Friday, August 29, 2014

The Learning Never Stops

The learning never stops. No, seriously, the learning never stops. If you are alive, you must continue to learn. It is required; it is essential; it is vital. In my third week as the Headmaster of Saipan International School, I know that this year will be a huge learning adventure, a challenge, a large learning curve, but totally worth it. There are a thousand little things to learn and one of the large ones is Admin Plus. I've work with PowerSchool for years, so it is strange to work with Admin Plus, but I'm getting better with it all the time. The telephone support they offer is quite good, although the time it is available on Saipan isn't the best, it still is a huge help. Korea International School used Admin Plus the first two years I was there and then switched, so I do know the program a little from the past, but not as the main administrator. I've never really been a data base guy, so I have dipped into the memories of things that Ben Summerton told me about working with data. One thing I remember him saying was that errors are 99% human made when it comes to data bases and today I saw that first hand as I tried to fix a problem with a teacher's grade book.

The teacher contacted me and explained that two of his grade books had the same file number and he couldn't save or change one of them. This seemed fairly odd and I was cursing myself because I would have to get up early on a Saturday and come to the office to call Admin Plus support or the problem would have to wait until Wednesday on Saipan due to Labor Day. Progress reports are due on Tuesday, so the only way to solve the matter was to come in early... Or so I thought during the mad rush of the morning. But as I ticked off other jobs on my giant to-do list, I kept hearing Ben's words. Something was wrong, but it wasn't the program, it must be something I did or didn't do. I thought back to the very beginning of the year when the some teacher told me that the schedule should be Advanced Math and not Pre Calculus. I remembered changing the print version of the schedule to reprint, but did I actually change the course in Admin Plus? That's it! I went looking through the course schedules and sure enough, the G12 students were still having Pre Calculus, not Advanced Math. A few simply changes later and the problem was corrected and a lesson learned: make the changes in Admin Plus first and then make a change to the print schedule. The learning never stops!