Last week we traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan for the annual Fall PowerSchool User Group Conference (PSUG). It was three days of breakout sessions, one on one training, and networking within the PowerSchool user community. While we were at the conference, we kept a running diary of everything going on to give you a peek inside this unique and inspiring event. Catch up with our daily play-by-play and maybe next year, join us to take part in fruitful discussions and form new relationships within the PowerSchool community.

Great Location in Kalamazoo

The conference was held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, October 22-24 and took place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites, right in the heart of Kalamazoo. If you haven’t been to Kalamazoo lately, we highly recommend it. We were just a few blocks from Bell’s Brewery and a bunch of other new restaurants that had a lot to offer. Downtown Kalamazoo was also once home to the Gibson Guitar Factory. Gibson called “KZoo” home until 1984. The old factory is still there, open for tours. But we digress…

Macro Connect’s Presenters

Our sessions were led by Christian Anderson and Paul Cameron, two Macro Connect leaders who have robust experience in education technology and deep knowledge of the PowerSchool platform. Christian is one of our Student Data Consultants. He has spent years working with Student Information Systems at both the state and federal levels as part of his experience in a variety of student data administration roles. One of his biggest tasks with Macro Connect is leading our school compliance and data analytics business. Smart guy. Paul is our Student Data Manager. He has 10+ years of experience as a PowerSchool administrator for numerous districts and has also spent years advising our clients in the School Information Systems and Compliance markets.

Monday – All About PowerScheduler®

Paul kicked off the first day and wound down the third with a System Administrator Tips & Tricks session, but the biggest chunk of our conference floor time was a multi-session course on PowerScheduler®. We hosted a multi-day break-out session where we took participants through the the entire scheduling process from creation to commitment in PowerSchool including all the latest features and functions of PowerSchool’s PowerScheduler® tool. That way, they could go back to their schools and districts, having mastered the robust, but sometimes intimidating framework, for creating and populating master schedules.

Learn PowerScheduler® The Simple Way

Led by our very own Christian Anderson and Paul Cameron, we explored the differences between “building” and “loading” and helped our attendees figure out which suited them best. And since jumping into PowerScheduler® on your own can be overwhelming without a helping hand, we provided a simple step by step guide to PowerScheduler® that has been used for over 10 years to successfully schedule schools across the state.

Starting at 10:45, the first class explored those differences between Building and Loading and how their workflows might help or hamper your efforts, depending on your school’s situation.  Later, at the 1:30 to 3pm and 3:15 to 4:45pm sessions, we got into all the various settings and features and how they work together to affect the master schedule. At the end of the day they left with an understanding of what it takes to prepare for a build or load using PowerScheduler®, including setting up course request screens.

If you have questions about using PowerScheduler®, give us a call or send us a message at info@macroconnect.net. We can share our step-by-step guide so that you can make the most of this incredible PowerSchool tool.

After a great first day, the team went to Hopcat with a few other friends from the conference and enjoyed their Killer Mac & Cheese, stuffed burgers, and beer.

Tuesday – More PowerScheduler® Sessions Plus Lab Time

On Tuesday, we got into some more practical elements of PowerScheduler®, including some of the common errors that hamper the build effort. Our group had an awesome time and really got a lot out of the sessions. The afternoon session opened things up to the rest of the conference attendees, including those who were not able to commit to the entirety of our 6-part workshop.

At the end of a second long, fun day, we headed over to Principle for a little more sophisticated dining, including some incredible craft cocktails. Then it was time to rest up for the third and final session.

Wednesday – All About One-On-One Training

One of the things we love doing at Macro Connect, is delivering one-on-one training to our teachers, schools, and districts. It’s part of why we’re Certified Service Partners for PowerSchool. There’s just something unique about that personal touch; showing up in the classroom or administrative office, and walking someone through the system in person, in real time. Or inviting our teacher and administrative partners to our office to do the same.

At the conference, we hosted a special One-On-One Support window from 10:15-11:45am, where anyone and everyone could come and get help with their PowerSchool questions. It was a unique opportunity to meet more attendees and provide instruction outside of the PowerScheduler® tool. We are experts in the whole PowerSchool platform after all!

We’re proud to be the exclusive service provider for the state of Michigan. And we have years of experience delivering effective, personalized PowerSchool service and training throughout the Midwest. During one of the full-conference presentations, PowerSchool’s own Josh Deegan got on stage to announce this exciting partnership. It’s exciting how closely we are able to work with PowerSchol and we look forward to growing together over the coming years.

Conference Summary

It was an awesome three days in a great venue, surrounded by fantastic partners in education. If you were at the conference and we didn’t get a chance to talk to you, shoot us an email or give us a call. We’d love to speak with you, answer your PowerSchool questions, and get you on the road to success with your student information system.