Friday, September 6, 2013

New student information system scheduling feature is up and running

San Diego Unified implemented a new web-based program this week, PowerSchool, to connect administrators, teachers, students, parents and district staff. It replaces Zangle, the district’s previous student information system that was nearly 10 years old and experiencing serious problems. The company that supported Zangle stopped developing it and ultimately went out of business.

As many of you may have heard, there were issues with implementing the PowerSchool scheduling feature for our new middle and high school students on the first day of school. A glitch in the system mid-morning on Tuesday impacted staff’s ability to schedule walk-in students or make schedule changes. As a result, a number of middle and high school students’ schedules were not readily available. By Wednesday morning students were in their proper classes. Despite the Tuesday’s scheduling issue, schools enrolled several hundred new students and several thousand teachers took attendance online using the new system.

The district’s goal with PowerSchool is to create an environment that will help our students succeed. As a user-friendly web-based system, PowerSchool will enable students, parents, teachers and administrators to work together to improve student achievement. One of the features we are most excited about is the mobile App that will allow parents and teachers to access their student’s information from anywhere.

Even with these implementation challenges, the district feels that the benefits of PowerSchool will make a positive impact on our students. Unfortunately, as with many things this complex there are some challenges that we will resolve as quickly as possible to ensure that everyone has the experience they deserve.

Thanks to all for their patience and understanding. More than 12 million students in all 50 states and in 65 countries use PowerSchool and we are excited to take advantage of all of its features. Watch for updates and information as new features of PowerSchool are implemented.