A Parent's Guide to Navigating the Parent Zone, the Parent Post, and PowerSchool

By Lindsey Kundel, Director of Communications & Marketing 

At TAS, we often refer to several important digital tools that begin with a "P": the Parent Zone, the Parent Post, PowerSchool, the TAS aPP and other types of portals. We know that this can be QUITE confusing for parents because each of these tools not only begins with a P but many of them also relate to another important "p" word: parent-school communication. 

Parent-school communication is an essential part of supporting our students, and it is an area of school life that we have been working hard to improve in recent years as part of our current strategic plan. 

The Parent Zone 

The Parent Zone is a digital communications website and reference tool designed specifically for TAS parents that was launched in the spring of 2022. It replaced the older version of this website, which was previously called the TAS Parent Portal. Both of these portal tools – the Parent Zone (current) and the Parent Portal (older) - were hosted and part of the larger TAS website.  

At TAS, we believe that clear and timely communication fosters a strong community. In an effort to clarify the communication channels used at TAS, we created an entire section of the newly redesigned Parent Zone to help parents identify the right person to contact when questions arise.   

What kind of information can I find there? 

  • This website is designed to be a one-stop shop for TAS parents with easy links to other important tools. You can find archived Parent Post announcements and emails. You can find the employee directory if you need to contact your child's teacher. You can find school policies, the calendars, information about our signature programs, and so more. The Parent Zone should be your FIRST destination when trying to find out official information by or about the school. 

The Parent Post 

The Parent Post is a once-a-week schoolwide digest that is sent to all TAS parents and employees. Important KA-12 school announcements will always be sent in the weekly Parent Post, while school news articles and less timely (or less actionable) announcements can be found on the TAS news page, app, and social media pages. 

What kind of information can I find there? 

  • The school will send you a lengthy digest every Friday at 3 PM that includes 4 types of announcements: schoolwide, lower school, middle school, and upper school announcements. It also includes links to the 3 most recent news articles and a calendar for the next week of parent events. 
  • Please note that you will not receive supplemental communication about these events outside of the Parent Post, so it is important that at least one family member read this important email each week. You will find COVID-19 updates about campus access policies, important announcements from school and board leaders, invitations to parent events, and much more! 

PowerSchool (also called the PowerSchool Parent Portal) 

The PowerSchool parent portal is an online portal designed and made available to us by an outside company called, you guessed it, PowerSchool. PowerSchool is a database application that runs on a server, which is the center of the STUDENT information system (SIS). PowerSchool uses the internet to facilitate student information management. 

With over 100 million users, PowerSchool truly is the gold standard for storing sensitive school or district information because it is designed to verify a person's identity in order to protect student data and privacy. The nature of this portal is QUITE different from the TAS Parent Zone experience because it is intentionally designed to safeguard while the Parent Zone is designed to prioritize transparency and ease of communication. If the TAS Parent Zone is a reference tool, parents should think of PowerSchool more like a locker or a safe.  

PowerSchool has a version of their software available to parents and students on their mobile devices, too, although the school recommends that parents should primarily use the website version (on desktop, laptop, or mobile devices) since the mobile app does not have full functionality. 

What kind of information can I find there? 

  • After logging in, parents can see personalized information about all of their children in one place including their grades, attendance, reports, schedules, health data, passport information and more.  
  • *Please note that PowerSchool's Parent and Student Portals are NOT quite the same as PowerTeacher. While both are considered the same student information system (SIS) on a technical level, there are different “entry points” depending on the type of information you are trying to access. Parents and students should only access PowerSchool’s Parent and Student Portals, while TAS teachers also need to know how to access PowerTeacher.  

The TAS App (built by our website provider, Finalsite) 

As of last August, Taipei American School's official app is available for both Apple and Android devices on their respective app stores. We're thrilled to be able to offer this new communications vehicle to help sync information between the Parent Zone and the Parent Post on an individual's mobile device.  

What kind of information can I find there? 

  • You will now be able to easily find out the latest news, up-to-date calendar, and many other helpful resources at the touch of a button on the device that you use the most! We hope that this new resource proves useful in helping you stay connected with the Taipei American School community. 

Ok, this is all helpful and all, but what's the easiest thing to log-into as a TAS parent? 

We believe that the Parent Zone OR the TAS app should be a parent's first step toward finding the information that they need.  

If you need information NOW and don't have access to your parent ID and password, the best resource to consult is the Parent Zone because it has all of the links and information that you might need including links to PowerSchool, SeeSaw, Canvas, the TAS calendars, archives of older editions of The Parent Post (and more). 

If you DO have your TAS ID and password handy, you might find that the TAS app is a little easier for reading the most recent "Parent Post" announcements and upcoming calendar events, but it really is a personal preference at that point! We encourage parents to experiment with BOTH the Parent Zone and the TAS app to see which user experience they prefer. And rest assured that all of the information will continue to be preserved on the Parent Zone for them when they need it later. 

 **Not included in this table are the two “Learning Management Systems” (LMS) that the school uses for recording daily class information and recording student learning data: SeeSaw for lower school students and families and Canvas for middle and upper school students and families. If you are looking for information about daily classroom events and homework, please be sure to check your child’s LMS, which is either SeeSaw or Canvas.