Topeka Public Schools USD 501

Parent / Student Portal Q & A

Login Questions

Access Questions

What Should I Expect?


Login Answers

Who do I contact for PowerSchool access?
Your student's school.

How many times can I log in incorrectly?
If you try to sign in three times incorrectly, you will be locked out of the PowerSchool Parent Portal. To unlock your account, contact your student's school or fill out the Change Password Form from the website.

What is the web address (URL) for PowerSchool Parent Portal?
http://powerschool.topekapublicschools.net/public

Can I change my password?
At this time, PowerSchool does not allow for the ability to change your password. Please record it and keep it in a safe, private place so you have it when you need it. If you forget your password and cannot find it, please call your student's school.

I have multiple children in the district. Can I have access to all their accounts under just one username and password?
Yes. PowerSchool has a Single Sign-On (SSO) feature. Parents and/or Guardians may complete and sign an access request form for their student(s). Once this form is approved by the students' school, the parent/guardian will be given an access code for each individual student to whom they have been granted access. Using the access code(s), the parent/guardian must create their own PowerSchool account for which they will be able to maintain certain parameters such as their account password and what type(s) of notification(s) they wish to receive regarding their student(s).

I can't login to the parent or student portal. I put in my username and password and click submit. After clicking submit, the page reloads to a blank username and password line and does not login... Help?
PowerSchool uses "cookies" and this means your internet security is set too high, probably to the highest level of security, which blocks cookies. Depending on your browser, you will need to find the Internet Security area and turn it down a level or two so cookies are accepted. You can find out more information about this by going to your web browser's help menu and doing a search on "cookies" or "internet security."

When I go to the log on page, the password fills in with dots all the way across. Why?
What is happening is that the computer is remembering the password but not giving clues to how long it is. Apparently, someone clicked "yes" to remember password and PowerSchool Parent Portal does not like it. So now you will need to clear the password. Follow the steps below to clear the password for the browser you are currently using.

Internet Explorer for PC
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Pull down the Tools Menu.
  3. Scroll down to Internet Options.
  4. Under the Content tab, click on Autocomplete.
  5. Click on Clear Forms and then on Clear Passwords.
  6. You may want to uncheck "user names and passwords on form" and "prompt me to save passwords" to prevent this from happening again.

Mozilla Firefox
  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click on Tools.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Click Security.
  5. Click Saved Passwords.
  6. Find the PowerSchool password and click on it.
  7. Click Remove.

Safari
  1. Open Safari.
  2. Click on Safari.
  3. Click on Reset Safari.
  4. Put a checkmark next to Remove Saved Names and Passwords.
  5. Click on Reset.

Access Answers

When will the PowerSchool Parent Portal be accessible?
User names and password are generally available by the 2nd week of school.
Parent Portal for Elementary students is only available to parents of 5th graders at this time.

My husband/wife and I are separated/divorced; can we get another parent username and password for our child's account?
Until the Single Sign-On (SSO) feature is implemented, you must share the name and password.

Can other people see my child's grades and information? Is this system secure?
As long as you protect your password, others will not be able to see your child's information. Each child/parent is issued a unique access account and password. The PowerSchool servers use SSL data encryption.

Where are the directions for PowerSchool Parent access?
You can download printable tutorials on the school district website: http://www.topekapublicschools.net/powerschool-info. Note that you will need AdobeReader installed on your computer to view these files (download AdobeReader for free).

I replied to the PowerSchool auto-email with a question, but have not received a response. Why?
This Email is generated from the PowerSchool servers, not by an individual. The servers will not reply to any email returned back to that address. If you have questions about your child's progress, you may either call their school or send email directly to a faculty member.

When I click on the teacher's name to email the teacher, my email program doesn't work correctly or does not open.
Unfortunately, this is not a problem we can help with since everyone's email programs are different. Your email program needs to be setup correctly on your computer. You may want to view the HELP area or menu for your email program, or review page 11 of "Teacher Comments", in the PowerSchool Parent Portal User Guide, to see how to send an email to a teacher.

Whom should I call if I have a question?
Please use the table below to decide whom to contact for various types of questions.
Question/Topic Person to Contact
Grades for class assignments during the current semester. Your student's teachers. Teacher Email contact information is available on the PowerSchool website at the main student screen.
Attendance in a specific class on a specific day, or any other attendance questions. Your student's school/division secretary.
Grades on transcripts, GPS, class rank. Your Student's school/division counselor.
Course schedules, graduation progress, and college, or careers. Your Student's school/division counselor.

Do Students and parents see the same screens/comments?
When students and parents access the powerSchool server, they see the same information with one exception: parents have the ability to enter information for email notifications.

Do I need a new username and password each year if my child is returning?
No, all login information will remain active as long as your child is a student in the TPS district and you have filled out the Acceptable Use Form and have not violated the agreement.

Can I access the PowerSchool Parent Portal from anywhere?
Yes, you can access the PowerSchool Parent Portal from any computer with Internet access.

What if I do not have a computer at home or do not have access to the Internet?
The Public Library has computers that you can use to access the PowerSchool Parent Portal.

What kind of computer equipment do I need to view PowerSchool Parent Portal?
Almost any computer with an Internet connection can access PowerSchool Parent Portal. It is recommended that you use a newer Internet browser.

I am not getting Emails from PowerSchool Parent Portal. Why?
There could be multiple reasons for this:
  1. Did you sign-up for Email Notifications on the Email Notifications page? Please double-check the Email address you entered. If one character (letter/number/space) is off, you won't receive Emails.
  2. Did you check your Email program's BULK or SPAM folder? Check to see if the messages are going there and choose to mark them as NOT SPAM. You will have to consult your Email program's help menu or manual to learn how to do this as it is different for every Email program.

What You Should Expect

Do all teachers post grade and attendance information to the PowerSchool Parent Portal server?
Yes. Grades will be posted by the teacher. Remember, the teacher's gradebook is a "snapshot in time" and not necessarily an accurate reflection of the student's overall progress or performance. Similarly, the student's grade average may change depending on the weight or value of graded work. Some teachers choose to simply post an updated current average every couple of weeks while others will be posting individual assignments with due dates and descriptions.

How often can we expect grades to be updated?
Teachers need time to grade projects, assignments and tests. Each day teachers are expected to have new material and lesson plans ready for class. Many teachers are also involved in extra-curricular activities that take time to plan and attend. With that in mind, teachers do need time to get the assignments graded. Please be patient because there are many factors that determine how soon a teacher can assess and return assignments. Essays and research papers take longer to grade than a quiz.

I know that teachers sometimes weight different categories of grades. How does this affect how a grade is calculated?
Each teacher has his or her own grading system. Some teachers calculate grades by total points while others weight the grades according to assignment categories (homework, quizzes, tests, etc.). Our teachers inform all of their students at the beginning of the course what their expectations and grading policy will be. To understand a specific grade calculation, please contact the teacher.

How often can we expect attendance to be updated?
Attendance is updated daily. Unexcused absences may take a few extra days to be updated (changed to "excused") depending on the number of absences, promptness of the parent excuse note and/or day of the week.

Why are the grades changing dramatically in the beginning of a term?
In the beginning of each term, you may see zeros or wild shifts in the class average of your child. When there are only one or two assignments in the gradebook, a low or high score can make a dramatic change in the overall grade average. The gradebook instantly recalculates the overall grade as every assignment is entered.