Nested IF

In my Functions class Tuesday afternoon, one of our colleagues asked a really valuable question - what happens when you have a student who does NOT have their ethnicity status listed? You don't want to just automatically assume that they're a minority student, nor assume that they're a minority student.

That's when it's time for a nested IF. That way, we can account for multiple scenarios. Assume the ethnicity is in E2:

‚Äč=IF(E2="Caucasian", "Non-Minority",IF(E2="","","Minority"))
In other words, if the student's Ethnicity is Caucasian, write Non-Minority. If the value is blank, return a blank. If the student meets neither of those conditions, then the student's ethnicity status is Minority. The reason this works is the following assumption - any ethnicity other than Caucasian is considered Minority.

Locker Combinations and Other Text Problems

I've gotten a lot of comments lately that people have problems with importing data from PowerSchool into Excel; in particular, that Excel drops leading zeroes with alarming regularity.

One of our colleagues clued me in on the reason. If you just double-click the file you downloaded, or click Open, Excel doesn't get to go through the Text Import Wizard. However, if you download the file to your computer (ex: your Desktop), you have hope. Don't double-click the file. Instead, open Excel first. Then, in Excel, go to your File menu, and click Open. You may have to change your Files of Type to be All in order to see the text file, but that's OK. Once you find it, click it, and then click Open. At that point, you'll have the Text Import Wizard. The most important step is Step 3, where you stipulate what format you want your columns to be. In a pinch, make all the columns Text fomat, and that will solve the number formatting problem for leading zeroes, locker combinations becoming dates, and so forth.

UPDATE: The other thing you might want to do is change the file extension (the last three letters after the period) to be ".csv" or ".txt" instead of ".text," which is what the default is.