Phillip Potenziano is superintendent of Brunswick schools.

The Brunswick School Department took a giant step forward to enhance our efficiency with the introduction of a pair of program additions that allow us to move many of our paper student forms online.

Enrollment Express and Ecollect Forms, recently-added components of our PowerSchool information system, promise to save time and money while increasing the accuracy of our student data.

We’ve used PowerSchool at BSD for five years. The secure online information system gives students, families and teachers access to important data, including schedules, grades, attendance records, student information and much more.

The addition of Ecollect Forms and Enrollment Express allows us to create online student information forms that families previously filled out by hand, including the hefty annual back-to-school packet. Enrollment Express and Ecollect are available to families of pre-K through high school students.

Many school districts in Maine already use PowerSchool and these components, and the feedback we have received has been positive. Additionally, because PowerSchool interacts very well with our other software, the new components will improve our communication with families (more on that in a moment).

Of course, moving from paper to an online information system is an adjustment. But the benefits offered by PowerSchool will have people saying, “I wish we’d done this sooner.”


“We used to send home packets of lots and lots of paper that parents had to fill out,” said Tricia Faulkingham, director of technology systems for the Brunswick School Department. “That meant people had to write names 10 times and addresses three times. Now, all forms are available through PowerSchool, so it’s totally paperless.”

Many of the forms will automatically fill in existing information. For example, unlike paper forms, parents won’t have to repeatedly enter a student’s name, address, date of birth, etc., on every form.

Before I go on, I want to stress that help is available for families without access to a home computer who have questions or would like additional guidance with PowerSchool. Contact our technology team at, or call 319-1990. Our team is happy to sit down with and work with anyone who needs assistance.

Plus, the forms in PowerSchool have been translated into 15 languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and French, which is a great help to immigrant families with children in our school system.

Which forms have been moved to PowerSchool? The list is long, but here are a few: student address and emergency contact information; permission forms; transportation information; economic status form (free and reduced lunch); birth verification; health information and authorization; and the home language survey.

You can see the benefit of the enhanced PowerSchool, particularly in communications with parents and guardians. It allows families to change addresses or update an emergency contact in real time, and entering the data yourself ensures its accuracy and immediacy, without the worry that someone may not be able to read your handwriting or potential delays caused by the delivery of paper forms to our offices.

We’ve all experienced both the good that comes from technology and the frustration of change that often accompanies the good – whether it’s accessing our medical records through patient portals or learning that online bill paying means we don’t use nearly as many stamps. And the benefits of PowerSchool for families with children in our schools are no different.

I’m excited about PowerSchool Ecollect Forms and Enrollment Express and how they will make life easier for Brunswick parents and students as we return to school this fall. Now, if there was only a technology that could ease our goodbyes to summer fun as we look forward to welcoming back our students, teachers and staff for the coming school year.

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