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Automate virtual classroom attendance by integrating PowerSchool SIS with Microsoft Teams

CTS optimizes virtual learning for teachers through automated attendance using Microsoft Teams

Teacher teaching students virtually

Client: K-12 School Districts using PowerSchool SIS

Date: May 2020

Technologies: C#.NET, Windows Service, Web Apps, MSSQL, PowerSchool API, Microsoft Teams

PowerSchool (SIS) logo

K-12 schools require better solutions for teachers to take attendance in the new virtual learning environment:

With school classrooms shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools needed a means to track which students were actually attending virtual classes. The popular online meeting tools (Zoom, Teams) don’t really have a simple means of:

  1. Reporting who attended the meeting
  2. Tracking when a student entered and / or left the meeting
  3. Secure the meeting to prevent disruption.

In addition, this information is not integrated with school district’s existing attendance solution. The current method of attendance taking involves teachers writing down who they see at a given point in time in the class, then reentering that data into their student information system. This takes away valuable learning time away from the students, and also has the potential to miss students who were late to class. If a school district can save 3 minutes per teacher per class of attendance taking, they can improve virtual learning significantly.

Teacher conducting class online

Build a fully integrated attendance tracking platform that integrates PowerSchool SIS classes with Microsoft teams to automate attendance:

Through our partnerships with PowerSchool and Microsoft, we were in a unique situation to integrate these two solutions.

  • Our PowerSchool team developed an attendance solution to provide information that tie students to their course-load via their email addresses
  • Our Microsoft Graph team built a Microsoft Teams tab that:
    • Allows teachers to create Teams ‘Meetings’ for each of their sections for a day
    • Allows students to access the Teams ‘Meetings’ for each of their classes
  • Our Web Services team:
    • Passed section information to Teachers for Meeting creation
    • Passed section information to Students for Meeting action
    • Received Meeting access information from out ‘tab’ to pass to our Attendance engine
Graphs made using Microsoft PowerBI showing student attendance
Microsoft Teams Logo

Integrated Attendance Solution is simple, easy to install, and reduces teacher administrative tasks so they can focus on their students.

The fully integrated solution utilized our team’s strengths in integrating both with PowerSchool SIS API, and Microsoft Graph APIs. By creating an integration between these two business tools, we helped teachers during the pandemic focus on their student’s education and streamlined a time consuming and inaccurate process.

Our simple, secure, accurate, and automated tool for recording virtual attendance demonstrates how Capitol Tech Solutions is a leader in the digital transformation space. By taking tools that are commonly used, and finding better ways for them to be used, we are showing how business can be done more efficiently in the digital world.

School children participating in online classes using a laptop

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