Apple's PowerSchool division has released PowerSchool 5.0.

PowerSchool is Apple's US-only, Web-based student information system (SIS). It's used by 6,500 US schools catering for three million students. Among other features, it offers online access for educators and parents to student performance statistics, including attendance, discipline and grades.

"There are multiple converging pressures on school districts when it comes to adopting a sophisticated technology such as a SIS: user acceptance, dependability and sustainability being paramount," said Mary McCaffrey, president of PowerSchool.

PowerSchool 5.0 offers a new relational layer on top of its SQL database. This provides users instant access to key metrics, not just raw data, by combining logical data sets such as student assessment data combined with demographic profiles. It also builds reports quickly using drag-&-drop.

Password access for the application and the speed at which it conducts its number-crunching have also been improved. The server-based software works for Mac and Windows systems.

The company will exhibit the solution at the 2005 T+L2 Conference between October 26-28 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.