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Students, teachers kick off first day of school with new computer system

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- As thousands of students started school Monday, teachers across the North Carolina used the state's new student data management system, PowerSchool, for the first time when taking attendance and organizing schedules.

PowerSchool replaces the state's old system, NCWISE, which was more than 10-years- old.

PowerSchool will enable schools to manage student schedules, grades, lesson plans, emergency contact information, transportation plans, athletic eligibility and more in one place. It will also be helpful for parents.

"Parents can go log in see their students work, connect their students in different schools, see their schedules, their attendance and be able to contact teachers directly via their email," said Homan Atashbar a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Data Manager.

Atashbar said the system is being implemented in phases, the first phase of attendance and scheduling kicked off Monday. In Forsyth County, parents will be able to log-in and check attendance, assignments and grades in October.

Monica Malachi used the former Parent Assist system with NCWISE, but says the new Parent Portal part of PowerSchool sounds even better.

"It's very important because kids don't always bring stuff home for parents to see, so being able to have access to that information on your computer is a plus. We will also get a list of things that are due, when they are due and the grade received on it," said Malachi.

PowerSchool will be used in all 115 public systems statewide.

Federal grant money helped pay for the system.