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Student information system upgrades

Pearson today announced the launch of the latest versions of PowerSchool and PowerTeacher. PowerSchool 7.0 features an improved technology infrastructure, the ability to translate PowerSchool into any language, and student record transfer capabilities that allow any district in North America to easily transfer student records into PowerSchool. PowerTeacher 2.3, the online teacher grade book, now includes a custom comment bank, new sorting features, and the ability to track grade book events.

Pearson has made significant investment in the underlying technology for PowerSchool. “Over the last 18 months, we have replaced all legacy infrastructure within PowerSchool, so the system is now a 100% Java application that now runs on the Oracle 11g database,” said Paul Fletcher, president of the School Systems group of Pearson. “This investment keeps PowerSchool on pace with the technology and functionality demands in the education market place, and will allow Pearson to continue to build upon PowerSchool as the leading student information platform available to K-12 education.”

In addition to these infrastructure improvements, one of the most significant features in the new release allows PowerSchool customers to easily transfer student records from one district to another. This new functionality, powered by Pearson’s National Transcript Center, allows PowerSchool districts to request the electronic delivery of a student record for any new student within the United States from another US school district. By acknowledging the request, the student’s previous school can quickly and securely electronically transfer the records to the new school through the National Transcript Center, saving time and effort for both schools. This functionality is also available for PowerSchool schools and districts within Canada.

Additional features in PowerSchool include:

  • A new, enhanced user interface which can be easily applied to existing custom pages.
  • PowerSchool’s new language translation toolkit, which allows customers to translate PowerSchool into multiple languages. The toolkit also allows users to rename the label of any existing field.
  • The addition of 18 new different language options for the parent portal, increasing school-to-home communications for families whose primary language is not English.
  • The ability to use the drag-and-drop reporting capabilities of ReportWorks to create custom transcripts and report cards.
  • Enhanced password administration controls that now include controls for password expiration, password reuse prevention, password reset, minimum password length, password complexity, and account lockout.
  • Improved PowerSchool technologies with all underlying code now written in Java, which leads to significant performance and stability gains. The PowerSchool database has also been upgraded from Oracle 10g to the new Oracle 11g.

PowerTeacher includes over 20 major feature enhancements, such as:

  • Improved teacher notifications, including birthdays, newly added students, and dropped students.
  • Custom sort order for teachers to arrange their student list in whichever order suits their classroom setup. This also includes the option to add new students to the bottom of the class roster.
  • The ability for teachers to manage their own custom comment bank, which can be used to provide more feedback on student performance. This release also allows teachers to make notes that are not visible to others.
  • Improved communications through the new capability that allows teachers to send e-mails to parents and students directly through PowerTeacher.