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Overview of PowerSchool Special Programs

PowerSchool Special Programs enables special educators to track and monitor the entire Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

Educators can use Special Programs to:

  • Generate compliant documents related to the special education process. 
  • Manage workflow and timelines related to compliance.
  • Track student progress.
  • Schedule, track, and manage service delivery.
  • Generate ad-hoc school and district reports, including list and analytical reports.
  • Produce state- and federal-mandated reports.


Profiles comprise the basic data filing system on students, staff, classes, locations, and districts.

  • Student profiles contain demographic, enrollment, placement, disability, and medical information. Student profiles also include test scores and information on services the student receives.
  • Staff profiles contain personnel information.
  • Class profiles contain class information in a specific location.
  • Location profiles contain school/building information.
  • District profiles contain district information for scenarios where students move between school districts.

Profiles contain the most current information and are distinct from documents such as IEPs. In most instances, data flows back and forth between profiles and documents. Additionally, school districts may import a subset of information from their Student Information System (SIS).


Documents capture essential information at each stage of the special education process.

Documents include:

  • Pre-referrals

  • Referrals

  • Eligibility determinations

  • IEPs

  • Annual Reviews

  • Reevaluations

Documents can accumulate in a student's document history over several years. These documents are organized by year and are available to the appropriate staff.

When you create a process-related document, you will use a template specifying the document's design and layout. Templates are customizable. You can also translate the templates and documents into other languages.

Additionally, you can upload documents from outside sources into a student's document history. Special Programs supports various formats for viewing, including PDF, Word, and multi-page TIFF formats.

A document's status will change as the document is processed.

  • Draft: Authorized users can edit the document.

  • Review: When the draft is completed, the status changes to Review. This limits users who can edit the document.

  • Final: When the document is finalized, the status changes to Final. As a result, users can no longer edit the document.


Special Programs maintains an event chronology for each student. The event chronology keeps a running history of actions or events during the special education process.

For example, Special Programs creates an event each time:

  • A letter is sent to a parent.
  • A disciplinary action occurs.
  • A document is finalized.
  • A meeting is scheduled.

The event system integrates with the communication system. This allows the messaging system to send notifications when events occur. For example, when the referral process is complete, the resulting event might record the decision to evaluate the student and hold an evaluation team meeting. This event will appear in the student's event chronology, and the system may notify the evaluation team.

Guided Actions

Guided actions are configured in document templates to guide the user in completing documents. These actions help ensure that the IEP process is step-by-step and compliant.

Guided actions can:

  • Provide context-sensitive explanations.
  • Warn the user about questionable entries the user has made.
  • Stop the user from entering invalid information.
  • Automate the creation of event records based on user entries and notify other users of those events.

Online Curriculum Guide

The online curriculum guide maintains a school district's goals and objectives. The online curriculum guide can include:

  • Academic goals or standards
  • Social/emotional objectives
  • Aligned teaching resources
  • Instructional strategies
  • Evaluation techniques
  • Related lesson plans
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