The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Power On

PowerSchool presents benefits and challenges as NASH students learn to navigate the new gradebook application.
Ruby Morris

NASH students were met with quite the change at the start of the 2023-2024 school year–a previous application that many had used for the entirety of their years of education, Tyler SIS, was replaced with a new application, PowerSchool. 

Mr. Jim Cox, Director of Technology and Innovation for NA, explained the reasoning for the change in applications.

“In the summer of 2022, Tyler informed all of its customers that they would be leaving the SIS (Student Information System) business at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.  Districts would need to find an alternative SIS by the start of the 2023-2024 school year,” Cox said.

Cox also explained the process by which the district settled on PowerSchool as the replacement application.

“First, we sent an RFP (Request for Proposals) to potential vendors. Additionally, we assembled groups of stakeholders to evaluate and provide feedback on potential vendors. We used the RFP submissions along with the stakeholder feedback data to make a recommendation to the North Allegheny Board of School Directors. The board approved PowerSchool in November of 2022.”

Various students have expressed their opinions on the change. Junior Archi Kammath provided some of her first impressions of the aesthetics of PowerSchool.

“It appears more organized than Tyler. The color-coded looks cool, and I also like classroom numbers and teachers listed,” Kammath said.

Senior Teoman Kan expressed similar approval of the new user interface (UI).

“When I first opened up PowerSchool, I noticed that its UI was a bit more simplistic than our previous student portal Tyler, but I kind of liked it. It wasn’t too cluttered and I think it works okay,” Kan said.

However, senior Jayna Cole was not as pleased with the layout of PowerSchool on the mobile app.

“The mobile app UI is somewhat atrocious in terms of viewing classes. I would like it to be more phone-screen size-friendly,” Cole said.

Beyond just the aesthetics, senior Aidan Hall is finding PowerSchool to be more efficient than Tyler SIS.

When I first opened up PowerSchool, I noticed that its UI was a bit more simplistic than our previous student portal Tyler, but I kind of liked it.

— Teoman Kan, NASH senior

“The way you navigated Tyler was so annoying, I think they definitely improved that aspect a lot, and Tyler’s way of showing grades was annoying to get to. Now it’s easier–a great improvement,” Hall explained. “I don’t have to click on the classes to get to [my] grades anymore. I can just click the side button labeled plainly as Grade History.”

Senior Jason Ma also finds PowerSchool to be a more efficient upgrade.

“I like how it doesn’t make you sign in again every time you open it like Tyler SIS did,” Ma said.

Cole also sees benefits in using PowerSchool as opposed to Tyler SIS.

“The classes are organized very neatly and I like that it accounts for A/B days more efficiently than Tyler did,” Cole said, “It seems less glitchy. Though PowerSchool looks older and simpler, it is admittedly easier to use.”

However, there is one aspect of PowerSchool that has caused some frustration among students–the lack of access to transcripts and GPAs.

“Why is GPA disabled out of all things?” asked senior Ryan Pan.

“Not sure if they’re planning on releasing it later, but why can’t we access unofficial transcripts or GPAs yet?” Ma questioned.

“I can’t find my GPA or other records previously available on Tyler,” Kammath echoed.

In addition to the lack of certain academic information, Cole expressed concerns over the differences between the amount of additional information available between the two ways of accessing PowerSchool.

“Certain things like locker information are only visible to me on the website rather than the app,” Cole said.

As with most transitions to a new digital platform, PowerSchool has its benefits and drawbacks.

“It’s a change, so there is always the initial learning curve of using a new app,” Kan said. “It’s simpler and has a less complex UI, but I think that runs in its favor. I haven’t truly had an opportunity to evaluate the app in full, as there are not many new grades in there, but I think PowerSchool has potential to be better than Tyler.”


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About the Contributor
Sunny Li, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Sunny is a Senior at NASH who is writing for the Uproar for the second and final year. As one of three Editors-in-Chief, Sunny hopes to inspire the rest of the Uproar's staff to go outside the box with wacky, yet well-constructed works. Outside of writing for the Uproar, Sunny enjoys aiding, guiding, and competing for the Speech and Debate team as one of two event leaders for Interpretation.

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