2020 was, well, 2020, and our PowerSchool sync to Canvas was no exception. 


Kids are in the wrong classes or their enrollments aren't syncing when they leave. Students may complain that they have classes showing up in their calendars or assignments that they're not enrolled in.


PowerSchool sent Canvas a bad batch of data back in July. Once it exported the data, it didn't set up a link to the data for it to stay in sync with Canvas.

How can you tell if you have one of the problem courses?

You can tell if the class is affected because when you go to the section in Canvas, it's SIS ID is really long, instead of the normal 4-6 characters. (see below - yellow highlighted SIS ID's are BAD, the green are GOOD)

What are we doing to prevent this going forward?

Prior to the rollover next school year, we're scheduling a meeting with PowerSchool to audit our PowerSchool server and data export settings to ensure that the problem isn't repeated next year.

How can you fix it to make it through the rest of the year?

There are a few steps, but overall it's pretty easy. It IS a workaround for an extraordinary problem, though, so it's not something you should have to do every year. 

1) Create a new class that you can re-cross-list the "bad" class to. We'll call this the Parking Lot. Any teacher or TC can do this. If you're doing this at the TC level, the TC can make 1 parking lot class and cross-list all the courses to it. If teachers are doing this for themselves, they have to create their own parking lot. 

From your Canvas dashboard, click on the "Start a New Course" button. I named my course "Sync Error Course Parking Lot."  Students and parents will be able to see the name if they go hunting, so I suggest something descriptive and appropriate, otherwise, if you named your course something like "Bad Class," you'll be fielding parent complaints about why you put their kid in the bad class.

2) Once the class is created, make a note of the Canvas course ID. You can find this by opening the class in Canvas and looking at the address bar. The course ID is the number that comes after the "maryville-school.instructure.com/courses/" (see example)

3) Navigate to the original course in Canvas that has the "bad" class in it. Open the course and click on "Settings" and then the "Sections" tab and click on the link for the bad class (like in the red circle boxes below).

4) Now that you're in the individual course section, click on "Cross-List this Section"

5) In the cross-list box that pops up, enter the Course ID you copied from step 2 and click "Cross-List This Section. In this case, the course ID was 12382.

Voila! The bad class is now living in your parking lot and not in your actual class. As long as you don't add assignments or calendar events to this class, it won't be funky for students. If the Parking Lot class happens to show up on students dashboards, have them click on Courses --> All Courses and un-check the star next to the class.