Lawrence school board to hear update on PowerSchool student management software

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

Story updated at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11:

The Lawrence school board on Monday will hear an update on the student management software that the district has implemented this year.

The rollout of PowerSchool — a single program that has replaced the district’s former student information system, learning management system and a few other applications — began in August. At that time, the Journal-World reported that some parents had run into trouble registering with the new system.

“As with any change to a new technology system, especially a change of this magnitude, there was a learning curve,” district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said via email Friday.

According to a presentation in the school board’s agenda materials, some district staff members and a team from PowerSchool in November began a 60-day plan, during which the team would be “refining, reconfiguring, writing reports and retraining staff.” Boyle said the plan helped staff prioritize to meet various deadlines.

“It gave staff confidence that those goals were being set, met, and evaluated,” she wrote. “We have made a lot of progress with it since, which is why they wanted to bring this report to the board.”

The district approved purchasing PowerSchool for an estimated initial year cost of $334,000. On Jan. 14, the school board approved renewing leases on the software for $181,977.

• • •

In other business, the board will:

• Consider donating a large amount of furniture to Habitat for Humanity. With construction at Free State and Lawrence high schools, much of the furniture is being replaced. According to a memo in the board’s agenda, staff has found in the past that the returns in attempting to sell furniture do not make it worth the investment of time and resources.

The nonprofit would be responsible for coordinating logistics and removing the furniture, according to the memo. The provided estimate of furniture items includes 1,500 student desks, 2,000 student chairs, 70 cafeteria tables and more.

“This would reduce the burden on the facilities staff for removal and disposal as well as support the local community,” the memo says.

• Consider entering a lease purchase agreement for computer equipment and software for computer classroom labs valued at $1.97 million. The agreement with Capital One Public Funding LLC will allow the district to spread the costs over a five-year period, with an annual lease payment of $430,669 at a rate of 2.85 percent. Funding would come from the district’s capital outlay fund.

Both items are on the board’s consent agenda, meaning they will be considered along with several other routine items and approved in one motion unless a board member or member of the public asks for further discussion.

The school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Agenda materials are available at

— Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that the board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday.

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