By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Summer break is here, but before students, teachers and administrators realize it, the time will come to return to school and begin a new year. Edgecombe County Public Schools can anticipate starting the 2013-2014 school year with a new student information system, PowerSchool Solution.
“PowerSchool is going to replace the current student information system, which is N.C. Wise,” said Patricia Benbow, N.C. Wise Manager for ECPS. “We’re looking forward to progressing and getting to new and better things.”
PowerSchool will launch in school systems across the state on July 1. ECPS anticipates that PowerSchool solution will improve the day-to-day management of data for the district’s approximate 6,700 students.
Raising student achievement is a primary goal at ECPS, according to Superintendent John Farrelly, and PowerSchool is a tool that will allow teachers and school officials to track what students are learning in the classroom. School staff will have the ability to report performance data, work together to identify areas of strength and weakness for each student, monitor students’ progress and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs.
A “power teacher” tool will give teachers instant access to their students’ information and will provide them a host of user-friendly tools.
“It’s going to save a lot of time, I believe, in the classroom, because it’s going to be right at their fingertips,” Benbow said. She said PowerSchool additionally would give administrators quick access to information such as average daily membership for the school, whereas administrators currently have to run several different reports to access that information. The sophisticated system will give the school district the ability to analyze student information from various perspectives, find patterns in the data, and see the “big picture” across teachers, schools, grade levels, achievement standards and demographic patterns.
“We’re excited about it and I’m sure parents will be, too,” Benbow said. PowerSchool will include a special portal for parents to log on and view their child’s grades and attendance.
Students won’t be left out of the mix either. They will have access to a special portal where they can track their grades.
“They can feel a little bit more comfortable taking ownership in their part as a student,” Benbow added. She said the access to the academic data would hopefully help the students plan ahead and give them an opportunity to bring up their grades.
Benbow said, “We are looking forward to moving forward into this world of technology,”