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Admin Guide for PowerSchool Gradebook Passback
Admin Guide for PowerSchool Gradebook Passback

Configure PowerSchool Gradebook Passback for your district.

Samantha Mason avatar
Written by Samantha Mason
Updated over a week ago

Gradebook passback is available for PowerSchool districts to transfer points-based assessments and scores from Otus to PowerTeacher gradebook. Standards-based assessments cannot be passed back to PowerSchool.

General Information

  • Assessments and grades are passed back nightly

  • Only points-based grades that are whole numbers will pass back

  • Assessment names must be less than 50 characters in length

  • Assessments need to be marked “Include Score in Final Grade” and graded in Otus to pass back

  • Any students’ scores that are marked Excluded in the Otus gradebook will not pass back

  • Any weighting of grades in Otus will not transfer to PowerSchool. Weighting can be changed by the teacher in the PowerSchool gradebook after the score passes back

Setup Process

If you wish to set up this integration, please contact the Otus team to set up a required meeting to go through the steps. You can expect to work closely with a member of our team throughout the process.

Click to see the detailed process steps for setting up grade passback.

  1. Otus Registers the District with PowerSchool: Otus starts the process by registering the district as a "lead" with PowerSchool.

  2. PowerSchool Quote: PowerSchool will send the district a $0 quote (no charge to the district) for Universal Rostering which is required for grade passback.

  3. District Quote Approval: The district reviews, signs, and returns the quote to PowerSchool.

  4. PowerSchool Engagement Notification: Both Otus and the district will receive a notification from PowerSchool indicating that the district has engaged with the process, which means that the "lead" is a "booked opportunity" with PowerSchool and the next step can proceed.

  5. Required Technical Call: During a scheduled technical call with Otus, the following items will be discussed and completed, if possible. Any incomplete items must be completed before grade passback implementation can continue.

    • District Plugin Installation & Self-Registration: The district will 1) install, 2) self-register, and 3) enable Otus’s OneRoster PowerSchool plugin. All three steps must be completed successfully for grade passback to work.

      • Click here for a brief video showing the steps to install, register, and enable the Otus OneRoster plugin.

    • The plugin Client ID and Client Secret must be shared with Otus via a secure Sharefile link which is provided separately.

    • Assessment Category Mapping: Assessment category mapping requirements will be explained and completed during the call, if possible.

    • Effective Date: The effective date (start date) for grade passback will be determined during the call, if possible.

    • Grade Passback Teacher Group: Teachers who will use grade passback are identified and added to the PS Grade Passback teacher group.

  6. Notification to PowerSchool: The district informs PowerSchool that self-registration is complete. Notification is required in order for PowerSchool to enable write-access for grade passback.

  7. Otus Grade Passback Integration: Otus begins the integration effort once all of these items are completed: plugin credentials, category mapping, effective date, and teacher group membership.

  8. PowerSchool Write Access Activation: PowerSchool will enable write access for grade passback. Otus will monitor the Powerschool Partner portal to verify when write access is enabled. After activation, PowerSchool notifies both Otus and the district via email.

  9. Otus Initiation of Passback: Once PowerSchool enables write access, Otus is able to activate grade passback and run the first gradebook sync.

  10. Otus Completion Notification: The district is informed when the first passback sync has completed. If any issues arise, Otus will work with the district to troubleshoot.


Register with PowerSchool for Universal Rostering

PowerSchool requires the Universal Rostering write-back feature to be enabled for grades to pass back to PowerSchool. Otus starts the process by registering your district for this feature with PowerSchool.

  • Within 2-3 weeks, PowerSchool will send your district contact a $0 quote (no charge to your district) for Universal Rostering.

  • Shortly after PowerSchool receives the signed quote from your district, PowerSchool will provision Universal Rostering.

❗️Only when Universal Rostering in provisioned by PowerSchool, and not before, can the Otus OneRoster plugin be installed, registered, and enabled.


Install Plugin, Self-Register, and Provide PowerSchool API Credentials

Grade passback requires an Otus OneRoster PowerSchool plugin, specific to grade passback, to be installed and the plugin credentials shared with Otus.

During the initial required meeting with Otus, we will assist you with installing the Otus OneRoster plugin, self-registering the plugin, and enabling the plugin. All three steps must be completed successfully for grade passback to work.

  • Click here for a brief video showing the steps to install, register, and enable the Otus OneRoster plugin.

  • See this article for more details about installing, registering, and enabling the Otus OneRoster plugin.

The plugin Client ID and Client Secret must be shared with Otus either during the meeting or via a secure Sharefile link which is provided separately.


Identify Assessment Category Mapping

Each Otus assessment has a “type", or category. When grades are passed back for an assessment, the Otus assessment type is mapped to its corresponding category in the teacher's PowerTeacher gradebook. The PowerSchool categories must be district-level (not specific to a site or grade level) and they must be active in participating teachers' PowerTeacher gradebooks in order for grades to sync to PowerSchool:

❗️If a teacher assigns an assessment in Otus that is mapped to a gradebook category that isn't an active, district level category in their gradebook, the score will not passback.

During the initial required meeting with Otus, we will review your desired category mapping and ensure that it is set up correctly in PowerSchool. District categories for teachers can be found in PowerSchool at Start Page > District Setup > PowerTeacher Pro Settings > District Categories for Teachers.

Below is an example category mapping from Otus to PowerSchool:

💡 Tips:

  • The categories will map as defined by the district, and teachers can change the category, if desired, once the grade has been sent to PowerSchool.

  • One way to achieve different category mappings by site or grade level is to define a new "generic" PowerSchool category (for example, Otus Assessment) for assessment types that you would like mapped in multiple ways. Then, after the scores are passed back, the teachers can adjust the Otus Assessment category to something else locally in PowerSchool. For example, a generic category mapping for Otus types Test and Quiz might look like this:


Determine a Passback Effective Date

The effective date is the date that scores will begin syncing from Otus to PowerSchool.

  • Any assessments that have been assigned or changed on or after the effective date and within the current grading period will transfer to PowerSchool.

  • This date can be retroactive (if the grading period is still open) or in the future.

❗️PowerSchool will reject assessments with assign and due dates that fall within or straddle a closed grading period.


Add Teachers to the PowerSchool Grade Passback Group in Otus

In order for a teacher's assessment scores to passback, the teacher must be a member of the PowerSchool Grade Passback Teacher Group in Otus:

Once your PowerSchool Grade Passback Teacher Group is created in Otus, you may add participating teachers to the group by following the steps in this article.

Teachers can be added to this group throughout the school year. Adding a new teacher to the group is all that is needed for their scores to begin passing back each night.

❗️When a teacher is added to the PowerSchool Grade Passback Teacher Group, all scores will pass back starting from the effective date or the start date of the open grading period (whichever is later).

❗️In order for grades to pass back to PowerSchool, the user who has assigned the assessment must be included in the PowerSchool Grade Passback Teacher Group in Otus.

💡 Tips:

  • Any teacher, co-teacher, or administrator who may be assigning assessments must be added to the PS Grade Passback teacher group in Otus in order for grades to passback.

  • Assessments assigned directly to a class from an Otus Administrator (who is not in your SIS) will not passback. This assessment should be assigned to the class by the teacher or co-teacher.


Next Steps

Once the above information has been collected, the Otus team will take it from there! You can expect the team to update you once the configuration is complete and ready for initial testing.

Please be sure to review the Teacher Guide for PowerSchool Gradebook Passback and share this article with participating teachers in your district. This will ensure that your team follows the correct steps to successfully utilize this feature.

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