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Tom Lang

Tom Lang has spent more than 3 decades in the field of journalism and marketing, while always having a hand in public education. His father was a school teacher, his mom a school secretary, and his wife teaches high school English and Humanities. On his own, Tom worked his way through college as a school bus driver and today remains closely tied to education as a Board member of FIRST (Robotics) in Michigan. He has worked with high school coaches and athletes for nearly 30 years as a freelance sports writer at the Detroit Free Press, and for more than 10 years as a basketball referee. Bottom line -- help kids grow, learn and create productive futures.

Recent Posts

3 min read

How to Easily Retrieve Short Term Mobility Report in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on September 21, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Have you ever been asked for a list of students that are new to the school district? How about a list of students that have transferred out? What about those students that both came and left within the current year? If the answer is yes to any of the above, I can imagine gathering that data from PowerSchool was not a simple task. But now with the use of our Short Term Mobility Report, this data can be retrieved both quickly and easily whether running it from district office or an individual school. Answers to these questions are just a few clicks away.

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2 min read

How to Identify Missing Grades Report in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on September 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM

One of the most frustrating issues when storing grades is going through the process only to find that there are students that don't appear to have a final grade for a class. Typically this means that time has to be taken to review each report card, reach out to the teachers in question, have them update the grades, and then repeat the process of storing grades and printing report cards.

But what if there was a way to make sure all grades were complete before storing grades? Well with the use of our missing grades report, you can do just that. This report will identify all students that don't currently have a final term grade. Enabling admin staff to notify teachers of exactly what grades are missing prior to storing grades.

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3 min read

How to Run Student Access to Technology Report in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on September 15, 2022 at 10:36 AM

Schools have seen a massive change in the structure recently. No longer is in-person learning the sole standard for many districts. In addition to five-day in-person learning, schools have also adapted virtual or remote learning options, as well as hybrid models. With the change, however, comes the complexity of tracking which students are assigned to which model. Schools initially employed a variety of methods to track this information from custom fields to tracks to cohorts, the options were varied which led to each district having to develop its own methods of storing and reporting on this data. 

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3 min read

How Virginia School Divisions Use Level Data to Easily Connect PBIS-SWIS

By Tom Lang on July 19, 2022 at 3:46 PM

It’s common knowledge in schools and even homes everywhere, that DOE most often refers to the Department of Education, whether nationally or locally.

Yet a key factor for schools to continue offering the best speed to learning for students everywhere is to make sure DOE does not alternately become an acronym for Delays, Omissions and Errors in student and teacher databases.

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3 min read

How to Pull Unexcused Absences by Date (Alabama Only) in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on June 29, 2022 at 12:45 AM

One area that many schools struggle each year with is identifying days students are considered unexcused absent. If a school uses daily attendance it really isn't much of an issue, but for schools that use meeting attendance, getting an accurate count can be difficult and time-consuming until now. 

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3 min read

How PowerSchool Districts Can Now Plot and Plan Boundaries in Just a Few Clicks

By Tom Lang on June 13, 2022 at 11:13 AM

When school districts need to locate the home addresses of all their students on a map, most still use primitive and labor-intensive methods adopted over decades.

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4 min read

Loss of Institutional Knowledge Poses Major Funding and Leadership Challenges for School Districts

By Tom Lang on May 23, 2022 at 8:21 AM

School districts nationwide have been feeling similar staffing challenges as the rest of the U.S. marketplace.

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2 min read

‘Game-Changing’ Opportunity for Skyward SIS Users’ Data Accuracy and Management

By Tom Lang on May 23, 2022 at 8:19 AM

Fred Sharpsteen does not get too excited over new technology designed for schools after a quarter-century of seeing things come and go.

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2 min read

How to Pull Daily Attendance Summary by Code Report in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on April 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM

For schools that check daily attendance, retrieving detailed daily attendance records is only one piece of the puzzle. Identifying students that have accumulated multiple absences, tardies, or a combination of those codes, is often even more important.

While getting the day to day records for individual students is fairly straightforward, getting to that data for larger groups and then being able to filter based on specific codes or number of occurrences can complicate the process.

With the use of our Daily Attendance Summary by Code Report, schools can now retrieve aggregated daily attendance daily and easily filter the data by date range, attendance code, or number of occurrences.

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1 min read

How to Easily Run All Logs by Month Report in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on April 8, 2022 at 8:00 AM

Disciplined data is one area that schools strive to keep accurate and up-to-date records.

Entering data whether from logs or incidents is the easy part. Getting that data into a format that can be used for analysis is a different issue altogether.

Have you ever needed to just be able to quickly identify when different discipline issues happen? That is, wouldn't it be great if you could quickly get to a report that shows you how many times a particular discipline issue happens during each month of the school year? Getting to that data now would not only involve searching for and exporting the data but then having to manually manipulate and get it into a usable format. That is until now.

With the use of our Log Entries by Month Report, schools can quickly and easily see when issues are occurring in their school or distract and identify trends or develop intervention needs to address these issues with just a few simple clicks.

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