So as parents to kids in elementary and middle school, you are all familiar with PowerSchool. Powerschools official description is “PowerSchool is a Web-based software application that allows teachers, parents and school administrators to track and share information about students. Teachers can use PowerSchools to keep a record of students’ grades and attendance, which parents can then view at home by logging into a PowerSchools account”.

PowerSchool has always been used in our district but as parents we really never took notice to its function outside of how teachers use it. It wasn’t until our oldest (12) went to a new school this year where I saw the true power of PowerSchool. His middle school uses PowerSchool to input everything from absences, notes and grades. Not just marking period grades. Grades for EVERYTHING! When I say everything, I mean everything. I have never been so annoyingly obsessed with PowerSchool until this year. I think the ability to see how my child is doing with all his work is both a curse and a blessing. I must admit though, I may need to step back a little next year from the obsession I have with checking in on his progress.

Seeing grades as they come in tells me 3 things:

  • The work is getting done and handed in (way to go)
  • The work is not getting done when grades of F are entered (seriously, why?)
  • The work is getting done when a C is entered but maybe did not complete all of it or just got it wrong (your trying at least, next time)

Over the course of the year, there have been several grades entered that were below a C to which I have followed up with the teacher at the time. The teachers ability to communicate is pretty good, unusually about a day or so. Most of the times, their answers to why a low grade was entered was either it was never handed in, or it was graded and kids were allowed to redo parts of it for an improved grade to which my kid did not do most of the time (seriously, the teacher is giving you a second chance, take it). There is a little section where teachers can write notes in for each grade. I don’t think they have used this before until me because now when there is a low grade, some of the teachers have put a comment in to save me from writing to them. One of the most recent comments was “handed in blank sheet, did not do for hw”. This is great, now I don’t need to find out from the teacher why a low grade was in, I can just ask my kid why he didn’t turn it in.

Even though over the course of the year, my kid has gotten some questionable low grades that could have been avoided, he has still managed to get high honors each time to which I am ultimately proud of him for. The end result is what matters most but I still like to make sure my kids are on track with school. I know they are just kids and no one is perfect, I can only ask that they try their best and take advantage of any opportunity to do well.

So with the school year coming to a close and kids are on vacation, I can honestly admit that it will be a nice vacation as well from PowerSchool.