Willing to share experience?

kcain
Hobbyist

Willing to share experience?

Good morning,

My name is Katie Cain, the Director of Instructional Technology at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, Georgia. Our school is in the early stages of transitioning to Unified Classroom. For a few years, we have been using PowerSchool SIS and PowerSchool Learning separately.

 

We've been researching UC for quite some time now. We are interested in talking with other schools who have adopted UC, hoping to gain insights on best practices and potential pitfalls as we transition our faculty, students, and families to UC.

 

We would be so grateful if we could set up a 20-30 minute Skype or Google Hangout call with a few schools who are willing to share their experience. If this is something that interests you, please feel free to respond here or reach out to me directly at kcain@mountvernonschool.org.

 

Thank you,

Katie

17 Replies
jamiem7
Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Thank you for your post in the Community!  It appears you are seeking responses from PowerSchool users. Please let us know if you would like further assistance from PowerSchool!


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chamada
Hobbyist

Hi Katie,

 

I've just messaged you on Twitter, but I'll reply here too with more detail!

 

We are in the process of setting up a fully functioning trial of UC, running in parallel with existing systems for the next 6 - 10 weeks so we can make a decision regarding a full-on move. I'd love to chat about where you guys are and what you have discovered, both good and not so good, on your journey, especially as it relates to standards-based grading. This is the one non-negotiable in our trial: whatever we move to must support our vision and implentation of SBGR rather than requiring us to change our philosophy to fit within the abilities of the tool.

 

Cheers,

Clint Hamada

PK-12 Educational Technology Coordinator

International School of Beijing

 

kcain
Hobbyist

Hi Clint,

Thank you so much for reaching out. I DM'ed you on Twitter too. Perhaps we can find a time to connect next week?

 

Thanks,

Katie

econleyshannon
Practitioner

We have been using Unified Classroom all year-  Let me know what feedback you would like.   Our tech team has struggled finding other districts using PowerSchool successfully with no issues.  We are often running into glitches and stumbling blocks.

jamiem7
Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Thank you for your response!  

 

There was an update with Unified Classroom this weekend that should have made improvements to the Unified Classroom product for Teachers.  I have listed some of the updates below.

 

  • Users can now view PDF files directly within the Unified Classroom.
  • Unified Classroom improves the way student handout files are stored in Google Drive.
  • Students and teachers can view and edit certain Google files that they upload to assignments from Google Drive directly within Unified Classroom.
  • Google users now have a more thorough integration with Google Drive, including:

    • Access to Team Drives
    • Display of Google Drive by folder structure
  • Teachers are prompted to adjust or keep updated standard scores when they selected to auto-calculate.
  •  Notifications for a Class Page are being sent when the page was updated.

 

If your district has any questions or would like to speak with PowerSchool regarding Unified Classroom, I recommend having the PowerSchool Admin reach out to PowerSchool.  PowerSchool is happy to discuss and work through any questions the district may have.  We want to ensure all users are able to use PowerSchool products with utmost efficiency.  

 


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chamada
Hobbyist

Hi Jamie,

 

Thanks for the updates.

 

Considering PowerSchool's recent (January 2018) partnership with Microsoft, can we expect similar functionality with OneDrive, SharePoint Online Groups, and Microsoft Online documents too? Or does similar functionality already exist?

 

As a school in China, we are an Microsoft Office 365 school and do not have access to Google Docs and other Google services.

 

Thanks!

 

Clint Hamada

jamiem7
Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Yes, PowerSchool plans to have the handout and edit/annotate functionality available for O365 users for back to school 2019


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kcain
Hobbyist

Hi @econleyshannon

Yes, we are eager to hear about the user experience with Unified Classroom. Essentially, we are trying to determine if we should also make the move to UC next year, or continue using PowerSchool SIS plus PowerSchool Learning class pages as separate sites.

 

I'd be interested to hear why your school chose to upgrade to Unified Classroom and any user experience (the wins, the areas for improvement, etc) that might help us make an informed decision.

 

If this interests you, please feel free to message me through this support community.

 

Thank you,

Katie

loridwyre
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

Katie,

 

We are going through the same process.  I attended PSU Orlando this past February and attended UC classes.  I was impressed by the changes.  We attempted to move forward with this product last summer but there were many issues and performance was terrible.

 

Has your school made any decisions?  I believe we will make the change this summer.

 

kcain
Hobbyist

Hi @loridwyre

Yes, we have made the decision to widen our options regarding our SIS and LMS. I'm happy to talk more, if you'd like. Feel free to message me through this community or email directly: kcain@mountvernonschool.org.

 

Thanks,

Katie

DanM3
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

For some reason I didn't see this thread when it first started.  We transitioned to the Unified Classroom in August after being told by sales of how great of a product the UC is for its customers. It was a nightmare from the day they turned on the UC. Now I understand why the sales people were unable to provide us with a single reference last year. The pressure they put on us to "close the deal" before Christmas last year was amazing. Promotions and promises were what eventurally was sold to us. The implementation and training was awful and after the UC went "live" neither group would hardly respond.

 

This was the toughest transtion to a new product I've experienced in my 39 years of secondary education. To our teachers it was just another thing the administration was forcing them to use. Almost all of our teachers who use(d) Google Classroom still use it for their curriculum and classes. They basically just provide a link to their Google Classroom account.

 

All of that being said, I'm still a fervent supporter of PowerSchool's SIS. As principal I purchased the product at two school where I worked and have served as the primary PowerSchool Admin for many schools since 2000. When our customer satisfaction person asked my ratings for PowerSchool I quickly answered the SIS a 10 and the UC a 3.

 

Have there been improvements in the product since August, defintely. The product is starting to work better but is far from perfect and frustration free. Knowing what I know now I would have delayed our decision to implement the UC as our school-wide LMS until this summer at the earlies but most likely the summer of 2020.

 

Brother Dan Morgan

Saint Mary's College High School

Berkeley, CA

Dan Morgan
Saint Mary's College High School - Berkeley, CA
PowerSchool Hosted - v 20.4.3 - 600 Students
PowerSchool User and Admin since 2000

kcain
Hobbyist

Hi @DanM3

Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. Unfortunately, your experience sounds similar to the schools I've connected with, on this forum and through Twitter. I agree with you about the strength of PowerSchool SIS and the sense of optimism regarding UC in the future. 

 

For now, we have decided not to move forward with Unified Classroom, based on this kind of feedback that I continue to hear from schools. Thank you again for sharing your experience.

 

Sincerely,

Katie

loridwyre
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

Dan,

 

We would love to speak with you regarding your experience.  We tried Unified Classroom rollout last summer.  It failed miserably.  We are coming from PowerSchool LMS and Power Teacher Pro.  

 

If there is a time that you are available to speak with us, that would be great.  We are here from 7:30 to 4:00 every day.

 

Thank you for your response.

 

 

econleyshannon
Practitioner

This is exactly our experience.  I am constantly checking for updates and they sem to be rolling out very slowly.  We need more communication for which updates are coming so we know if teachers should put forth time and effort into developing content in their LMS or stick with Google Classroom or Canvas and just focus on the SIS portion.

jamiem7
Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Thank you for your feedback!

 

I have relayed your feedback to the PowerSchool Product Team.  I have added updates that were covered in the April 24 webinar and will be released soon.

 

  • Smart Text is now available for teachers, allowing them to enter personalized comments. Teachers enter the comment for one student, then using the Fill Comment feature, the correct name or specified pronoun for each student is automatically detected and entered.
  • Fixed an issue that will now allow users to apply themes to Class Pages in Unified Classroom.
  • Fixed an issue where students who changed sections in the same course in the SIS were not getting properly linked to the appropriate Master Class in Class Pages.
  • Fixed a known issue where users were not receiving updates to Class Page Content if the page had multiple Roster Sections.
  • Fixed a known issue where expanding the view for Recent Grades or Grade Summary for students would not appear correctly.
  • Fixed a known issue that created errors in the PowerSchool Learning Gradebook when updating scores for assignments that had been weighted in PowerTeacher Pro.
  • Fixed an issue where students were signing in to Unified Classroom and the reporting term did not update to the last selected term.
  • Fixed a known issue where a Student Groups button appeared but was not authorized for some users.

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loridwyre
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

PowerSchool needs to add the Google calendar to UC.  Those of us who have been using the LMS have had this option and moving to UC we lose this, which is unacceptable.  This along with many other shortcomings has made the decision to move forward off the table for this year.  We will review this again next year.

 

jamiem7
Lead Community Moderator
Lead Community Moderator

Thank you for posting your suggestion in the Community!

I have submitted a feature request to the PowerSchool Product team on your behalf to enable a Google calendar with Unified Classroom. We thank you for your suggestions to improve Unified Classroom for all users.


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