Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

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Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

I'm a substitute teacher for a large school board, and recently, an issue has aggravated me to the point that I've decided to push the issue and see if things can be changed. I reported the issue a few years ago privately, and never got any notable response, or any observed changes.


For a variety of reasons, ranging from privacy to transgender issues, there really needs to be a way to do attendance / see class lists / etc that respects the need for a name that doesn't match the legal records.


There's already two ways to do the attendance - by seating plan or by the list of names. There's also already a way to put in a preferred name in Gradebook, though as far as I know (again, just a sub) I'm not sure if it connects to anything else.


There needs to be a change that allows another way of doing attendance. Several schools in my school board, for example, forbid showing the attendance list to the class (for privacy reasons), and require attendance to be taken by the last name, so that no one is forced to have their legal name revealed to the class at large.


In my opinion, in 2019, this is ridiculous. In the four school districts I've worked with over the years, all four of them use PowerSchool, and it appears to be a major choice for boards around the world. The company, private though it may be, needs to add this functionality to best meet the needs of students, and the best way to do that, I imagine, would be by causing pressure to be placed on the company to do so, since simply reporting the issue failed.


As a community, I imagine this is the best starting point to get an idea of what approach to take. I don't know if I should try making a petition, or encouraging teachers to join this community and talk about it here, or by maybe getting a group of teachers / schools to bug the superintendent to talk to the company, or what. I have no clue what I'm doing. All I know is that sitting around, hoping they do something about it, hasn't worked for the several years I've been aware of the problem.


Can anyone give me an idea of the best way to approach the matter? Thanks.

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Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Thank you for your post and suggestion in the Community!


I recommend reaching out to your PowerSchool Admin within the school district to share your suggestion and ask for the attendance policy to be reviewed.  


The PowerSchool Admin can reach out to PowerSchool Support for assistance reviewing the attendance method within the school.

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21 Replies

I'm so sorry to hear that is happening to your child. Unfortunately, it's not rare. Fortunately, the US Dept of Education has released some very clear guidance on protecting the rights of transgender students. I'd suggest taking a look at the resources here:


Please note the 'Supporting Transgender Youth' and 'Confronting Harassment' resources in particular.


The most relevant federal protections are Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) and FERPA, which offers privacy protections.


I hope these resources are of some use. If you live in the Southeastern US, I may be able to provide some additional guidance.