Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Powerschool Update


There is a Powerschool Update planned for February 1, 2020 at 10 PM EST.
If you are working in Powerschool, please make sure you have completed your work and are logged out prior to the beginning of the maintenance time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

DLP and District Email

Roughly a month ago we started using the DLP feature of GSuite in all of our e-mail.  DLP or Data Loss Prevention, as a whole, are mechanisms put in place to help prevent sensitive information from “escaping” the district via email or another mechanism.

In Gmail, that control is called Content Compliance.  The content compliance setting right now is looking for anything that may resemble a social security number.  Some of you may have experienced this directly as your email has been quarantined and you have been notified.

We are tweaking the settings as the emails get stopped so the quarantines make more sense.  If you happen to get an email stuck in quarantine it will most likely be released fairly quickly as the GSuite admins in the District get notifications.

That being said I think this may be a good time to review Board Policy in regard to email usage.  I will be referring to the Board Policy Manual Section 7000 and the Administrative Guideline Manual 7000.

Policy Manual code po7540.05 states:

“District Staff shall not send or forward mass e-mails, even if the e-mails concern District business, without prior approval of the Technology Director, principal, or other District administrator”.

Administrative Guideline Manual code ag7540.05 states:

1.        General Rule:  Do not put anything in an e-mail that you would not put on School District      letterhead.
2.       Do not forward or start e-mails with the following:
a.       Jokes
b.       Pictures, or
c.       Similar fun forwards intended to amuse the reader
3.       Do not subscribe to the following through your District e-mail account:
a.       Daily jokes
b.       Daily horoscopes
c.       Daily recipes
d.       Vacation information
e.       Similar items of information or amusement.

These are not all inclusive and staff members should refer to aforementioned articles for further review.

Alongside board policy, here are some other best practices when regard to District email:

1.       Don’t use your District e-mail to register for an account on ANY website or ANY service       that isn’t directly related to District business.
2.       Don’t use District email to send any attachments or information that includes Social Security or Credit Card numbers.
3.       Don’t respond to ANY email asking you to provide any personal information.  Especially e-mails supposedly coming from a bank, the IRS, the local police, etc.  
4.       Don’t open an email you think maybe be suspicious
5.       Don’t attempt to open or download an attachment in a suspicious e-mail.

If you have concerns about your email, please call the Helpdesk at 7990.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Email Signatures

In an effort to assess and mitigate potential cyber security threats a review of related board policies and administrative guidelines is in progress.  Board policy po7540.05 - District-Issued Staff E-Mail Account and the accompanying administrative guideline ag7540.05 - Proper Use of District-Issued Staff E-Mail Account layout policies and guidelines for staff email accounts.

Section C of the Operational Considerations section of the administrative guideline specifics a signature block for email accounts. At a minimum, all employee email accounts should contain a signature block including the following information:

  • Employee's Name
  • Position/Title
  • Building
  • Phone Number
Setup Signature Block
To setup your signature block open your email and click on the settings button which is the small gear icon in the upper right.


Scroll down towards the bottom of the setting screen until you get to the Signature section.
signature block

This is a rich text editor so you can get creative with your signature block if you want. Please ensure you have the minimum information identified in ag7540.05 as listed above.

Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button when you are done.

The technology department will also add a disclaimer to the bottom of all email messages sent outside the school district per the administrative guideline.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

PowerTeacher Mobile

PowerSchool is discontinuing the PowerTeacher mobile app beginning October 1, 2019. The primary purpose of the mobile app was to support the old PowerSchool grade book which is also being discontinued. PowerTeacher and PowerTeacher Pro both use responsive web pages which automatically adjust based upon the device viewing the web page. If you access PowerTeacher or PowerTeacher Pro from a smart phone or tablet you will be presented with a mobile version of the site. Just go to powerschool.calschools.org/teachers from a browser on your phone or tablet to access the mobile pages. The following instructions will create a home screen icon for the PowerTeacher site. The instructions differ between Android and IOS (Apple) devices.


  • Open powerschool.calschools.org/teachers on your mobile browser
  • Tap the menu button (three dots) and tap Add to Home Screen. 
  • Name the shortcutt

IOS (iPhone or iPad)

  • To do this from an iPhone or iPad you must use the Safari browser
  • Open powerschool.calschools.org/teachers using the Safari browser
  • Tap on the square with the up arrow
  • Scroll the lower list to the right until you see "Add to Home Screen" and tap it
  • Name the shortcut

You can move the icon to any screen or even the menu bar

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Contacts in PowerTeacher

PowerSchool is going through a transition from static and limited contact fields to an unlimited contact model. The problem is many areas of PowerSchool still access the legacy contact fields. There are ways to connect new contact data to some of the legacy fields but it is awkward and perpetuates the use of the legacy fields. 

In the previous post two blank spreadsheet reports were developed and made available to PowerTeacher. Two additional reports have been added; Class Roster Contact 1 and Class Roster Contact 2. These reports list the students first and second custodial contacts respectively. The reports include the student name, contact name, relationship, email address, and phone number. Access these reports the same way as the Blank Spreadsheet reports in the previous post.

We have also added a Plug-in that makes all student contacts available in PowerTeacher Pro. You will see essentially the same information as the office staff.

To access individual student contact information:

  • Open PowerTeacher Pro
  • Select a Student
  • On the right side of  the drop down next to the students name select Contacts

This will display all of the contacts for the student as entered by the office

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Custom PowerTeacher Reports

During a recent PowerTeacher training a request was made to create a spreadsheet like class roster. This report has been created and published to PowerTeacher in two formats. Blank Spreadsheet - 32 will display up to 32 students and Blank Spreadsheet - 40 will handle up to 40 students.

To access these reports from PowerTeacher:

  • Select the printer icon for the class you want to print a spreadsheet roster

  • From the "Which report would you like to print?" drop down select the desired report.
  • Choose any additional options and click on the Submit button
  • The Reports Queue will be displayed
  • When the report is complete the View link will be displayed
  • Click on the View link to open a PDF of the report
  • Right-click to print the report

The report has alternating shaded row with student names and blank columns for your use.

If there are other custom reports you would find useful submit a help desk ticket to get it on the report development list.

Friday, August 16, 2019

PowerTeacher Support

supportStarting a new school year is full of challenges and this year we have an abundance with the implementation of PowerSchool and it's supporting applications. This post is an effort to provide information and consolidate some resources so you can find the help you need quickly.

PowerSchool has several primary components:

  • PowerSchool (Admin) - The admin side of PowerSchool used by office staff and other to manage or access student data.
  • PowerTeacher - This is the Teacher portal into PowerSchool. It provides teacher access to their class rosters, student data, taking attendance, communications, and reports.
  • PowerTeacher Pro (PTP) - This is the PowerSchool grade book for tracking assignments, analyzing student progress, and posting final grades. PTP is launched from PowerTeacher.
  • Parent/Student Portal - This is where parents access student information and where students login to see their own data.

Use the following URL's to access the different components of PowerSchool. Note: you may not need access to all of the components.

Use your network credentials to access all areas of PowerSchool except the Parent Portal. Parents create their own username and password when they setup their portal account. However, students will use their network credentials to access the student portal.

Here are some resources that you may find useful:

The ISD has developed a series of short videos that you may find useful. See the following for links to the videos: Step-by-Step Guides

The following knowledge base article has an organized list of PowerSource videos that may also be useful: PowerTeacher Video Tutorials

We also put together a quick video on Taking Attendance and using School Messenger.

There is a resource page on our website that was developed for community support. You might find some of the information useful. Especially the PowerSchool and School Messenger Apps.

Please note, if you get an error when accessing the knowledge base just click on one of the tabs and then the link should work. You may need to logon to your Caledonia YouTube account to view the knowledge base videos.

I have a feeling PowerSchool will be an ongoing topic for Caledonia Technology News Articles.

Powerschool Update

POWERSCHOOL UPDATE There is a Powerschool Update planned for February 1, 2020 at 10 PM EST. If you are working in Powerschool, please mak...