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Conversion

Cross Enroll

Duplicate Student

End of Year

Fees

Functionality / System

Graduate School

Incidents

Marks

PowerTeacher

Scheduling

School Setup - Minutes

Security

Timeline

Training

 

This page contains common questions pertaining to the student information system that may be helpful in resolving issues or explaining processes. The links to the right are topics that will take you to questions pertaining to that specific topic if clicked on.

Topic Question Answer
     
Conversion Can we use Course 0000 when scheduling K-2 students?

K-2 can use the 0000 course for attendance purposes.  When scheduling K-2 grade levels for a self-contained course, the LEAs must use 0000.  NCDPI is working with Pearson to create a standards based report card.  If the LEA chooses to use this report card for K-2 students the students must be scheduled into the appropriate instructional course section.

     
  If a student is withdrawn in NC WISE post the scheduling deadline, what will happen in PowerSchool after the second phase of this conversion process (estimated around July 19)? The student will show withdrawn in PowerSchool from the school he/she left. Also, the student will show in the new school without a schedule.
     
  Keeping in mind that the PowerSchool conversion will be performed in two phases (one prior to YET and one after YET), if a student is withdrawn from a school in NC WISE post the scheduling deadline, what will happen in PowerSchool after the first phase of this conversion rpocess (estimated for around June 1)? Any changes that take place in movement between schools will be picked up by the POST YET conversion. If a schedule was added to the student, it will NOT come over. If the student is just withdrawn but not moved to a new school, then the student will come over as inactive in that school.
     
  Will homerooms be converted in PS? Because any period can be the “attendance” period, there is no need for a separate course that is used purely for attendance (such as a homeroom course).  Schools may, of course, elect to create and schedule such a course if they have other needs for it.  If a school does plan to use a course like this, a non-reporting course number should be used, such as 9985.  NCDPI will not be creating a new homeroom course code.  Schools may continue using their own course or create a new one as long as it is a non-reporting course number.
     
  Will the LEAs be required to do dual entry of data during the testing or post implementation?

We do not anticipate the need for dual entry. All transferable data entered into the current NC WISE (eSIS) will be captured and deployed into PowerSchool.

     
  Will the LEAs have access to PowerSchool before the conversion? If so, will we have access to PowerSchool with our data in PowerSchool?

Yes, the LEAs will have access to a database instance of PowerSchool with their data prior to the conversion to perform some data validations.

     
  Will the LEAs have the same kinds of issues we did when we converted from SIMS to eSIS (NC WISE)?

No. Pearson has experience in smoothly converting districts' eSIS student information systems to PowerSchool. Also this transition represents a less disruptive transition than the move from the SIMS of the 1990s to NC WISE. For example, PowerSchool will not require new roles & responsibilities for teachers if they are use to entering grades and attendance in NC WISE.

     
  Will the LEAs/Charters have access to PowerSchool over the NC WISE YET? Yes, the LEAs/Charters will continue to have access to PowerSchool over YET. However, when the NC WISE YET Process completes, there will be a final load of data into PowerSchool. This load period will require access to be interrupted for a short period.
Topic Question Answer
Cross Enroll Do students need to be cross-enrolled when scheduling is due?  Yes.  As cross-enrollment is a part of scheduling, LEAs need to have cross-enrolled students identified and appropriately scheduled.
     
  How will PowerSchool handle students who are taking classes outside their LEA? Pearson is developing Cross-Enrollment functionality to handle this.
Topic Question Answer
Duplicate Student There are still a large number of duplicate students.  Does NCDPI have a plan to address this issue?

Yes.  NCDPI communicated a new duplicate student process via NC WISE email on January 25, 2013. Please see below:
1.       If LEAs have a spreadsheet of identified duplicate students that includes the active pupil number and the duplicate number, please log a NEW Remedy ticket (ncwise.incidents@its.nc.gov) and attach the spreadsheet. The original Remedy ticket number the duplicate was reported on and UID batch number would be helpful, but is not required.  If the LEA does not have a spreadsheet, a blank spreadsheet has been provided with this message for use.

2.       Using the LEA spreadsheets, the NCDPI Service Desk will verify duplicate records and write a script to populate the state ministry number field with the tag DUP and the pupil number of the active student, i.e. DUP12345. This will flag the record as a duplicate and it will not convert.

3.       DPI will identify all pupil numbers created by the UID system in error and inserted into a school. These records will be tagged to not convert.

4.       A new Reporting Hub report, Tagged Duplicate Pupil Numbers, will be available to schools and LEAs. This report will show all tagged duplicate pupil numbers, the state ministry number and the archived attendance in the duplicate record.

5.       UID will be notified of the duplicate and tagged record.

6.       If a spreadsheet is not provided by the LEA, DPI will work through logged Remedy tickets to complete the tagging process.

7.       Once the tag process is completed for an LEA, all duplicate student Remedy tickets will be resolved.

Topic Question Answer
End of Year Will the yearly YET (Year End Transition) process improve? Yes, definitely.  The equivalent process which is called End of Year (EOY) in PowerSchool is much shorter.  We are working with Pearson to understand all the parameters around the process.  More information will be shared as we receive it.
Topic Question Answer
Fees Will PowerSchool allow the LEAs/Charters to record fees at the LEA/Charter? Yes.  PowerSchool has a fully functional fees module.  Currently, the plan for conversion is to only pull fee balances from eSIS into PowerSchool, not detailed records.
Topic Question Answer
Functionality / System Can student pictures be used with PowerSchool? Yes, that functionality will be available.
     
  What languages do the student and parent portals support PowerSchool includes translation of student and parent web access into 18 different languages. This does not translate data coming from PowerSchool, but it does translate all static labels that exist within the student and parent portal. The 18 languages (in addition to English) include: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, French Creole, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
     
  What languages does PowerSchool support? PowerSchool includes a toolkit that makes it easy to translate the system into any language. This includes PowerTeacher, ReportWorks, labels on various pages, fields used for Student/Teacher/Staff searches, and configuration items like Attendance codes, course names and grade scale items. Online help for the Administrator/Student/Parent/Substitute/Teacher webpages can also be translated using the toolkit. To support this, PowerSchool now uses Unicode, allowing you to enter student names with “ñ” or other non-English characters. The translation toolkit also makes it possible to repurpose existing fields in PowerSchool by renaming the labels to suit your school or district’s unique needs.
     
  Will PowerSchool have Summer School functionality? Yes.  However, NCDPI technical staff is working with the ‘business owners’ to define processes and procedures as we move forward.  More information will be forthcoming as we iron out these details.
     
  Will there be a Repository in PowerSchool?   There will be an Enterprise Controller which will serve a similar function.
Topic Question Answer
Graduate School Will PowerSchool include Graduated Schools?

The SIS Home Base team has determined that each LEA will contain its own Graduated School. There were questions from the field regarding whether this process would be optional.  This is not an optional process based on the findings that if LEAs/Charters were to leave the students in the last school of record, they would then have to conduct a manual export of the graduated students out of the last school prior to End of Year (EOY) and then import them back into that last school of record after EOY each year. The default functionality of PowerSchool is to move the students to the graduated school.

To ensure consistent reporting for GDVS, all students will be moved during EOY to the graduated school.   This school will act as a ‘repository’ for students graduating from the LEA.   Testing and process evaluation is still in progress.  More information information will be provided in the coming months as we move forward.

Topic Question Answer
Incidents How will Incidents be handled in PowerSchool?  Pearson is enhancing the current PowerSchool incident functionality to meet NC’s requirements.
Topic Question Answer
Marks Is the state going to provide Elementary, Middle and High School report cards? Pearson normally creates report cards based on grade levels.  NC will continue to use a traditional report card and a standards-based report card as well as a progress report.  LEAs can create their own report cards and/or progress reports. The state will provide a standardized transcript for all LEAs and charters.
Topic Question Answer
PowerTeacher What ‘comments’ are available to teachers in the grade book?   The schools can create a predefined set of comments for the teachers to use in their grade books.  Teachers can either use predefined comments, enter their own comments, or both.  Teacher comments can be viewed by the parents and printed on the report cards.
Topic Question Answer
Scheduling How will schools use Day 0 and Day 181 in prescheduling and pre-admitting new students for next year? Schools should pre-admit students as usual and use the admission date you would normally use in eSIS when enrolling these students for next year.
     
  Should schools go ahead and pre-enroll KI students for next year? Yes. Keep performing all of the usual operations you would do this time of year.  There will be additional data extracts from eSIS to get students and their demographic information converted.
     
  When can my LEA/Charter expect to receive Master Scheduler Training? The Master Scheduler Training will be delivered to the LEAs/Charters late fall of 2013.  This will be just-in-time for the scheduling activities for the 2014-2015 school year.
Topic Question Answer
School Setup - Minutes DPI mentioned that grades 3-5 now need to have separate periods for each subject, does that mean that they cannot all be lumped into the same period as they do now in NC WISE?  Will this matter for this first importing and we should just make sure to make those changes for next year? The first conversion/import may include courses; however, the current schedule should not be impacted.  LEAs should ensure that next year schedules are scheduled in the format needed for conversion for school year 2013/2014.
Topic Question Answer
Security Will DPI lock down certain data and make certain fields required? Yes. DPI and Pearson are defining these requirements.
Topic Question Answer
Timeline If we do not make the 2013/14 post-YET window, what is the next opportunity?

We are confident of a summer 2013 implementation, but if that timeline is not met, we will then target the 2014/15 post-YET window.

     
  What is the timeline for conversion/implementation? Presently we are looking at a switchover to PowerSchool at the beginning of the 2013/14 school year.  In other words, after the next NC WISE YET.
     
  When is the deadline for each school in our LEA to have their master schedule completed? There are two deadlines:   May 1 or June 1.  Year-round schools MUST complete preliminary schedules by May 1. Once you have your completion date, whether May 1 or June 1, it cannot be changed. Our deadlines must remain firm and we cannot offer exceptions because of the scope of the statewide project.
     
  When will Charters be contacted to start project activities?  All Charters have been contacted and project activities are underway.  Charter schools are being notified by DPI staff and their PMs (project managers) for training.
     
  When will the NC version of PowerSchool be ready? As Pearson completes development on the various aspects of NC customization, PowerSchool will be updated with those enhancements.
     
  Where are we with the set-up of the PowerSchool instances for the LEAs/Charters? All LEAs and Charters have been contacted and have a standing instance of PowerSchool with imports of staff and student information required for Phase I.
Topic Question Answer
Training Are the PowerSource Distance Learning course recommendations a firm requirement?  Some of the LEAs feel they MUST take all the recommendations. The Distance Learning course recommendations are just that – recommendations.  Depending on the LEA and how different roles are defined, not all courses may be required or applicable.  However, Distance Learning courses are provided as part of the implementation and are valuable resources going forward.
     
  How was my LEA/Charter allocated training seats? Several factors such as geographical location and student population were assessed in determining allocated training seats.
     
  How will the LEAs receive training? The training model will be similar to the format that was used during NC WISE (Wave 3) Deployment.  Face-to-face training, in addition to online training, will be made available.  Each LEA/Charter will be provided a link to Pearson’s PowerSource which will allow each district to create accounts that will give access to Distance Learning and Mastery in Minutes.

 

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Personal Identification - Protect your personal account information for PowerSchool at all times. Never give your user name and password identification to unknown callers during telephone solicitations or in email. The Department of Public Instruction will not ask for your user account and password information for PowerSchool. Any misuse of personal identification should be reported via email to security-group@dpi.state.nc.us.