Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

MrsSantamaria
New Member

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.

1 Solution

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Community Support Expert jamiem7
Community Support Expert

Re: Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

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.



Jamie H.
PowerSchool Community Moderator
Remember to give Kudos to suggestions that help you!
If another user helps solve your issue, please select Accept As Solution on their post so others can see the solution, too!
3 Replies
Highlighted
Community Support Expert jamiem7
Community Support Expert

Re: Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

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.



Jamie H.
PowerSchool Community Moderator
Remember to give Kudos to suggestions that help you!
If another user helps solve your issue, please select Accept As Solution on their post so others can see the solution, too!
MrsSantamaria
New Member

Re: Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

Thanks for the advice! I'll look up the relevant persons as soon as I can. Thanks again :)

bdoucette
Journeyman

Re: Preferred name for attendance - how to make a change?

Hi,

 

PowerSchool has added some legal name fields that allowed us to track both a student's legal first name as well as their preferred first name. On the Demographic page, we use the PSCORE_LEGAL_FIRST_NAME field to store their legal first name, and use the FIRST_NAME field to store their preferred first name. Our page is customized such that if the school leaves the FIRST_NAME field empty, then the legal name gets auto-polulated as the preferred name once the user submits the changes on the page.

 

In PowerTeacher, the class list displays the students' FIRST_NAME (preferred) name, while the name that appears in the PSCORE_LEGAL_FIRST_NAME field is reversed for official documents (i.e. high school transcript).