When upgrading to 8 over the summer remember to do the database upgrade first. Or you’re going to be on the phone a lot with Pearson Technical Support.
PowerSchool 8.0 is Coming Soon!
You spoke – Pearson listened! Our annual back to school release, available for download on PowerSource in early summer, is just what you asked for! PowerSchool 8.0 will be packed with many new features as well as many enhancements to existing functionality to improve productivity and efficiency and address what you want most in a student information system.
- Document Attachments – With PowerSchool 8.0, it is now possible to attach all types of files directly to the student record in the administrator portal. Document Attachment is easy to set up on a local or network drive and districts can define storage quotas.
- Field Level Security – PowerSchool has greatly expanded the number of fields that can be secured from the Students table. These new fields can be seen in the Field Level Security Setup pages.
- Enhanced PowerSchool Search – An improved Start Page search provides additional power and flexibility, allowing easy selection of students by hand and quick access to group functions. The new advanced mode allows you to create selections from multiple searches by being able to add, subtract, or find students within the previous student selection.
- PowerSchool Special Education – A new optional module that seamlessly integrates PowerSchool with TIENET, an industry-leading Special Education Case Management solution from MAXIMUS. Available for an annual subscription fee, TIENET offers a comprehensive Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Management and Special Education (SPED) compliance solution, accessible with the click of a button in PowerSchool. TIENET will help simplify SPED compliance and provide teachers and administrators with access to critical IEP data and reporting features.
- Oracle update via PowerSchool Installer. An update from Oracle 11g to 12c provides all needed security updates and enhancements.
- PowerTeacher 2.8 is included with PowerSchool 8.0 and features Gradebook enhancements as well as changes for how teachers launch the Gradebook.
Additional Features and Enhancements
- Localization enhancements
- User interface and search improvements
- Database extension enhancements
- Fixes for outstanding issues
PowerTeacher Gradebook Enhancements
PowerTeacher 2.8 includes a new way to launch the Gradebook that protects against Java updates and does not require browser plugins. It also includes a desktop shortcut that allows direct sign in to the Gradebook. After a simple setup of the new launch method, teachers will find the same Gradebook features, so there is no Gradebook retraining.
Changes for Teachers
When teachers sign in to the PowerTeacher Portal, they will notice a subtle change in where they go to launch the Gradebook. This new area is easy to see, and simplifies the launch process, both for the new launch method and the old one. However, since it is a change, we strongly recommend informing teachers about the new launch location, along with your plans for using the new or old launch method prior to upgrading.
For more information, see the PowerSchool 8.0 and PowerTeacher 2.8 Preview page and the Getting Teachers Ready for PowerTeacher 2.8 tech note.
Test Drive PowerSchool 8.0
The PowerSchool 8.0 and PowerTeacher 2.8 Preview is now available in the PowerSource Labs. Visit the PowerSchool 8.0 and PowerTeacher 2.8 Preview page to learn more about upcoming features and to test-drive PowerSchool 8.0 and PowerTeacher 2.8.
Q & A for PowerSchool 8.0
Q: Does PowerSchool 8.0 have new system requirements?
A: Yes. Customers currently meeting the recommended hardware requirements for PowerSchool 7.x will meet the new minimum requirement for PowerSchool 8.0 and as such, would have minimally sufficient hardware to support version 8.0. Customers currently meeting the minimum hardware requirements for version 7.x will be required to make minor upgrades to their environment to support PowerSchool 8.0. For more information, see thePowerSchool 8.x Hardware and Software Requirements, available on PowerSource.
Q: Does PowerSchool 8.0 require updates to the database server?
A: Yes. PowerSchool 8.0 includes a database upgrade for PowerSchool. Oracle will be upgraded from 11g to 12c.
Q: Can I upgrade PowerSchool to PowerSchool 8.0 without updating my database server?
A: No. PowerSchool 8.0 requires a database update before upgrading any of the application servers. While PowerSchool 8.0 may startup and allow users to sign in, some functions may not work as expected.
Q: Does Document Attach have any additional requirements?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is required to use the Document Attachments feature and is strongly recommended for all PowerSchool installations. SSL is required because Pearson believes that it is important to take extra steps to ensure that scans of documents which may contain personally identifiable information such as a birth certificate are being treated with the upmost concern for security. Click here for details on how Pearson can implement this for you, or you may follow the instructions provided on PowerSource here.