News and Events
Seattle Public Schools is pleased to introduce an updated version of The Source – a website used by families, students and teachers to communicate and collaborate for academic achievement. This update combines the familiar data of The Source with a new front end for your child’s class assignments and scores.
How do Parents & Guardians use The Source?
“I’ve never used The Source” – go to Seattle Public Schools - The Source for information and instructions to set up a new account.
“I have a Source account” – go to http://source.seattleschools.
After transferring or creating a Source account, parents and guardians will log on here: http://powerschool.
How do Students use The Source?
Students use their school usernames and passwords to log on at the new Source URL at http://powerschool.
Why are we changing systems?
There are several reasons for changing our systems and for starting these changes now. First, both The Source and the current gradebook are using out of date technology and are old enough that there is no support and very little back-up. The gradebook fails frequently. We have been fearful for quite some time that the systems will fail completely and we will not be able to recover them at all. These are crucial to the work of our teachers and to the ability of our students and families to stay connected to ensure student achievement. We believe having a failure of these systems would be even worse than struggling with new formats and systems right now.
Additionally, our current Student Information System (SIS) is no longer supported and we are struggling to keep it functional. We have a dire need to move to systems that can be operational in the fall. With our heightened need and with no budget, we are pressing to move to a new product that we already own, by virtue of a vendor buy-out of one of our existing aged applications. The new Source (portal tool) is part of a larger system which offers a portal tool, a gradebook and a student information system all in one.
While the new product is one of the top 5 student information systems in use in the United States, we understand that the design of The Source had some benefits over this new portal. Because we will have a fully supported product now, we expect to be able to enhance it over time – just as we did with the older Source – to make it easier to read and to add even more information than we’ve had previously.
Why change now?
We really hate to have to change these systems mid-year on families and teachers – the most critical of our clients. But this SIS replacement is a huge undertaking. If we didn’t start implementing in phases now, we had no chance of completing the larger student system replacement for fall. Starting later in the year, would have made it impossible to support start of school in the fall. As it is, we are on a flat-out run to try to get the most critical functionality and data converted for our schools by fall.
Our hope is that by training teachers now and giving them the chance to work with the new gradebook, any further training in the fall will be much shorter and will allow them precious time to prepare for instruction. Similarly, by getting parents, guardians and students used to the new look now, that will be one less point of confusion in a hectic start of school time.
It is important to us that our community understands the choices we are making in order to better serve our students. These are very hard choices with impacts to everyone. There really is no optimal time. We believe working through these impacts now carries less risk than waiting any longer with this work.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we move to systems that will be more reliable and supportable in the coming years.