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Cohort Group Setup

Create Groups

PowerSchool DEX supports Cohort Group creation from two sources, Student Activities and Special Programs.

Student Activities is the preferred source when only a snapshot of the current students in the group is required. There is no historical activity enrollment record, nor activity entry or exit dates. The entry and exit dates of the student’s most recent school enrollment are used. This data source is often used for extracurricular activities such as Football or Chess Club. Student activities are set up at the school level, but may be extended to all schools in the district.

Special Enrollments are used when historical data or group start and end dates are needed. Special Programs are generally used for district programs such as Special Education, but they can also be used for cohort groups. Special Programs are set up at the district level and are defined district-wide.

Neither Special Programs or Student Activities require additional setup to be used as Cohort Groups. If the Program or Activity you wish to use as a Cohort Group already exists, skip this step.

Note: Cohorts Groups and Student/Staff Associations are published at the school level. For district-wide Activities and all Special Programs, a separate Cohort Group is published for each school.

Special Programs

To create new Special Programs, sign in to PowerSchool at the district level.

  1. Navigate to Start Page > District > Special Programs.
  2. Click New at the top of the Special Programs page.
  3. Enter a Program name that will identify the group to you. For example, Ms. Scarlet's Counseling.
    • The two checkboxes are usually left unselected, but you can select either of them as desired depending on other uses for this Special Program
    • Selecting them will not affect whether the Special Program can be utilized as a Cohort Group
  4. Click Submit.

Student Activities

  1. From the selected school Start Page > School > Activities Setup
  2. Click New at the top of the Activities Setup page
  3. Enter an activity name that will identify the group to you, e.g. ‘Mr. Brown's Counseling’
  4. Enter an activity identifier that will recognize, e.g. ‘Brown_Counsel’
    • ‘Activity Type’ may be selected or left blank
    • ‘Required’ may be checked or left blank
    • Neither ‘Activity Type’ nor ‘Required’ will affect whether or how the Activity can be utilized as a Cohort Group

Map Programs and Activities to a Cohort Group Type

Designate Activities and/or Special Programs as Cohort Groups by assigning an Ed-Fi Cohort Group Type to each record on the Ed-Fi Code Set Mapping page. 

  1. From the District Office Start Page > System > Code Set Mappings under Data Exchange
  2. Choose Cohort Types from the Code Set pop-up menu
    • Code sets are listed alphabetically, so ‘Cohort Types’ may not be the default code set
    • The left side lists all Activities and Special Programs
      • Special Programs use the Gen table ID for the PowerSchool code
      • Activities use the Activity Identifier for the PowerSchool code
      • Since Special Programs use numeric codes, they are listed first
    • The right side contains pop-up menus for mapping each Activity or Special Program to an Ed-Fi Cohort Type
      • The pop-up menu values are the downloaded state codes for CohortTypes
  3. Choose a Downloaded State Code for each Activity or Special Program you want published as a Cohort Group
    • The selected value will be the published Cohort Type
      • Any selected value will be published
      • Be sure that only Activities and Special Programs you want published as Cohort Groups are mapped to a Cohort Type – all others must be blank
  4. Click Save when complete
    • A confirmation message appears Changes saved successfully.

After saving, the activities and/or special programs you have mapped to a cohort type are ready to be used and published as Cohort Groups.

Assign Students to Cohort Groups

Assign students to Cohort Groups by assigning them to the desired activities and/or special programs. 

Note: Additional Activities and Special Program documentation is available by navigating to each page and clicking Help in the upper right corner. 

Special Programs

  1. Select a student from the Start Page
  2. Click Special Programs under 'Enrollments' from the student menu
  3. Click New to enroll the student in a Special Program
    1. Enter an Entry Date
      • Exit Date is optional
      • Comment is optional
    2. Choose a program from the pop-up menu
      • As Special Programs are district-wide, all Special Programs are available at all schools, including the district office
      • Be sure to select a Special Program that is mapped to a Cohort Type
        • If the Special Program has not been mapped to a Cohort Type, students may still be enrolled in the Special Program, and the program mapped to a Cohort Type afterward
      • The student will be enrolled in the Special Program using their current school of enrollment, even if the enrollment was created at the district office
    3. Click Submit

Student Activities

  1. Select a student from the Start Page
    • It is recommended to use the School Start Page as only district-wide Activities will be available from the District Office.
  2. Click Activities under 'Enrollments' from the student menu
  3. The activities available at the school are displayed with a checkbox by each
    1. Select each activity desired for the student
  4. Click Submit

Assign Staff to Cohort Groups

Assign Staff to Cohort Groups via a DEX plug-in extension that extends the Staff Information page. 

  1. From the Start Page, select a staff member
    • All Cohort Groups are available from the district or school start page
    • For staff with multiple SchoolStaff records, select any school
  2. Navigate to Staff page > Information under ‘Functions’
  3. At the bottom of the Staff Information page, click Add / Edit Cohorts under ‘Data Exchange Settings’
  4. On the Staff Cohorts page, click Add Staff Cohort to bring up the ‘Add Staff Cohort’ page
    1. Choose the desired Group from the pop-up menu
    2. Choose the School from the pop-up menu
      • Only schools for which the staff member has a SchoolStaff record are included in the pop-up menu
      • Selecting ‘District Office’ will create a staff record at each school for which the staff member has a SchoolStaff record
    3. Enter a Begin Date
      • Staff Cohort Group records remain valid from the Begin Date until an End Date is submitted
    4. Optionally enter an End Date
      • Leave End Date blank unless you want to terminate the Staff Cohort assignment
      • A Staff Cohort assignment with Begin Date from a previous year, e.g 2015, and no end date would still be valid through 2018-19
    5. For Student Access, referring to access in the Ed-Fi district dashboards, choose Yes
    6. For Exclude from Reporting, select to exclude staff record from publishing - normally No
    7. Click Submit

Publish and Review

Cohort Groups with Student and Staff associations will self-publish, however there are times users may want to publish using the ‘Run Now’ button on the Data Exchange dashboard. Follow the steps below to manually publish Cohort Groups.

Data Exchange Dashboard

  1. From the School or District Start Page, select the current profile under ‘Data Exchange’
    1. All the Data Exchange categories are listed
    2. Locate the ‘Cohort Groups’ row
  2. Publish by clicking Run Now to the right of the category 
  3. Review by clicking Review in the center of the category
    1. If there are publishing errors the center button changes from 'Review' to ‘Errors’ and turns red
    2. On the Review – Cohort Groups page, select a category and data view
      1. After results display, click Clear Cache to ensure you are seeing current results
      2. For either Student or Staff Cohort Associations, right-click the person’s name to see details of the record (published, in dependency, or error)

Student or Staff Page

  1. Select the Student or Staff member from the Start Page
  2. Click Publishing under ‘Data Exchange’ from the left menu
  3. All records published or attempted for that person are displayed for review
    1. The resource is listed on the right under its category
      • Clicking the resource displays detailed publishing information
      • A green checkmark indicates successful publishing
      • Clicking the green checkmark displays the published JSON
      • Users can delete or republish the record by clicking the up-arrow or x
    2. Publishing status is displayed in the center
    3. Records that returned an error are marked ‘Publishing ERROR’ with the error code returned by the state ODS
      • Clicking ‘ERROR’ displays the JSON that was attempted to publish
    4. Brief Identifying information is on the left
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