STUDENT SERVICES EDITION Digital Magazine | October 2020
C NNECT Connecting you with Technology
STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
STUDENT SERVICES FEATURE ARTICLE
Tracking the New Graduation Requirements in PowerSchool The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has established new Graduation Requirements termed “Permanent Requirements” for the Classes of 2023 and beyond. This new requirement set is also allowed to be used by students in the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 who are unable to meet one of the current Three Graduation Pathways. The new Permanent Requirements consist of Competency, demonstrated by assessment performance or alternative proof of competency, and Readiness Requirements, met through the earning of Diploma Seals. Details on the new Graduation Requirements can be found on ODE’s website at the link below. Districts are encouraged to bookmark this page, as it includes an FAQ section that is updated regularly. http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/ Ohio-s-Graduation-Requirements/Ohio-s-GraduationRequirements_Long-term-Requirements-2023-andBeyond.pdf.aspx
groups to mock up ideas for the upcoming changes in PowerSchool. Each group presented their ideas and individuals were invited to provide feedback on each group’s proposed solutions. A final discussion provided the PowerSchool State Development Team with a solid set of requests for consideration.
In preparation for these new graduation requirements, PowerSchool Ohio State Support hosted a development day with the focus on how districts could best monitor progress in PowerSchool to ensure that students stayed on track. Prior to the governor’s school closure order in March 2020, over 70 personnel from districts and ITCs convened in Marion, Ohio. The meeting was led by EMIS Specialist & PowerSchool State Reporting Lead Jennifer Schmidt and the PowerSchool State Reporting Development Team. Tom Rounds, the Northeast and Central Regional Field Specialist from the Ohio Department of Education was present to answer some of the questions from the group. PowerSchool’s regional sales director was in attendance as well. Renee Bailey from Connect attended along with other Connect customer representation – Stacy Miller (School Administrator, St. Martin de Porres High School), Alyssa Schwedt (School counselor, Keystone High School), and Tim Wulfhoop (EMIS coordinator, Olmsted Falls City Schools).
The groups recognized that the current Graduation Pathways screen successfully tracks requirements and is familiar to end-users and therefore wanted to work within this construct for the new Permanent Requirements. However, there were some suggestions for improvements to the existing grad pathways screen, such as including the number of attempts for the Ohio State Tests and the ability to quickly toggle between the student progress toward the Three Pathways and the Permanent Requirements graduation sets. The suggestions for enhancements and tracking methods focused on minimal end-user intervention as well as student progress to be determined by data already available within the PowerSchool application – avoiding double data entry and potential human error. There was also an overwhelming request for more reports on student progress for selected student groups and the ability to mass print the Graduation Pathways screen, which were both acknowledged by the PowerSchool team. While the suggestions seemed to be acceptable and possible for the developers, they will do their best to incorporate them into the new screens which are expected in a Fall 2020 release.
Attendees from around Ohio reviewed ODE documents for the Graduation Requirements for the classes of 2017 through 2023 and beyond, and then met in small
Connect has put together a more detailed document for our PowerSchool customers outlining the meeting’s events and the final ideas & mockups.
General Updates By Matt Zenobi, Lead Support Specialist & Systems Analyst, Student Services
The student department completed the implementation of Performance Matters for Keystone and Midview near the start of school, while Fairview Park is expected to be fully implemented by winter break. Performance Matters offers a data analytics tool that allows users to easily track student progress based on student assessment performance, current and historical grades, attendance, and discipline. Custom reports and year-to-year comparisons can be produced while applying student data filters and aggregating data. The software can help schools identify students who are at-risk and may need academic or behavioral interventions, or identify students who are best suited for advanced placement classes. Other schools have shown interest in the software, while Olmsted Falls and Avon Local have received training this past winter and are fine-tuning their implementation to suit their needs.
Connect staff conducted Zoom sessions during Midviewâ€™s professional development day in September and created documentation for new staff. In addition to the provided plugins and queries PowerSchool provides during the initial implementation process, we have produced custom data extracts to enhance the reporting of student discipline data, the early warning system, and custom student filters inside Performance Matters. According to Pearson, Performance Matters can be utilized for other districts using Progressbook or other SIS packages. Contact us if would like to see a demonstration. https://www.powerschool.com/ solutions/performance-matters/
Here we see a simple example of a Scoreboard report comparing 3 years of AIR ELA test results, filtered for nonproficient scores. The districtâ€™s decrease in non-proficient scores over the years is a positive trend in this test subject.
STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
General Updates FrontLine Progressbook SpecialServices update
The new version of Progressbook SpecialServices was rolled out for some customers this summer, while others opted to remain on the Classic version. Those who migrated to the new SpecialServices Refresh enjoy an improved StudentInformation-integrated framework, more robust options for user permissions, auto-saving forms, caseload management, faster loading and navigation, a functional dashboard, and much more. Both the Classic and Refresh versions will be available
through the 2021-2022 school year. These solutions are expected to be replaced with FrontLine’s own special education software formerly known as Accelify, which will serve as the Progressbook suite’s special education module moving forward. FrontLine (formerly Software Answers) staff worked closely with Connect and our districts to provide training and data migration support during the transition from Classic to Refresh this past spring and summer.
Samegoal IEP Anywhere Many Connect schools use IEP Anywhere for their special education software. Samegoal now offers a Plus version with enhanced features including remote electronic parent signatures, increased upload limits for document attachments, document version history, application-side report filtering & sorting, and more. Visit their blog page to see Plus version features and other recent developments. If your district is interested in the Plus version, contact us for a quote. https://samegoal.com/iep/g/ company/blog
In relation to COVID19 school closures last spring and new remote learning initiatives, our department assisted several schools in adjusting their assignment grading techniques, grading scales, and final grade averaging methods. Be sure to verify your 1st quarter and 1st trimester grading schemes and report card templates are accurate for this school year, as some of those changes may have rolled into your 2020-2021 school year settings in both your SIS and gradebook systems. We also received a great number of questions regarding EMIS state reporting, attendance tracking, special education, fall sports eligibility, graduation requirements, state testing, state report cards, school calendar configuration, and much more. We will share any news we receive from ODE and recommend checking the following resources and FAQs we have compiled since March:
Ohio Director of Health Order for Tracking COVID19 Cases: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/DO-K12-Reporting.pdf COVID19 Information for Ohio Schools and Districts: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus Reset and Restart: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Reset-and-Restart Graduation Flexibility 2021 and Beyond – HB164 Course Grade Substitutions: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Graduation-Flexibility-%E2%80%93-2021and-Beyond
Data Reporting for Students with Disabilities: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Data-Reporting-for-Students-withDisabilities-FAQ Educator Licensure Flexibility for 2020-2021: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Educator-Licensure 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Third-Grade-Reading-Guarantee http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Third-Grade-Reading-Guarantee/ThirdGrade-Reading-Guarantee-FAQ Fall 2020 Sports Eligibility: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/ohsaaupdate-to-school-administrators College Credit Plus (CCP) Guidance sheet: http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/ Ohio-Education-Options/College-Credit-Plus/CollegeCredit-Plus-Guidance-3-27-2020-FINAL-003-2.pdf. aspx?lang=en-US Advanced Placement testing: http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Ed-Connection/ March-30-2020/College-Board-updates-plans-forAdvanced-Placement State Testing: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Additional-Information-on-State-TestingDuring-the Information for Community Schools and Sponsors: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Considerations-for-Community-Schoolsand-Spons-1 Class of 2020 Graduation Requirements Frequently Asked Questions: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Graduation-Requirements-in-Light-ofCoronavirus-Re/Graduation-FAQ
http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Graduation-Flexibility-%E2%80%93-2021and-Beyond Accountability and Ohio Report Cards: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Additional-Information-on-Accountabilityand-the-O Attendance Reporting for Schoolyear Ending 20192020: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Additional-Information-on-InstructionalHours-and Career Tech and WebXams: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Career-Technical-Education/CareerTechnical-Education-FAQ http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/ Coronavirus/Career-Technical-Education http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Ed-Connection/ April-13-2020/WebXam-Alternative-Ensuring-CareerTechnical-Assu
PowerSchool EMIS Exchange (Zoom) October 22, 2020 10-11 a.m.
PowerSchool Initial Staff/Course November 11, 2020 1-3 p.m.
PowerSchool Initial Staff/Course December 18, 2020 10-11 a.m.
CLICK HERE to register.
STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
General Updates Electronic Report Cards Many of our PowerSchool users took advantage of a new feature developed by Connect last Spring that allows an enhanced method of delivering report cards to parents & students via PDF download. This was an ongoing project led by Renee Bailey where server storage space, security, and the end-user experience were all considered. This improves upon our current screen-based report card solution available in the PowerSchool parent & student portals developed by Connect years ago. Reach out to us if you’d like assistance with posting your electronic PDF report cards for this year and remember to check your settings under Start Page > School > Custom Report Card Settings.
Progressbook Virtual Classroom Did you know Virtual Classroom is now part of the base Progressbook gradebook package? The Progressbook LMS allows teachers to create, maintain, share, and assess their own custom activities. These activities can be traditional assignments with questions & answers, or graded discussion activities where students submit responses in an open-forum format. Students access the assigned activities from their Progressbook account and can complete it within a timeframe specified by the teacher.
Connect’s Progressbook users can use the report card vault process to post current and past term report cards and optionally make those available to parents and students in Progressbook Parent Access. On occasion, a school has a need to post an updated report card from the previous school year. If the report card is run out of StudentInformation, you can switch your school year in context and execute the appropriate load setting to generate and post the updated report cards to the vault. For Progressbook gradebook standards-based report cards, users can only post the current year’s report card from gradebook. Connect has a method for temporarily reactivating your gradebook database from last year so we can post any updated 2019-2020 standards-based report cards to the vault in these situations. Reach out to us for assistance if you have a need to post standards-based report cards from a past school year, or need a refresher on report card processing.
Progressbook Virtual Classroom (continued) Many of the question types, such as multiple choice and true/false can be auto-graded by Progressbook, as teachers select the correct answers to each question when creating these types of questions. Other questions such as essay responses are manually graded by the teacher. Teachers can get started by clicking the Dashboard link under Online Learning from their Teacher Homepage, or from the Class Dashboard in one of their classes. Online resources with links to step-by-step videos can be found on our documentation page under the Virtual Classroom category here: http://www.ohconnect.org/student/ documentation In our experience, we find many Progressbook teachers use the Google Classroom LMS. Progressbook teachers can import their Google Classroom assignments and scores. Recently we received questions about transferring assignments and scores into grouped classes. Teachers may elect to group like-classes together in Progressbook to work with a single roster of students and create & grade assignments from within that group. While the Google Classroom sync feature does not allow you to import an assignment from Google into a grouped class in Progressbook gradebook, it is still possible to import the assignment and scores into the individual course sections in gradebook that make up that course group. Select the Google Classroom Sync link on the teacher home page and sign in to your Google account. All teacher sections should display in the Class dropdown, including any hidden sections that may be part of the
teacherâ€™s course group. Select the first course section in the gradebook to transfer the assignment and grades into from Google. In this example, the teacher has a single geometry class in Google classroom with all her geometry students in it and a course group in Progressbook that is comprised of three unique geometry sectionsâ€Ś
The teacher can perform the sync process three times; once for each course section in Progressbook to transfer the assignment marks from Google Classroom. The sync will create the assignment in each of the individual sections in gradebook (not the course group), so when viewing your assignments list from the course group class dashboard, you will see the same assignment listed 3 times. However, parents and students will only see the assignment once in Progressbook as desired, and student scores for the sections they are not assigned to will be n/a and not impact their average.
STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
General Updates New User Security for Progressbook FrontLine has overhauled the user and staff security in Progressbook v20.1 released in August 2020. Due to the busy start-of-school season we delayed the install of this version until later in the fall. Progressbook 20.1 introduces new screens and behind-the-scenes user management control that will eventually allow single sign-on throughout FrontLine’s product line. Stay tuned for training sessions on this latest development and check out these FrontLine resources: PDF quick guide: http://www.ohconnect.org/student/files/Creating_a_ GradeBook_Staff_Member.pdf Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NS233EkHLuUH9RZa8Jr0YB3D Nzo3QnCA/view?usp=sharing
Reminder for PowerSchool building administration Don’t forget to verify your grade and parent portal settings at the end of each grading period! These don’t update automatically and impact what faculty, staff, parents, and students see in the system… 1. District Office level > District > Miscellaneous > Disable Student and Parent Portals/Mobile Apps. Uncheck the box if you disabled the portal and are ready for users to login again. 2. Building level > School > Parent/Student Access. Uncheck the “Publish Next Year Schedule” box. All of their current year classes will be displayed once the school year has started and this won’t be needed until next spring/summer. Verify other settings on the General and Available Features tabs here. 3. Building level > School > Current Grade Display. Set to the current term (Q1 or T1 or S1, depending on your building). Parent email notifications and some reports utilize this term to generate results. Be sure to update when you begin a new course term!
4. Building level > School > Quick Lookup Preferences. Verify which terms you want to display for parent/student users, teachers, and admin users. Source of Data: “Gradebook (Current)” will pull grades directly from teacher gradebooks. Once grades are stored for a term and finalized, it’s best practice to change this setting to “Historical (Stored)” since most report cards and transcripts are generated from historical grades. Be sure to update this screen after each term ends! 5. Building level > School > GPA Student Screens. Select which GPA you want displayed on parent/ student portal and quick lookup screens from the dropdown. Depending on which current GPA you display here, you may need to update this at the beginning of each term. The other GPA and credit formulas listed on this screen appear on a student’s Cumulative Info screen.
Student Services Questions & Answers QUESTION:
How can I import student email addresses?
In Progressbook StudentInformation, the student email address is listed on the student profile’s general tab. You can import and update student email addresses using the import located at the district level here: Management > Import/Export > Student Email Import. The import file is a simple two-column csv file with the student number in the first column and their email address in the second column. File headers are not needed. To import your student emails into PowerSchool’s Student Email link, navigate to Special Functions > Importing & Exporting > Data Import Manager. Select your file, which can be a csv or a tab-delimited txt file with two columns, one for student number and the other for their email address. Recommended column header names are Student_Number and Email. Select Student Email from the dropdown and your file type, Comma or Tab. Click Next and map the two fields in your file to the matching two fields in PowerSchool. Click Next, check the box to exclude your header row, and select Update existing records. Click Import.
We have a student who qualifies under a Service plan. We are not sure when services will begin due to remote learning and COVID19 concerns and aren’t sure how to date the student for reporting.
For reporting, the district should report dates based on the dates on which things are done. If services have not started, they should not be reported as having started. There is information online about serving students with disabilities during the ordered building closures. You can find more information here: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Reset-andRestart/Students-with-Disabilities
Our transcript features a breakdown of student’s past schoolyear-specific cumulative GPAs and their overall cumulative GPA. We’ve averaged a few students’ past years GPAs together but they aren’t matching their overall cumulative GPA. Our freshmen students are matching this year’s cumulative and their overall cumulative as expected. Help?
That isn’t how the system calculates the cumulative GPA. Here’s a simple example to demonstrate. Suppose a student has two years of GPAs, last year and this year. They took 4 one-credit classes last year and earned a D in each of them, so they had a 1.0 cumulative for last year. This year they only completed 1 class for a credit and earned an A, so they have a 4.0 for this year. We wouldn’t say they have a cumulative of 2.5 by averaging both years together. They actually would have a cumulative of 1.60, that is, (1+1+1+1+4) / 5 credits. The cumulative looks at all grades across all years in this example. Averaging averages is not a good practice for this reason, though you potentially could get the same result at times if the student attempted the same number of credits that count towards GPA across each school year. Don’t be surprised to see the same occurrence on a report card, where quarter or trimester term GPAs don’t necessarily average to the yearly cumulative GPA. Most schools award credit at the end of each semester or school year rather than each individual reporting term.
STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
STAFF PICKS HEIDI RHODES - UNO FLIP Tired of playing the same old games? Try a twist on the classic version of UNO by playing UNO FLIP. This game has a double-sided deck of cards that instantly changes the game when a player puts down the new FLIP card! When the flip card is played, both the draw pile, discard pile and all player cards get flipped to the other side to start a different game with a new set of cards in pink, orange, teal, and purple. The fun goes to a whole new level with new action cards like Draw Five and Skip Everyone. It’s an exciting new twist on the classic game where dark side wild cards require you to keep picking to find the selected color...even if you already have it in your hand! So much fun even my five-year-old challenges us to play with him.
SUE HALL - VERBLING Three years ago, I began to study Spanish. Initially, it was only to be able to ask common questions before participating in a mission trip to Guatemala. Since I began, I have learned the benefits that learning another language can have on memory and prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother, as well as six of her seven siblings died from complications resulting from Alzheimer’s disease so this information was very appealing to me. Another reason that I decided to continue studying Spanish was that the better I became at speaking and comprehending, the more fun it became to where it has morphed into a strange obsession. Now I can say that I am near fluent. If learning another language is anything you are considering or if it is an item on your bucket list, I recommend a platform for finding private language teachers called Verbling (www. verbling.com). On Verbling, you have the opportunity to search for teachers of numerous languages from all over the world. The cost varies but some teachers cost as little as $7/ hr. The teachers provide a calendar of their availability so scheduling to fit your busy life is easy. If one teacher does not work out, there are numerous others to choose from. I have been with the same teacher for most of my three years of study. There are numerous online resources for learning a new language and there are benefits to be gained from a variety of strategies, but if I had to select just one resource, it would be Verbling.
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STUDENT SERVICES EDITION
Connect Student Services INFORM Magazine October 2020