I would wait maybe a couple of weeks after school starts to install to make sure there are no major bugs. If you want to upgrade don’t forget the database update too. I made the mistake of upgrading to 7.11 too early over winter break and it broke parts of PowerScheduler and some stock reports.
PowerSchool 8.0 is now available for download from PowerSource.
For detailed information about the release, see the release notes document, available on PowerSource.
You spoke – Pearson listened! Our annual back to school release is just what you asked for! PowerSchool 8.0 is 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.
- Database Extensions – PowerSchool 8.0 provides additional features supporting the ability to create and manage real database extensions rather than legacy custom fields. Plus, PowerSchool 8.0 delivers robust page customization tools. This new database extension functionality allows users to create real tables and fields that are easy to access and will significantly improve performance.
- 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 Attachments 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 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 – An update from Oracle 11g to 12c via the PowerSchool Installer 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
- Fixes for outstanding issues
State Reporting Updates
This release includes the following state reporting updates:
- Alberta State Reporting
- Arizona State Reporting
- California State Reporting
- Tennessee State Reporting
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.
Upcoming Features and Fixes
Learn more about in-progress features and fixes on the PowerSchool Product Status page on PowerSource.
If customers hosting their own instance of PowerSchool would like Pearson to perform the PowerSchool upgrade on their behalf, contact the Pearson Technical Solutions Group firstname.lastname@example.org for information concerning scope, cost and availability of services.
PowerSchool Software as a Service
PowerSchool Software as a Service instances hosted by Pearson will be automatically upgraded to this version starting at 8:00 AM PT on Saturday, June 28, 2014 and will continue each afternoon starting at 4:00 PM local time for the following week until all autoupdate clients are completed. Those customers who do not have autoupdate enabled will still experience some downtime in order to lay the foundation for when this version is applied to your instance. PowerSchool Software as a Service customers can manage the automatic upgrade to this and future versions of the application – or decline this version – by following the instructions provided within Knowledgebase article 59719 prior to this date. No upgrades to PowerSchool 8.0 will be performed prior to the date specified.
All non-auto update enabled PowerSchool Software as a Service instances hosted by Pearson which do not receive the upgrade during this evolution will be upgraded to this version starting at 4:00 PM local time on Friday, August 15, 2014 and will continue each afternoon starting at 4:00 PM local time for the following week until all clients are completed.
All PowerSchool Software as a Service instances hosted by Pearson will be upgraded to PowerSchool 8.0 by Friday, August 22, 2014.
Enterprise Management Service (EMS)
Self-hosted PowerSchool instances managed by the Technical Solutions Group Enterprise Management Service (EMS) that receive updates automatically will begin to be upgraded to this version beginning on Monday, June 30, 2014.
- The EMS technical contact will be notified via email one (1) business day prior to the scheduled update for their district.
- While schools are on summer break, the maintenance window to apply updates will be between 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Local Time.
- The EMS technical contact should notify their staff that PowerSchool will be unavailable during the maintenance window.
- The EMS technical contact will be notified via email once the update has been applied and the maintenance window is complete.
Self-hosted PowerSchool instances managed by EMS that receive updates on demand can submit a PowerSchool Software Update Service request on PowerSource here.
EMS customers can manage the automatic update to this and future versions of the application – or decline this version – by contacting TSG directly email@example.com prior to this date. Alternatively, customers requiring this version sooner than the specified date should submit a PowerSchool Software Update Service request on PowerSource here. For more information about becoming an EMS customer, clickhere.