Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Special Programs System

If you are using PowerSchool Special Programs to manage the special education process, you will use the special education workflow elements, especially documents and events.


As a student moves through the special education process, district staff can create documents that capture essential information at each stage of the process: pre-referral, referral, eligibility determination, Individualized Education Program (IEP), Annual Review, and Reevaluation are all examples of a document. Over a period of years, a number of documents can accumulate in a student's document history, and all these documents are organized by year and readily accessible by appropriate staff.

With PowerSchool Special Programs, each type of process-related document (e.g., referral, IEP, etc.) is created from a template that specifies the design and layout of a documents of that type. For example, referral documents are created from a referral template; IEP documents are created from an IEP template; etc. The templates are customizable, and new templates may be added to implement other processes employed by the school district. In addition, the templates and the documents created from them can be translated into foreign languages, typically done with an initial machine translation followed by a cleanup performed by a fluent human translator.

When an IEP or other document is first created, the status of the document is initially set to draft and therefore the document is readily editable by authorized user(s). When the draft document has been completed, the status of the document can be changed to review which narrows which users can edit the document (normally to those in a supervisory position). When the document is complete, the status is changed to final which prevents any further editing. Additionally, if documents are coming in from an outside source, these documents can be uploaded into the database and incorporated into a student's document history. A variety of formats are supported for viewing including PDF, Word and multi-page TIFF formats.

Document and section actions

Document and section actions, collectively called guided actions, are configured within the various document templates to guide the user step-by-step in completing documents in a compliant manner. Guided actions can be configured:

  • to provide context-sensitive explanations
  • to warn the user about questionable entries the user has made
  • to stop the user from entering invalid information
  • to automate the creation of event records based on entries the user has made and to notify other users of those events

Guided actions help ensure that the IEP process is step-by-step, error-free, and compliant.


Within the database an event chronology is maintained for each student that tracks a running history of any specific actions taken or events that occurred during the special education process. An event is created each time a letter is sent to a parent, a disciplinary action occurs, a document is finalized, a meeting is scheduled, etc. The event system is integrated with the communication system such that when events occur, appropriate users can be notified of those events through the messaging system. For example, when the referral process is complete, the resulting event might record that a decision was made to evaluate the student and to hold an evaluation meeting at a future date, and that the evaluation team should complete their evaluations prior to the meeting. This event will appear in the student's event chronology. In addition, it can be sent as a notification message to the evaluation team. The notification message can include a group calendar item for the meeting that is added by default to the personal calendar of each team member. The calendar itself allows each member of the evaluation team to indicate when their work is complete thus keeping each member of the evaluation team informed of the progress being made.

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.