A Canvas Guide for Parents: How to Sign-up, Navigate, & Participate
Posted on 09/12/2021

Canvas is the learning management platform used by every school in Prince William County. Teachers at Colgan update Canvas once a week or once a unit with dates of summative assignments, an outline of the upcoming learning plan, and resources to support in-class lessons, relearning, and extended learning

Although Canvas displays grades and scores for assignments, Canvas is used primarily as a feedback and learning tool to support mastery. ParentVue displays the official grade for the course.

Canvas for Parents allows families to view the learning plan for the unit, a calendar of upcoming assessments, student submissions, feedback provided by the teacher, and an opportunity to message the instructor.

How to access Canvas as a Parent?


Website

  1. Open a web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox)
  2. Type in canvasparent.colganhs.com
  3. Login with your full email and password you created (disregard username)
    • Click forgot password, if you have trouble

Mobile App

  1. Open Application Store (App Store or Play Store)
  2. Search Canvas for Parents (blue icon)
  3. Click Find School
    • Type Prince William County Public School - Parents
  4. Enter your the email address and password you created (disregard prompt for username)

What is the difference between ParentVue and Canvas for Parents?

Canvas for Parents lets you view the lessons, the resource materials, a calendar of upcoming assignments, and the student submissions and teacher feedback

Parentvue is the official gradebook for the course. Parents view the grade after the student submits, and the teacher provides feedback

What are the benefits of the Canvas for Parents Website?

The Canvas for Parents website allows the parent to see the modules, the unit pages, the student submissions, and the teacher feedback provided in Canvas

What are the benefits of the Canvas for Parents App?

The Canvas for Parents App provides easy access to student progress/grades. The app provides quick access to view all upcoming assignments in the calendar mode. Lastly, the Canvas for Parents app makes it simple to message the teacher about an assignment.

The app does not allow the parent to view the student submission or the teacher's feedback. You will need login on the website for full details

How to Sign up

Parents require an observer code associated to each student to create and connect their Canvas account. The pairing observer code is a one-time setup. The student, a teacher, or an administrator can provide a parent with an Observer code. (observer code is case sensitive)

To get started, ask for a Pair with Observer Code

How students obtain the Pair with Observer Code

  1. Student clicks on their avatar (top left) and selects settings
  2. On the far right, click Pair with Observer
  3. Copy down the code, it is case sensitive
    • the pairing code can only be used once
    • each time you click Pair with Observer it generates a new code

via GIPHY


How to Navigate Canvas for Parents App

Navigating the App

Main Screen

  • Courses
    • Lists all the classes, clubs, and courses the student is enrolled
    • Current feedback score for each class - Official Grades are in ParentVue/StudentVue
      • select the class, and you see a list of current assignments, submission status, and current feedback score
    • Class Front Page
      • current home page of the course
    • Calendar
      • week at a glance
      • dots under each date indicate assignments or events are scheduled
    • Alerts
      • class announcements
      • missing assignments

Left Menu

  • Inbox
    • Direct messages to instructors
    • Manage Students
      • add additional students to observe
      • select preferences for the alerts to receive (course grade, announcements, missing assignments)
    • Switch Users and Log Out
      • toggle between observers using a shared device
    • Alerts

Top Menu

  • Students
    • Toggle between students
    • Quick add new students