North Carolina school districts are using a new software called PowerSchool to do everything from scheduling classes to tracking students' grades. But it’s had a rough start. The latest glitch is that schools can’t produce up-to-date transcripts for students applying to college.
Transcripts present in one tidy document a student’s grades, grade point average, ranking, and classes in which they’re currently enrolled. Students need it to apply to a four-year college, scholarship programs, and sometimes even jobs after graduation. High schools can still print them out for students, but they’re not up to date. They end in June of this year, so summer school classes or information on current courses doesn’t appear on them.
“What is being sent to colleges is less than ideal,” says Cheryl Robinson, the college counseling specialist for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is working with the company that produces the PowerSchool software to fix the problem. Rosalyn Galloway is in charge of the transition to PowerSchool for the department. She says districts should be able to begin printing up-to-date transcripts next week.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re able to produce most of the information on the transcript. We’re just trying to verify that the formulas are calculating correctly and that it’s presenting in the fashion that we’re accustomed to seeing,” says Galloway.
But some kids have already started applying early to colleges or seeking scholarships. Robinson with CMS says schools are doing what they can.
“We are providing the colleges with all of the information they need. It’s just not at this time on one comprehensive document,” says Robinson.
That one document is how college admissions officers are used to seeing the information.
Until the problem gets fixed, schools are sending the June transcripts, along with additional information on summer courses, classes the student is currently enrolled in, and an explanation that technology, not the student, is to blame.