WDMCS Canvas Parent/Guardian News

Tips, updates, and reminders about your WDMCS Account

Sept. 2, 2022

Whether you have or have not yet created a Canvas Observer (parent) account, this newsletter will help you set up and offer tips for managing that account.

Why do I need Canvas?

Canvas provides you with an opportunity to partner with us in your child's education by access to details about your student's grades and what assignments they have completed or may be missing, reading teacher feedback, or insights into the standards that are being taught. Many classes include a resources page for you to support and continue your child's education at home.


Why do we have Infinite Campus and Canvas?

Infinite Campus is our Student Information System, SIS. Its role is to control our student data, addresses, phone numbers, emails, assessments, transcripts, etc. Canvas is a Learning Management System, LMS. Its role is to help manage our day-to-day coursework.

How do I set up my account?

Follow the link below for step-by-step directions on creating your parent account, including where to find the student pairing code. It is important to know that a pairing code will stay active for 7 days, is case-sensitive, and is for 1 use only. If there are multiple people wanting to create an account, you will need to run a pairing code for each person.


Why do I need a pairing code?

Your student's privacy is our #1 goal when using Canvas. We want to make sure that only you and the people you want have access to your student's daily coursework. The best way for us to ensure this is for your student to run the pairing code right there next to you and type it in when you are setting up your account. We do realize that there might be reasons why you are not able to get a pairing code from your student, please call Carrie at 515-633-5159 and she will ask you a couple of questions to verify your identity and run a pairing code for you.

Why am I getting so many emails?

By default, Canvas assumes we want to know more than most of us want to know as parents. When we create our accounts, their default notification settings have us immediately notified for a lot of activities. We need to go in and change it following the directions below.


Why does the link in my notification not work?

As parents, we are observers of the student's account. Think of it like getting a BCC email from someone, the sender knows you have it but no one else can see you have it and the content is not written from your perspective. The Canvas notification links are geared toward the student. The link provided is a link for the student login, not the parent login. I am a parent in the district as well, and I do a couple of things to ease the frustration. First, I have it checked in my notification settings, to include my kids' names and the grade of the assignment so I don't have to go log in for more information. Then I tend to use the notifications as a reminder that I need to go log in and check on their work if I want more of an explanation. See below for more details.

Why does my Dashboard look different from last year?

Over the summer Canvas cleaned up the view for parents/guardians on the Dashboard. Previously, all courses for all your students showed up and it was hard to tell which course was for which student. This year, Canvas added a drop-down menu at the top right of the screen to select each student, similar to the view in the Parent Phone App.
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Who do I contact for help?

My name is Carrie Jacobs and I am here to help you with all your Canvas needs. Please feel free to call or email me (see contact info below). I am not always in the office, so please schedule a time to meet with me if you would prefer more one on one support. I also offer an Introduction to Canvas course for parents through WDMCS Community Education, be on the lookout for upcoming course details. Finally, we have a webpage on our district website dedicated to Canvas. There you will find more details about Canvas, as well as FAQs, videos, and step-by-step guides.
Canvas Family Resources

Click the button to access the Canvas Family Resources page on our District website.