Students who are applying to college are facing problems with PowerSchool, the new data system for all public schools in North Carolina. Here's how Superintendent Heath Morrison described it in a report to the school board:
"We are continuing to experience challenges with the conversion to PowerSchool. One challenge affects student transcripts, and particularly impacts high school students applying to colleges. The transcript module for PowerSchool is still being designed by the state. It has not been released to districts. As a result, no district in the state can run current class ranks or current transcripts for students. We are only able to produce transcripts that end with the 2012 2013 school year, which do not reflect grades in summer school courses, grade corrections or updates since June 10. We anticipate that the transcript module will be ready in a few weeks; the target date is Oct. 1. Schools will be notified as soon as we are able to run class ranks and produce current transcripts.
CMS Regulation IKC-R requires that class ranks be run on the 15th school day. Given the circumstances this year that make meeting that deadline impossible, we have approved an amendment to this regulation. In addition, our school counseling department is providing letters explaining the situation to accompany 2012-2013 transcripts for current seniors. We have also put processes in place to enable school counselors to advise students on progress toward graduation."
I admit to being a bit puzzled. A parent had emailed me about this issue this summer, when I was writing about the PowerSchool debut. I asked CMS officials about potential problems with transcripts and they said that shouldn't be an issue this early in the year. Now they're saying it is. It's been a long time since I was dealing with college applications personally, and I'm not clear on the nuances of this. Readers, you seem to have been out front on this -- keep us all posted on how this affects families and students.