Before teachers review grades within the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook and submit them for grade storage and/or report cards, it is critical to understand what data will be utilized on the report card. Theoretically, teachers should be prepared with this information before setting up the gradebook for the school year; however a quick refresher will be extremely beneficial.
The report card may include:
- Traditional grades,
- Standards grades,
- Teacher Comments (aka course comments),
- Citizenship Scores or
- a combination of these.
This article will provide information about how to review each of these areas in the gradebook, and how to submit grades at the end of the grading term. Please use what is applicable to your school and be sure to direct questions to your administrative team or lead teacher(s) well in advance of beginning the end of term process.
Traditional Grades are overall, subject-specific (or course specific) grades, that are calculated based upon a pre-determined final grade calculation method (term weighting, categories, or total points are typical) using any number of grade scale possibilities.
Traditional Grade Example:
- English = B+ (on a traditional A-F scale),
- or Mathematics = 4 (on a 1-4 numeric scale)
Step 1: Review Final Grade Calculation Method
To view this calculation in PowerTeacher Pro, navigate to Settings > Traditional Grade Calculations and choose the course from the drop down course menus in the middle of the screen. Knowledge of this calculation will make troubleshooting final grade issues and review of the final grades more efficient and effective.
Traditional Grade Calculations Screen Example:
By selecting the Pencil (aka edit) under the Actions column, the details of the grade calculation may be viewed. The screenshot below is an example of Category Weighting for the above S1 term sample.
Note: If you or the Administrative team have not set this calculation, PowerSchool will default to Total Points and average the final grades using the total points earned divided by the total points possible.
Step 2: Traditional Grades – Final Grade Review
PowerTeacher Pro allows teachers to view the overall final course grades on several screens within the gradebook such as:
- Scoresheet: which shows all assignments and scores for the grading term (traditional gradebook view, which may be printed using the Scoresheet report)
- Traditional Grades screen: which shows overall final course grades, attendance data, totals for missing, late or incomplete assignments if utilizing these features
- Comment Verification screen: which includes term-specific Teacher Comments for the course
- Category Totals screen: which shows a breakdown of points earned and percentages earned in each category as applicable
Navigate to any of these screens to review and/or modify (override) final grades. Both the Traditional Grades screen and the Scoresheet provide critical data when analyzing student grades, you may wish to toggle between them before grades are submitted for the report card.
An Example Option: To view final grades at any time during the term, Navigate to A+ Grading > Scoresheet
- Highly recommended: make an electronic backup of scores for the term. You may “print” this data as a pdf file using Reports > Scoresheet Report and save for future reference or print and place in a paper file.
- Review both the percent and final grade in the Grade column which are dictated by the course grade scale and the final grade calculation method.
- In this view, all assignments will be listed, along with the score for each assignment that the students earned.
- The Gear icon at the top of the page allows you to Show Metrics which will show the Mean, Median and Mode scores for the class, as well as for each assignment that is graded.
- Save when finished.
- Teachers may save and come back to finish analysis of grades at any time before grade submission.
Sample Scoresheet view:
Teachers may override a grade manually (if professional judgement indicates) simply by clicking on the letter, number or percent grade in the Grade column. Type in both percent and new alpha/numeric grade here. Keep in mind both the teacher and those with PT Pro Admin permissions will see a small triangle icon indicating a manual override. The screenshot below provides a sample.
Example of using Comment Verification screen to override/review final grades:
Once the traditional grades are reviewed for accuracy, teachers may submit the final grades or review further features noted in this article. Remember to save often during this process. Details regarding how to submit grades at the end of the term are noted in the last section below.
From the Comment Verification screen (as shown above), a teacher may enter comments for the grading term for all, or some, students. Review expectations with your administrative teams as report cards may limit the number of characters or the type of comments to be used.
**Please note that teacher comments are saved into historical grades (stored grades) in PowerSchool and may be viewed by parents and students who have access to the public portal in PowerSchool once saved in the gradebook.
Open Comments vs. Comment Bank
Depending upon how your PowerSchool server has been setup, teachers typically have one of two options to create term specific Teacher Comments: Open Comments or Comment Bank.
- Open Comments – freely written comments, typically limited by character count to fit onto the report card.
- Comment Bank – a drop down menu of options, setup by the Admin team in PowerSchool, typically limited by character count to fit onto the report card.
To create an Open Comment:
- Navigate to the A+ Grading >Comment Verification screen and select the proper grading term which is coming to an end (ex. S1, Q1, T1).
- Select (or click on) the final grade percentage or letter grade to open the Score Inspector Window.
- At the bottom of the Score Inspector is an large, white box where Open Comments may be typed. The following screenshot details this view.
- Type carefully and proofread thoroughly since there are no grammatical or spelling hints offered.
- Save when finished.
To create a comment using the Comment Bank:
Within the same Comment Verification screen, and on the Score Inspector noted above, there is an option for the Comment Bank if one has been setup in PowerSchool.
- Select the icon at the top of the screen that resembles a dialogue box shown in Step 1 of the screenshot below.
- Select the Comment Bank link as shown in Step 2 below.
- Then you may select the “+” sign to add comments to the comment box for each student using the list that follows.
- Keep in mind the number of characters used and any Admin expectations for the content of these comments.
- Proofread carefully and update them as needed before grades are submitted.
- You may move through the student list by selecting the down arrow next to the student’s name near the top of the screen for each selected class.
- Save when finished.
Reviewing final Standards Grades is vastly different than traditional grades in the sheer number of grades to review and the calculation method(s) used to create those final grades. Therefore, like traditional grades, it is important to review how the grades are calculated before the final standards grades review begins.
Review the Standards Grades Calculation Method
To view the calculation method for each course, navigate to Settings > Standards Grade Calculations screen. Knowing which method is used will help tremendously as teachers review final standards grades. Additionally, a regular, thorough analysis of standards progress (not noted in this article) is recommended throughout the grading term.
NOTE: PowerSchool defaults to the “Most Recent” 3 calculation method which averages together the 3 most recent standards scores for the grading term.
- Example Math standard: Adds and Subtracts within 20.
- Most recent 3 grades for this standard are: 4, 3, 3 (4+3+3=10 divided by 3 = 3.33)
- Therefore, the final standard grade will be a 3 for the Adds and Subtracts within 20 standard (on a numeric 1-4 grade scale).
An example screenshot follows for a school which chooses to average the most recent five scores for each standard.
Review the Final Standards Grades
Following the review of the standards calculation, teachers should navigate to A+ Grading > Standards to review the final, overall standards grades based on that calculation method.
The following screenshot shows the standard name and identifier (standard number), the standard final score, the mean/median/mode scores for each standard per class, and possibly a triangle icon that indicates that the grade has been manually updated from the calculated score.
Teachers should review for accuracy and for missing grades.
PowerTeacher Pro may include the Citizenship Grades option if enabled in PowerSchool by the PowerSchool administrator. If it is enabled, teachers may enter the citizenship grade and view the citizenship grade scale from the A+ Grading > Traditional Grade screen. Remember to save when updates are made.
The Citizenship column will be next to the overall traditional grade column for the specified term.
Example Citizenship Grade and Grade Scale (Excellent, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory):
Submitting Final Grades
As the term comes to an end, administrators will likely provide a hard deadline for grade submission. It is expected that teachers review and submit grades (traditional and standards grades), teacher comments, and/or citizenship grades for grade storage and for report card printing.
Teachers should submit grades after a thorough review by following these steps:
- Login to the Teacher portal of PowerSchool and open the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook.
- Choose a course and proper grading term. This will be repeated for each course for which the teacher is responsible.
- Navigate to any of the following screens: Comment Verification, Traditional Grades, Standards Grades, or the Scoresheet on the A+ Grading menu of options.
- Select Final Grade Status at the bottom of the screen.
- Click in the checkbox next to “[Term X] Final Grades are complete”
- Select Save to submit grades.
The comment box is optional, however, if the teacher is not able to meet the deadline, a comment to provide a reason is recommended. When the administrators run the “Section Readiness” report in PowerSchool, the comment will be visible next to the indicator that this class (and teacher) has not completed the final grade submission process.
Please remember, a regular analysis of grades (traditional and standards grades) will make the end of term grade submission process faster and easier!