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  • Kim Cabrera found a review helpful for PowerSchool, written by Chris Moggia
    I'm a long-time PowerSchool user, having started using the product back in 2005 when I was worked at the Culture and Language Academy of Success in Inglewood, CA.  So I've watched the product grow... I'm a long-time PowerSchool user, having started using the product back in 2005 when I was worked at the Culture and Language Academy of Success in Inglewood, CA.  So I've watched the product grow and mature from version 6 to now version 10.  And while some things have certainly changed, many aspects of the product remain the same.PowerSchool suffers from what I think was it's early entry into the SIS market.  Let me explain, it has been on the 'bleeding-edge' of student information systems for almost two decades now.  So when you look under the hood, it is an odd mash-up of legacy databases and structures and add ons.  Case in point - want to create a report?  No problem.  Just download this icon to your desktop (each time), and launch the java-based report builder.  Now wait 2 minutes.  Ok. Go.  Why not just have a built-in report generator like Illuminate has?  Answer - good HTML based approaches didn't necessarily exist twenty years ago so they cobbled together what they could find and voila!  Instant SIS!Can you run your school district using PowerSchool?  Of course you can.  You can take attendance, enter student data, complete your State reporting, etc.  Its a fully functional, somewhat customizable platform that you can host yourself or get PowerSchool to host for you.   Parent portal?  Check.  Student portal?  Check.  Gradebook for teachers?  Check.  (Though now there are two - a Java based program and a newer web-based version).  Pain Points?  Your counselors will hate it.  Difficult to schedule students, reschedule students, print transcripts, etc.  PowerSchool doesn't seem to understand that one-click is much easier than four-clicks when trying to access routine items like transcripts.  So instead of having a "print transcript" button on each student screen, it forces counselors to go into the report menu, select transcript, configure the report . . .(bored yet?)   If the Bauhaus movement was famous for "form follows function", then PowerSchool might be famous for "function follows form"  In other words, you can get it to work, but it will take you a lot longer than you had imagined.The PowerSource online resource is an invaluable source.  And lately the tech support has been faster, more supportive, and just plain better at problem solving.  Tech support back in 2005 was so bad, we would often call, go to lunch, and return in 30 minutes and still be on hold.  (true story!).  Those days are gone.Since the divestiture of PowerSchool from Pearson the new leadership is acquiring a series of other platforms (Assessment, LMS, registration, etc.) to complement and really build out the PowerSchool eco-systems.  Time will...
    I'm a long-time PowerSchool user, having started using the product back in 2005 when I was worked at the Culture and Language Academy of Success in Inglewood, CA.  So I've watched the product grow... I'm a long-time PowerSchool user, having started using the product back in 2005 when I was worked at the Culture and Language Academy of Success in Inglewood, CA.  So I've watched the product grow and mature from version 6 to now version 10.  And while some things have certainly changed, many aspects of the product remain the same.PowerSchool suffers from what I think was it's early entry into the SIS market.  Let me explain, it has been on the 'bleeding-edge' of student information systems for almost two decades now.  So when you look under the hood, it is an odd mash-up of legacy databases and structures and add ons.  Case in point - want to create a report?  No problem.  Just download this icon to your desktop (each time), and launch the java-based report builder.  Now wait 2 minutes.  Ok. Go.  Why not just have a built-in report generator like Illuminate has?  Answer - good HTML based approaches didn't necessarily exist twenty years ago so they cobbled together what they could find and voila!  Instant SIS!Can you run your school district using PowerSchool?  Of course you can.  You can take attendance, enter student data, complete your State reporting, etc.  Its a fully functional, somewhat customizable platform that you can host yourself or get PowerSchool to host for you.   Parent portal?  Check.  Student portal?  Check.  Gradebook for teachers?  Check.  (Though now there are two - a Java based program and a newer web-based version).  Pain Points?  Your counselors will hate it.  Difficult to schedule students, reschedule students, print transcripts, etc.  PowerSchool doesn't seem to understand that one-click is much easier than four-clicks when trying to access routine items like transcripts.  So instead of having a "print transcript" button on each student screen, it forces counselors to go into the report menu, select transcript, configure the report . . .(bored yet?)   If the Bauhaus movement was famous for "form follows function", then PowerSchool might be famous for "function follows form"  In other words, you can get it to work, but it will take you a lot longer than you had imagined.The PowerSource online resource is an invaluable source.  And lately the tech support has been faster, more supportive, and just plain better at problem solving.  Tech support back in 2005 was so bad, we would often call, go to lunch, and return in 30 minutes and still be on hold.  (true story!).  Those days are gone.Since the divestiture of PowerSchool from Pearson the new leadership is acquiring a series of other platforms (Assessment, LMS, registration, etc.) to complement and really build out the PowerSchool eco-systems.  Time will tell if they can pull it all together into a seamless integrated system.   More
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    Loves following other users on the site. Follow at least one person's updates (yeah, this was an easy badge to get :)
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