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EVH PowerSchool Teacher _ PowerGrade Manual


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									                                                         Setup Instructions, Data File Security and Protection,
Exploits Valley High ~ PowerSchool & PowerGrade Manual
                                                         Standardize Procedures and Codes & Best Practices

                                                         Table of Content ~                                                                    ~

                                                         POWERGRADE FILE SETUP                                                                     1

                                                         POWERGRADE FILE SECURITY, BACKUP, DISASTER RECOVERY PROCEDURES                            1

                                                         POWERGRADE OFFLINE AND OFF-SITE WORKING OPTIONS                                           1

                                                         POWERGRADE REPORTS, SHARING REPORTS, REPORTS USING CUSTOM FIELDS                          1

                                                         POWERSCHOOL TEACHER: LOGINS, STANDARD FEATURE USE, REPORT PRINTING, WEB
                                                         ASSIGNMENTS                                                                               1

                                                         EVH POWERGRADE SCORE COMMENTS – LEGEND AND EXPLANATION OF USE                             2

                                                         EVH POWERSCHOOL PARENT STUDENT VIEW – CUSTOMIZED SCORE COMMENT LEGEND                     3

                                                         EVH POWERGRADE SCORE COMMENTS WITH ANNOTATED COMMENTS                                     4

                                                         EVH POWERSCHOOL BEST PRACTICES ~ POWERGRADE CATEGORY, ASSIGNMENT NAMES,
                                                         ASSIGNMENT DETAILS                                                                        5

                                                         EVH POWERSCHOOL BEST PRACTICES ~ COURSE OUTLINES, CLASS DESCRIPTIONS, WEB
                                                         PAGE LINKS                                                                                6

                                                         EVH POWERSCHOOL BEST PRACTICES ~ HOMEWORK                                                 7
                                                         Topics to be developed ….

                                                         PowerGrade File Setup

                                                         PowerGrade File Security, Backup, Disaster Recovery Procedures

                                                         PowerGrade Offline and Off-Site Working Options

                                                         PowerGrade Reports, Sharing Reports, Reports Using Custom Fields

                                                         PowerSchool Teacher: Logins, Standard Feature Use, Report Printing, Web Assignments
EVH PowerGrade Score Comments – Legend and Explanation of Use

Below are the codes that we need to standardize and limit ourselves to using for Score Comments. The parents will see the legend in
figure 2 explaining these score comments when they check a student‟s grade. Remember that it is valuable and advisable to attach a
score note comment with these codes. After entering the code in the score field, click the same score and press Ctrl + N to get into the
score comment note screen. You may place a note here to explain the grading, suggest remediation steps, etc. This will be seen as a
blue hyperlink code or score by the student or parent. See figure 3 for an illustration.

                                Figure 1. PowerGrade > File > Preferences > Scores (page of properties)

Exempt is a category for concluded evaluation items that will not be factored into the students overall grade. It is rarely used and not for
short term sickness.
      Exc = excused – teacher has for some exceptional reason totally exempted the student from this item; for example when a
          student transfers in, or other extenuating circumstances. (Some have used Ex but it would be best to leave that there if you
          have already used it this year and add Exc and use that from now on.) We are aiming at consistency amongst teachers.
      Med = Long Term Medical excused such as when a student is out of school for a long period of time due to documented
          medical reasons. This might require a doctor‟s note or approval from the administration or guidance counselor.
      NA = Not Applicable for Grading, Some items such as formative assessment homework where a mark is not always recorded.

Unrecorded refers to the default state of a grade before it is ever recorded. It will show up as empty brackets.
     ( ) - Sometimes teachers will accidentally record a grade and want to erase that but it will sometimes then show as a zero. To
        avoid this we should add ( ) with 2 spaces between brackets. Then we can restore a grade to look as if it has never been
     TBR is useful in telling students and parents that there is an issue that needs TO BE RESOLVED with this item. The legend
        will inform them that they need to contact the teacher about this item and resolve the situation or else this mark will eventually
        change to a zero category mark.

Counts as Zero – is a category that allows us to give a coded reason for an evaluation item that will end up counting as zero at the end
of the course. Obviously aspects of the evaluation policy affect how this is ultimately dealt with.
      NHI = Not handed in. Typically for assignments, essays, projects etc.
      Inc = Incomplete may indicate that while there is some evidence of work on this item it is not acceptable and has resulted in
          0. This will remain a zero unless the student contacts the teacher to make other accommodations.
      Abs = Absent for the evaluation – meant to bring to the parent or student‟s attention that they have missed an evaluation
          (such as a test) without a valid reason. Abs may apply to sickness until alternate evaluation is given. If a note was given and
          alternate evaluation is ongoing then it may be a good idea to change it to TBR for the short term. This may have been
          changed back from TBR to Abs because it did not get resolved in a reasonable amount of time.
      DNP = Did Not Participate. This code may be useful for participation oriented evaluation such as an activity in PE etc.
      Cheat = Students caught cheating will show as Cheat which calculates as a zero. Aspects of the discipline and evaluation
          policy will need to be followed for final resolution of this issue.
EVH PowerSchool Parent Student View – Customized Score Comment Legend

In Figure 3 and 4 below, parents and students see screens with legends explaining these standardized comment codes that we use
when a numerical grade is not applicable. This view is new (10/01/06). These codes reflect the limited set that teachers can use.

EVH PowerGrade Score Comments with Annotated Comments

In the example below, the student was given the score comment Exc in the grade field. After entering the code in the score field, click
the same score and press Ctrl + N to get into the score comment note screen. You should place a note here to explain the grading,
suggest remediation steps, etc. This will be seen as a blue hyperlinked code or score by the student or parent. Note that the NHI is in
red in your PowerGrade indicating that you have attached a comment note that the student and parent can see. (Note that this student is
actually a high achieving student and the examples below are falsified for the purpose of this illustration.)

*Note in the student view screen shot below, that the score code NHI is showing a blue hyperlink indicating that a score comment is
attached for the first score; but not for the second. We are depending on the legend to explain the second Abs score code. (Usually the
Grade last updated shows the date that the teacher‟s PG last published to the server – presently there is a bug that prevents this.)
**Note that the Category and Assignment columns contain items that come from your PowerGrade. It is nice to put some detail
explaining the type of work in the category description. It is helpful to the student and parent to use meaningful detailed names for
assignment instead of abbreviations. Your PG allows you to use abbreviations for your own spreadsheet. Also note that the assignments
are also hyperlinked showing that they have details or even complete and expanded instructions and web links for that assignment. This
is a powerful feature. How to do both of these skills is illustrated later in this document. *Also note the course description and hyperlink.

Note that the last assignment above shows an assignment that is not yet due. It is important to note that parents frequently complain
that teachers do not have evaluation posted in PowerSchool before the due date of the evaluation item. The school board policy
stipulates that “students are to receive three days notice of any impending summative evaluation” (p.15). If we are consistent in posting
assigned summative evaluation items in PowerGrade as soon as we assign it, then it serves as both a scheduling reminder and
reporting tool for both students and parents. While posting assignments and grades after the evaluation serves to report to students
and parents, it minimizes parents and students ability to get the full „power‟ out of PowerSchool. Posting items ahead of time is a
PowerSchool Best Practice and gives parents the power to monitor and assist students in getting the work completed on time.

EVH PowerSchool Best Practices ~ PowerGrade Category, Assignment Names, Assignment Details

When setting up Final Grade Categories for your courses, it is good to give easily understood category names rather than cryptic
abbreviations and to give the Category a description (such as the type of evaluation and its weight within the course). Remember this is
all visible to students and parents. The abbreviation of the category is what actually shows on PowerSchool so it might be nice to leave it
the full word and not the abbreviation if possible. Note that the abbreviation is limited to 10 characters so the description is really helpful
in communicating the meaning on PowerSchool.

When creating „Assignments‟ it is also valuable to give a description – maybe even a page or more worth – so that parents and students
can have a detailed record of the assignment. (For example, you can give questions and place them in this description as well as
hyperlinks to web sites and more! No excuse for lost assignment sheets in this case.)

Be sure that the „total points possible‟ field has the correct denominator. If not, this will adversely affect the calculations of grades. For
example – 70/1 or 70/1 will create a grade greater than 100% when the intention was 70/100. If you grade most things out of 100, then
set the Pts. Poss for the category to 100 as the default, as a safeguard against this error.

EVH PowerSchool Best Practices ~ Course Outlines, Class Descriptions, Web Page Links

School Board Evaluation Policy states that “course outlines and evaluation plans will be available to students and parents/guardians by
the last week in September” (p.14). One method of meeting this requirement is to publish it to PowerSchool from PowerGrade through
the Class Info > Description feature. Simple copy and paste a few brief statements about the course and make a web link to a document
in your teacher web or the course document on the department of education web site. It is best to have your own document that includes
the outline and evaluation plan. You might consider creating this document and linking it as a web page or a PDF file.

Sometime when you create a web link with your course description window, the link anchors to the beginning of the description and
does not look good on the web. You might prevent this by placing your cursor at the end of your description before you click web link. If
it still shows up wrong, (you will know by looking at the beginning and ending of your description) then simply select, cut and paste the
codes from the beginning to the end of the description.

Note that the context menu – right click etc, is often not available in PowerGrade, thanks to its Apple origins. But in any Windows
program, Ctrl + X = Cut, Ctrl + C = copy, Ctrl + V = paste, Shift + arrow controls = select.)

EVH PowerSchool Best Practices ~ Homework
Some schools use special homework web pages to keep student and parent informed about small items such as assigned readings and
questions etc. Parent really like this feature and would appreciate something similar. At the high school level most assigned work does
tend to be summative evaluation as well. However, there is no real need of duplicating a homework web page when this feature can
easily be accommodated in PowerGrade/PowerSchool. To do so, create a category called Homework and give it a weighting of zero or
do not include in the weighting. (Evaluation policy discourages using homework as a summative evaluation. If it is summative do
not call it homework but rather some other appropriate category of evaluation.)

When you assign homework, set it up in PowerGrade as an assignment in the Homework category. You can create it with a Points
Possible of zero or you can even correct it and score it and yet it will not actually affect the grade. Make sure that all the categories in
weighting are Category Points and there are not Total Point factor types. Be sure not to use the Homework category in this setup and
then you are sure that it will not be a factor in summative final grades. Yet at the same time, we are providing formative assessment info
to the student and parents and not laboring at creating and maintaining a separate web page for this feature.

EVH PowerSchool is powerful ~ we can use it as a one stop communication center for most of our school-to-home communications.

Note that while this course may have a category called homework, and there may be assignments in that category, it does not impact
the evaluation of the grade. It serves as information and formative assessment as the teacher see fit.

You can simply assign homework and if appropriate you can record it with total possible points of 1 so that you can enter a 1 if done or
NHI or 0 and it will give feedback to the parent but it will not affect the grade. You can even grade it on a scale of 10 or 100 and mark it if
you wish. If you want to use the Score Code of NA then parents can see from our legend that it is not applicable for a mark and does not
affect final grade.

More to follow…if you find instruction errors, grammatical errors or have other suggests or needs that you would like to see included in
the evolution of this document, please see me (Craig) – or email cwells@evh.k12.nf.ca


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