Student & Advance Searches
Manage PowerSchool data more effectively by knowing how to search for individual students or groups of students. PowerSchool includes several powerful tools for conducting student searches. By the end of the session, you will be able to find students by:
- Performing basic database searches
- Using search commands
- Using compound searches and search codes
- Working with stored selections of students
- Using the Special Functions tool
PowerSchool is an application that stores information in a database. The database contains fields, records, and tables.
Each piece of information you enter in PowerSchool goes into a field. For example, “Julie” is the data in the First_Name field for Julie Adams.
All the data for a particular student is called a record. For example, a student’s first name, last name, home phone, and address are all pieces of data that are part of a single record.
Multiple fields in a student’s record are grouped together into a table. Tables are interrelated lists that contain individual records from multiple fields. For example, the Students table contains fields from a student’s record, but the student’s record also contains fields that reside in other tables. When you update the information in one field, it changes the record not only in one table, but in all the tables that contain that same field.
Searching For Students
On the Start Page Students tab, search for a student or for a group of students. You can search for students in several ways. Next to the search field, click the [?] icon to learn more about how to query the database.
Browse For Students
Use the links below the search field to search for students by:
- First letter of the student’s last name
- Grade level
- All currently enrolled students
View a list of students who were selected in a previous search in the Current Student Selection section found below the search links.
Search By Last Name Or Student Number
Start on the PowerSchool Start Page. To search for a student by last name, type the student’s last name (or partial last name) in the search field, then press Enter.
If only one student has the last name you entered, the student pages for that student appear. If several students have the same last name, the Current Student Selection section lists the students who match the search criteria. From that list, click a name to access that student’s student pages.
Because each student in the system is assigned a unique student number, you can search for a student using that number. To search by student number, type the student number in the search field, then press Enter.
Keep in mind that if you enter letters in the search field, PowerSchool searches for last names. If you enter numbers, PowerSchool searches for student numbers.
To save time, enable the Smart Search feature. After you type a letter or two, the Smart Search feature displays student names, staff names, stored search names, and field names that match the letters you typed.
To enable the Smart Search feature, click Personalize on the main menu, then click Interface and select Enable Smart Search. You can also include inactive students and staff in your search results; just select Include Inactive Student/Staff Results.
Activity 1 – Conducting Basic Searches
To practice searching for students, click the appropriate link. When needed, click the PowerSchool logo to return to the Start Page.
- Record the number of students who are in the highest grade
- Record the number of students with a last name beginning with B
- Record the number of male students at the school
Search for student schedules and activities.
- Click B
- Click the first student in the list and view the Quick Lookup student page
- Record the student’s 1st-period teacher
- Under Enrollment, click Activities to see which sports and clubs the student is involved with
Search for discipline records.
- Click the PowerSchool logo to return to the Start Page.
The Current Student Selection section of the page lists the results of the last search, which was students whose last names begin with B.
- Click the name of the last student in the list
- Under Administration, click Log Entries to see if any discipline records exist for that student
A search command is a statement of search instructions. Use search commands to search student fields and to find students who match certain criteria. To see a list of the student fields that you can use in search commands, click View Field List on the Start Page. The field list shows all the student fields in PowerSchool, including any custom fields that were created by users in your school or district.
The field names are hyperlinks that you can click to insert in the search field. Insert a field name in a search query by placing your cursor where you want the field name, clicking View Field List, and clicking the field name. You can insert a field from any page that has a link to the field list, such as the List Students, Quick Export, and Export Using Template pages.
The following search command searches for any active student with the first name John:
|Field Name||Comparator||Search Argument|
In this example, the field you are searching is first_name, the comparator is equals (=), and the search argument (the information you are searching for) is John.
Another example of a search command is truancy_letter_1#. This search command will find all students who have the Truancy Letter 1 checkbox checked in Activities. truancy_letter_1 is the field you are searching, the # sign is the comparator for “does not equal,” and the search argument is blank. It translates to: find all the students whose truancy_letter_1 field is not blank. If it’s not blank, then the field is checked.
Character comparators such as # or > may or may not be flanked by a space, but word comparators such as “contains” and “in” require a space on either side of the comparator. Use the “in” comparator to search for multiple values. For example, find students in grade levels 6 and 7 by entering grade_level in 6,7.
By default, PowerSchool searches for active student records. However, you may want to search for students who preregistered for next year, who transferred or dropped out of school midyear, or who graduated early. These students’ records are inactive.
To access both active and inactive student records, begin your search command with a forward slash (/).
For example, to find all active and inactive students with the last name Ramirez, enter /last_name=ramirez in the search field, and press Enter. Use one of the following enrollment statuses to limit the search to a certain group of students, such as preregistered students only.
The following table lists the PowerSchool enrollment status codes:
Use these codes to search for students with a certain enrollment status, and be sure to use the forward slash (/) in the search command. For example, to find all pre-registered students, enter /enroll_status=-1. To find all students who have transferred out, enter /enroll_status=2.
You can search the database using multiple search commands. When you enter more than one search command in the search field, separate the search commands with a semicolon (;). A semicolon between search commands means “and.”
A compound search is useful when you’re looking for students who meet the same search criteria. However, use the Advanced options to refine your search query.
Begin by performing the initial search. For example, click 5 to work with all the 5th Graders. Then check Advanced. Below the search field, a Search Results section will appear.
Now perform the second search. In addition to the5th graders, you want to include a group of first graders.
The results will appear in the Search Results section and not affect the 5th Graders listed in the Current Student Selection section. Finally, click Add to add the first graders to the current student selection.
Activity 2 – Using Search Commands
Use search commands to find the following information:
- Record how many students have the first name John
- Record how many transferred-out students have the last name Smith
- Record how many students have a last name that ends in ski
- Record how many students with a last name of Adams or Wilson have Medical alerts about bee stings
A search code is a special type of search command that starts with an asterisk (*). These codes are also listed in the field list. When there is no field name for the information you want, check to see if there is a search code that meets your needs.
Enter search codes as you would any search command in the search field. For example, to find students born on November 10, enter *birthday=11/10 in the search field, and press Enter.
You can also combine search commands with search codes to perform a compound search. For example, to search for 6th-grade students who were enrolled as of January 10, enter *as_of=1/10/2017;grade_level=6.
Keep in mind that when using the *as_of code in a compound search, the search code must come first.
Activity 3 – Using Search Codes
Use search codes to find the following information. You can find student search codes at the bottom of the View Field List window.
- How many students were active as of January 10?
- How many students do not have a 1st-period class?
- How many students have birthdays in November?
You will store search information in PowerSchool using two methods: stored searches and stored selections.
Use Stored Searches to save searches that you perform often. Though the search instructions will stay the same, the results of the search will probably vary since the data in the database changes. For example, if you store searches for students with January birthdays, February birthdays, March birthdays, and so on, at the beginning of the school year, the results may be different each time you run a search, since students may come and go throughout the school year.
Use stored selections to retrieve student or staff records that you search for routinely. The list of names in the group is saved at the time that you create the stored selection. A stored selection is a snapshot of a group of students at a particular time and does not change when information changes.
Each user manages his or her stored selections. However, you can publish a stored selection for other staff members to use. You should delete and recreate your stored selections periodically to keep the data current.
Activity 4 – Using Stored Searches
Create a stored search for students who have a December Birthday, then run the search and print mailing labels for the students.
- On the Start Page, click Stored Searches > New
- Name the stored search <Your assigned number> My Stored Search
- Enter the search instructions soccer# and click Submit
- Click Run Search
- On the Group Functions page, click Print Mailing Labels
- Choose Sample – Mailing Label (Avery 5160) from the mailing label layout menu
- Choose One page only, sort by Student’s last name, and click Submit
- Click View to view the labels
Activity 5 – Creating A Stored Selection
Suppose you are tracking students enrolled in a specific course. Create a stored selection of this group of students so that you can access the group easily.
- On the Start Page, do a search for *enrolled_in=IB9312
- Click the Select Function arrow
- Under the Search section of the Group Functions menu, choose Save Stored Selection
- Name the selection <Your assigned number>Spanish 2
- Use the default SAVE the current selection with a new name
- Click Submit
The page will be refreshed and the new group will appear below the options. To access and work with this group of students in the future, navigate to the Stored Selections page and click Go Functions.
You’ve performed simple and compound searches, and you can find a group of students by stringing together a number of simple search commands. Now learn about additional search tools, or shortcuts, that can save you time.
Search Using the Enrollment Summary
The Enrollment Summary page displays a table that breaks down student enrollment by grade level, gender, and ethnicity. Access the Enrollment Summary page from the main menu to view the enrollment summary for the entire school or district. Or, access it from the Group Functions menu to view the enrollment summary for a group of students.
Click column or row headings to view ethnicity information on Flash-based charts. Click the dark blue number to view a list of males in the group. Click the pink number to view a list of females in the group. Click the light blue number to view a list of males and females in the group.
Searching Parent Accounts
To make changes to a parent’s PowerSchool Parent Portal account (for example, to disable it, to update it, to add or remove a student, or to change the password), use the Parents tab.
On the Start Page, click the Parents tab. Search by first name, last name, or email address, then click the Search icon. Or choose a letter below the Search icon to find parents with a last name that starts with a certain letter. If you know the name of the parent you’re looking for, filter the search by entering the information and clicking the Search icon.
Search Using The Master Schedule Or Teacher Schedules
The master schedule contains enrollment numbers for each section. To view the class roster, select the enrollment number for a section. You can add students from the class roster to the current selection, make them the current selection, enroll students in a different class, or drop them from the class.
To view individual teacher schedules and class rosters, click Teacher Schedules in the main menu and select a teacher. View the teacher’s class roster by clicking the number under Enrollment. Then choose what to do with the student list.
Special Functions Searches
Use searches on the Special Functions page to find students with grades or attendance problems.
|Search Attachments||Search for documents attached to student records|
|Search By GPA||Search for students by cumulative, term, or current grade point averages|
|Search By Grades/Attendance||Search for students with certain current or historical grades|
|Search For Perfect Attendance||Find students with perfect attendance as defined by the policy of the school or district|
|Search Log Entries||Find students with certain log entries; select criteria to perform general or narrowed searches by fields such as log type, subtype, consequence, or author|
|Special Program Enrollment||View and select students enrolled in special programs|
Search Attachments, Search By Grades/Attendance, Search By GPA, and Search For Perfect Attendance are group functions that you can also access through the Group Functions menu.
Activity 6 – Using The Enrollment Summary Page
View the Enrollment Summary page to view all Hispanic students.
- On the Start Page, click Enrollment Summary on the left
- Record the total # of Hispanic students
Activity 7 – Creating A Selection Of Students
Find all the students who are enrolled in one teacher’s classes.
- On the Start Page, click Teacher Schedules
- Click on a teacher
- Click Make all students listed above the current selection
- Record the total number of students in the current selection
- Click Enrollment Summary
- Note whether there are more male or female students
- Search commands – Narrow the results using compound searches
- Search codes – Search for data that doesn’t have a field name (access a complete list of search codes at https://support.powerschool.com/article/7671)
- Storing options – Save search commands or store a selection of students
- Built-in searches – Use the Teacher Schedules page to view data for a teacher’s class
- Additional searches – Use the Special Functions page to search for grades and attendance data