Parent Contact Instructions
Positive parent contacts are rewarded with the monthly gas card program (calls and notes home) and as part of the district's "Pay for Performance" plan (notes home). We have several tools available for recording and documenting these contacts.
Most of our teachers contact students enrolled in one of their course sections in PowerSchool. For these teachers, the PowerTeacher Gradebook has a good tool for recording contacts using the custom columns feature. Custom columns do not integrate into the main PowerSchool database for centralized management and reporting, but they are handy for a number of teacher-specific purposes such as recording textbook numbers or tracking parent contacts.
Elementary teachers can use either the AM or PM attendance "class" to record contacts, whereas secondary teachers would simply use their academic course sections such as Algebra IA.
To use the custom fields, go to the "Student Info" tab and click on the "Extra Class Columns" button. Click on one of the custom fields and select the "Edit" button to give the column a name and a description.
After naming the custom columns, and the clicking on the "Close" button, you may rearrange the columns in the "Student Info" tab by clicking on the column headings and dragging to the right or left. The date of the contact can be entered in these columns, as well as any other relevant information.
If the students are not enrolled in a PowerSchool course section, the best bet is to store the information in an Excel spreadsheet.
Maintaining a Paper Trail
Whether you use the PowerTeacher Gradebook or an Excel spreadsheet, realize that this does not convey contact information to the administration. It simply provides a record of the contacts. Teachers still need to turn in a paper form to get a gas card and enter contact data into the "P4P Contacts" page on the district website for the pay for perfomance plan.
Pay for Performance Contacts
A database on our web server stores a running tabulation of parent contact notes home for each teacher by term. Please note that elementary teachers track contacts by quarter, whereas secondary teachers track contacts by semester. Also, the "Goal" column is the number of contacts the teacher is trying to make under the terms of the Pay for Performance policy. While values are pre-populated into this column, it is the responsibility of the teacher to verify and correct these numbers.
If a student leaves a class and a note had already been sent home, that contact should be recorded and the "Goal" column remains unchanged. If the student left class before a note was sent home, the "Goal" column should be reduced by one.
Entering Pay for Performance Contacts
- From the district website, go to the "Staff" section of the navigation bar and click on the "P4P Contacts" link. This page is restricted so authentication is required before gaining access to it. From outside the school, put "cascade\" before the username (eg "cascade\fredricka").
- When the page has loaded, the teacher selects their name from the "Update record for" drop-down, selects the term from the next drop-down and (important!) clicks the "Search" button.
- The current values for number of contacts made and contact goal are displayed for the selected teacher and term. The teacher changes these values as needed and enters his/her PowerSchool password, then clicks the "Update" button.
- A confirmation screen is displayed. Clicking on the "Return" button will refresh the contacts entry screen. Note that the lower section of the screen should now reflect the updated values.