PowerSchool, a division of Apple Computer that provides a web-based student information system (SIS) reportedly used by some 6,500 schools, has announced the release of its PowerSchool 5.0 system.

The latest version delivers a complete view of each student’s performance data to guide decisions in the classroom, at the district office, and from home. The idea, according to company executives, is to give “administrators the accurate information they need to make more effective decisions,” freeing up teachers to spend more time in the classroom with students. With PowerSchool 5.0, parents and students gain password-protected online access to performance records, including attendance, discipline, and grades, giving parents the opportunity for more regular involvement in their children’s progress and empowering students to make more informed, timely decisions about their own education, the company said.

A significant enhancement to version 5.0, which also complies with the latest Schools Interoperability Framework standard, is increased accessibility to meaningful information through a new relational layer on top of the SQL database, giving users instant access to key metrics, not just raw data, by combining logical data sets (such as student assessment data) with demographic profiles. It also facilitates the easy creation of customized reports through a simple drag-and-drop procedure, company executives said. (877) 873-1550 http://www.apple.com/education/powerschool