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  6. Click Clear browsing data.

Return to Common Questions

 

Is the information that we are sending back and forth about the kids encrypted? 
Yes. The ITD department is following the federal guidelines to keep our information secure.

Return to Common Questions


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.


Return to Common Questions

 

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 2013. PowerSchool v 7.8 finally added single sign on for teachers.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.


Return to Common Questions

 

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


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I make a seating chart?

Seating charts are now available in PowerSchool. On the start page, click the seatingcharticon.png icon.
Return to Common Questions

 

I need to fill out my overage form(s). How do I find my course and section numbers?
To find your course and section numbers:

  1. Login in to PowerTeacher.
  2. Look for and click on Personalize in the left-hand menu.
  3. Set the option to show Section Number to 'Yes' and submit.
  4. Log out and then back in. Section Numbers should appear next to the room number.


Return to Common Questions

 

What do I do with PowerSchool when I go on long-term leave?
The teacher and principal must decide together whether to give your long-term substitute access to PowerSchool. If the teacher is not available to decide, the principal will do so for the teacher. You must also decide whether to change the teacher name in PowerSchool.

If you decide NOT to give the long-term substitute access, then the sub should take paper attendance and have your school secretary put the attendance into PowerSchool. If you DO give access to a long-term sub, then change the password to a password to share with the sub.

If you want the teacher name changed to reflect the substitute, your principal must put in a help ticket to change the teacher name to Teacher First/Sub First  Teacher Last/Sub Last.


Return to Common Questions

 

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.


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I know if I am already logged in?
If you are already logged into PowerTeacher Gradebook, you will see a Terminate Other Sessions window appear when you try to load the gradebook. Click on Terminate Other Sessions to load the Gradebook as usual. If you do not see this window, check your dock to see if there are any programs bobbing up and down. If so, click on the program and this window will appear.

terminate_sessions.jpg


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I get the security certificate to always accept?
Launch the Gradebook as usual through the PowerTeacher website. You will see a window similar to the one below appear.

show_certificate.jpg

Click on Show Certificate. The window will expand to show more details.

always_trust_certificate.jpg

Check the 'Always trust these certificates' box. Then click the Trust button. You may have to do this more than once before you get to your Gradebook. However, once you go through the process, your computer should accept the certificate permanently.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

dropped_classes.png

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 'Hightlight Selected' to 'Filter Selected' in the dropdown menu to see the grades for the dropped students.

dropped_groups_1.png

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.

dropped_groups_2.png

ptg-help-q.jpgThis information is also available in the built-in PowerTeacher help under Student Groups>Filter By Student Groups.

Return to Common Questions

 

Can I change the grade scale percentages?
Grade scales are currently configured based on the recommendations of the grade scale committee that met throughout the 2008-2009 school year. Click here to see the high school grading scale. Click here to see the middle school grading scale.


Return to Common Questions

 

I don't understand how the grading scale works.
The current grading scale mostly affects people who use letter grades as a way to enter grades, not folks who use points or percentage. People who calculate their grades using percentage will be using the percentage listed in the Cutoff column. Points are points, and take the percentage from the Cutoff column as well.

grade_scale.png

However, when you look at the grading scale the district has set, the column for percent is where the Letter Grade is taking its percent. It takes the mean percent, not the maximum percent. For example, if you give a student an "A," the percent being attached is not 100%, but 97%, which is the middle between 93-100%. So this is something to consider, especially if a parent calculates the percentage on their own in a dispute situation.


Return to Common Questions

 

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.


Return to Common Questions


How do we put citizenship grades in at the end of the marking period?
You should use comments. You can access the comments screen through the Score Inspector in the Scoresheet Tab. Alternately, you can just double-click on a Final Grade in the Scoresheet Tab. This will pop up the Score Inspector and you will see the area that you need to add comments. You can also refer to this document on Reporting Grades.

Citizenship comments available: Citizenship 1, Citizenship 2, Citizenship 3, Citizenship 4, and Citizenship 5.

Return to Common Questions

 

Can we get later term classes removed from the list until that term starts?

Not at this time.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

fill_scores.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I add comments to Final Grades?

Please refer to this document on Reporting Grades for step by step instructions on how to enter comments.

Return to Common Questions

 

Is there a maximum number of comments that can be added in the Final Grade area?

At this time, there is not a maximum comment number. Please be reasonable in the length and number of your comments.

Return to Common Questions

 

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. Also, please take a look at this document on Reporting Grades.

weighting_terms.gif

Return to Common Questions

 

I want to have my semester total be 80% Marking Period, 20% Final Exam, with no category weighting and a running total. How do I do that?

Please take a look at this document on Reporting Grades.

Return to Common Questions

 

I want to have my semester total be 80% Marking Period, 20% Final Exam, with category weighting and a running total. How do I do that?

Please take a look at this document on Reporting Grades.

Return to Common Questions

 

How do I drop the lowest score in a category?

Unfortunately, at this time, you can only drop the lowest score using total points.

Return to Common Questions

 

What is the process for changing a stored grade?

If a stored Marking Period, Final Exam or Semester grade needs to be changed during the current school year, it must be processed by both the teacher and the records office.  
1. The teacher must make the correction in their PowerTeacher Grade Book.  This must be done to ensure proper gradebook calculations.
2. The teacher must complete a grade change form and return it to the Records office in order to change the "official" stored grade in PowerSchool.


Return to Common Questions

 

 

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.

assignment_error.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

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.

copy_assignment.gif

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

Return to Common Questions

 

Will students see the Assignment Name or Abbreviation?
Yes. This information is public and viewable in both the Student and Parent Portals.

Return to Common Questions

 

Student Information


Is there a field for nickname?
There is a nickname field but teachers can only read from the field, not edit it. Ask your school/class OP to enter nicknames and then you can opt to show the nickname field in scrrens/reports where it is available.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

Return to Common Questions

 

How do I see if a student has dropped my course?
You would filter to the dropped students list.

Return to Common Question

 

Can the computer give me a pop-up to let me know a new student has been added to my class?
You will usually receive an auto-generated email when a student is added to your class.

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

Return to Common Questions

 

Can I mass email my entire class through the Gradebook?
Yes. This feature was added to PowerTeacher gradebook in 2012-13. Look under the Tools menu for 'Email Students and Parents'.

Return to Common Questions

 

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:

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

Return to Common Questions

 

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:

  1. Login in to PowerTeacher.
  2. Click on the Backpack icon.
  3. Click on the student's name you would like to look up.
  4. In the top right corner, there is a drop down menu (see below).
  5. Select Meeting Attendance.

meeting_attendance.gif

To check attendance by class list (all students in that class will be shown):

  1. Login in to PowerTeacher.
  2. Click on the Printer icon.
  3. Choose Class Attendance Audit (should be default).
  4. Click Submit.
  5. You will be directed to your Report Queue.
  6. Refresh your screen.
  7. Click View to see class attendance report.

Similar to SASI, you will only see 3 weeks of past class attendance. To view attendance for an entire quarter or semester, select the individual student and run the Meeting Attendance report above.

Return to Common Questions


I have an Administrative account and would like to look up my students' grades. How do I do it?

  1. Login to PowerSchool.
  2. Search for the student's name.
  3. Select Quick Lookup on the far left.
  4. Click on the Student Grade highlighted in blue. This will show you grades for the assignments listed so far.

quick_lookup.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

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

Return to Common Questions

 

How do I create Student Groups?
PowerTeacher Gradebook provides tools for creating sets and groups so that teachers can adapt instruction to the needs of subgroups of students. Student group assignments are flexible; they can be modified any time.

Definitions
• Entire Class – default PowerTeacher Gradebook group.
• Set – a collection of groups, e.g. Math or Reading. You must create the Set before you can create a Group.
• Group – a small collection of students, i.e. Math1 and Math2 or Bluebirds and Redbirds.

Here's how to create groups & sets:

Click the Plus (+) sign on the left-hand side of the PowerTeacher Gradebook window. This is under the section entitled Student Groups. Choose Add Group Set.
add_group_set.jpg
Give the set a name. Click Ok. Group 1 will automatically appear beneath your newly created set.

name_set.jpg

To change the name of Group 1, CTRL + click (MAC) or right-click (PC) on the group to bring up the menu. Choose Edit.

edit_group.jpg

Rename the group. Click Ok when done.  name_group.jpg
Now you just need to add students to your group. You can do this in either the Scoresheet tab or the Students tab. Simply click and drag a student's name to the group. Their names will be listed below the group name.  

Return to Common Questions

 

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.

If teachers have more than one class during the same period, they can take attendance for all of the students in the classroom at the same time by clicking the Record MultiMeeting Attendance for Multiple Sections option.

1) Click the chair next to one of your classes.

attendance_chair.jpg

2) Choose attendance codes from the menu and
mark attendance for your student.

3) Click Submit. The indicator located next to
the chair is now green.

attendance_codes.jpg

4) To Print, click on report at the bottom of the
of the screen and the next screen will show up.
Keep class attendance, and then click on submit.

attendance_print.jpg

5) Select a class.

attendance_select_class.jpg

6) The following screen will pop up, which shows your name
school, what kind of report, type, and when to execute. Review
and then click on Submit.

attendance_report_features.jpg

7) Once you select Submit, the following window will appear
to show you where your report will be saved and click on OK.

attendance_save_pdf.jpg

8) Sample of the Class Attendance audit report is shown at right.  attendance_audit.jpg

 

Return to Common Questions

 

Reports


How do I print off a report for just one student?
In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab. Select the class. Then select the Individual Student Report. Click Run Report. This selection will run a report for each of your students in this class. If you don't want to print a report for every student, look for the page number of the student(s) you wish to print. In the Print dialog box, choose to print From Page X to Page X.


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I create a blank spreadsheet with student names?

  1. In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab.
  2. Choose the Student Roster report.
  3. Select Output Type of CSV.
  4. Check all of the Blank boxes.
  5. Delete Blank 1, Blank 2, Blank 3, etc. and put 1 space in the box.
  6. Preview the Report (at bottom).
  7. Select Run Report.
  8. Your report will automatically open.

blank_student_report.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

I created a report in PowerTeacher and I don't see it. Where is it?
In order to see your report, you need to Refresh your screen. You will find the Refresh button next to the Report Queue title. Click Refresh. Your screen should update and you should be able to view your report. Click on View. Preview will automatically open your report.

refresh_screen.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

How do I print off Student Logins in label format?

To print student labels for all classes:

  1. Login in to PowerTeacher.
  2. Click on Reports.
  3. In the drop down menu, select Student Login Info 3up.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Refresh your Report Queue screen (if you don't know how, click here).
  6. Click View.
  7. Your report will automatically open. Print using Avery 5160 labels in your printer.

student_login_labels.gif

To print student labels for individual classes:

  1. Login in to PowerTeacher.
  2. Click on Printer next to individual class.
  3. In the drop down menu, select Student Login Info 3up.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Refresh your Report Queue screen (if you don't know how, click here).
  6. Click View.
  7. Your report will automatically open. Print using Avery 5160 labels in your printer.

Return to Common Questions

 

Is there a way to print out class lists that are numbered using Gradebook?
At this time, there is not a report that will give you a numbered class list. In the meantime, you can export your Student Roster as a CSV file and import that file into Excel. Modify the Excel spreadsheet to include a numbered list and print.

Return to Common Questions

 

How do we make things like Late, Missing and Exempt show up in Reports?
The assignment reports do include codes for assignments specifically marked as late, missing and exempt. There is also a Missing Assignment Report.

Return to Common Questions

 

How do I print out a list of all of my assignments, due dates and possible points?

  1. In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab.
  2. Choose the Scoresheet report.
  3. Be sure to select the correct Quarter in the Items to Include area.
  4. Select Run Report.
  5. Your report will automatically open.

scoresheet.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

How can I see what percentage a student has in each assignment category?
There are two ways to go about this, using a Category Total Report and using an Individual Student Report.

To print a Category Total Report:

  1. In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab.
  2. Choose the Category Total report.
  3. Select Totals by Student in the Report Layout area.
  4. Be sure to select the correct Quarter in the Reporting Term area.
  5. Select Run Report.
  6. Your report will automatically open.

category_total_report.gif

To print an Individual Student Report:

  1. In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab.
  2. Choose the Individual Student report.
  3. Be sure to select the correct Quarter in the Items to Include area.
  4. Select Run Report.
  5. Your report will automatically open.

individual_student_report.gif


Return to Common Questions

 

Can a roster be sorted by group? Can I print a roster by group?
You cannot sort a roster by group, but you can print a roster by group.

  1. In the Gradebook, click on the Reports Tab.
  2. Choose the Student Roster report.
  3. Be sure to choose Selected Groups and/or Students in the Students area.
  4. Select Run Report.
  5. Your report will automatically open.

student_roster.gif


Return to Common Questions