Budgetary constraints may put new technology plans on hold, but some Memphis, Tn.-area schools are seeing great results with PowerSchool, Apple’s Web-based student information system. That’s according to Katherine Cromer, in a new article on GoMemphis.com entitled
Apple’s Power lets parents tap into grades.
PowerSchool is part of a pilot program in three Shelby County schools put into place by district technology director Mike Murphy and Collierville High School principal Dr. Tim Setterlund last year, following Apple’s acquisition of PowerSchool. Now in place in an elementary, middle and high school, PowerSchool is being used by teachers to track attendance and mark grades. Ultimately, though, PowerSchool also offers many other capabilities, including standards and assessment tracking, class schedules, demographic info and activity tracking.
Early on, untrained teachers unfamiliar with the software had some complaints, along with underachieving students, but parents love PowerSchool, according to Dr. Setterlund, who called the information system “phenomenal.” Right now, PowerSchool is used in about 3,000 schools nationwide.
Although the program will remain in place at the three existing schools, further adoption will boost the cost considerably, which now runs about US$12 per student or just under $42,000, according to Cromer. With $370 million of Tennessee’s state education budget up for grabs, further deployment of PowerSchool in Shelby County may have to wait for rosier economic times.
“PowerSchool has a huge potential. It also is a huge project to undertake,” said Murphy, who said that the county may bring another three schools into the PowerSchool project later this year.