We appreciate your patience as we move through the technical processes required to deploy classes in Canvas LMS. As master schedules shift, an ongoing process through the first weeks of school, there will continue to be adjustments. As a reminder, master schedule changes (including student course enrollments) in Synergy are reflected the next day in Canvas.
Q: Is Ed Tech support available for help in Canvas, Edgenuity, MS Teams, Office 365 and more?
- Yes, please reach out to Ed Tech TOSAs Sue Pastor, Cassiopeia Guthrie, or John Johnson (Edgenuity specialist) for assistance. If you have any ed tech questions, please visit http://bit.ly/euhsdedtech in lieu of email or text. This will increase our responsivity (all three of us Ed Tech TOSAs answer questions over there) and help you get those techy questions answered quickly. 🙂🙂
Q: Do I need to keep both Canvas and Synergy updated?
- No. Teachers must keep a detailed gradebook in Canvas or Synergy. Teachers are not required to keep detailed grades in both Synergy and Canvas. We ask that teachers:
- Keep the gradebook updated at least weekly
- Message to parents and students where detailed grades will available (we recommend a note on the Canvas home page)
- Post grades in Synergy for each progress report regardless where detailed grades are kept. Note: Students taking Edgenuity courses automatically have progress reports emailed to parents each Monday if parent email is on file. If not, printed progress reports must be mailed home each progress reporting period (typically each 6-weeks)
- See Method 2 in this quick reference guide to learn how to post progress report grades in Synergy when not using Synergy Grade Book to calculate grades.
Q: I noticed that the Grade Guardian Risk Indicator bar increases quickly, but decreases slowly over time as students re-engage and/or improve grades. Why is this?
- According to the designers of Grade Guardian, this is by design based on years of user experience and feedback. It is important that we are alerted quickly to students who stop engaging or see significant drops in grades. We should also know that, based on that same user feedback, student improvement and consistency over time should be what decreases a student’s risk indicator
Q. When should we use Alerts and Tags in Grade Guardian?
- Use Grade Guardian Alerts and Tags for students who were engaged in the past but are now disengaged. Alerts generate an automatic email sent to key personnel (a.k.a. Allies) who can respond to the alert. More details about Grade Guardian can be found by watching a training video sent in previous communications.
Q. Will teachers continue to have access to “+People” to add co-teachers, IAs, BIAs and others in Canvas?
- No, access to this feature will be turned off on Monday, Sept. 21. Please reach out to an Ed Tech TOSA for further assistance. Please note student enrollments are updated each school day during a nightly sync.
Q. Students and parents are reporting that overall grades are not being displayed or “Calculation of totals has been disabled” in Canvas. How can this be changed?
- The district will apply a change to that setting for all courses district-wide on Friday 9/18. In addition, we will also uncheck the option to “Let students edit or delete their own discussion posts” as this is a best practice. Teachers should verify their course settings are as desired by opening each Canvas course, clicking “Settings”, scrolling to the bottom and clicking “more options” and verifying the appropriate boxes are checked/unchecked as desired.
Q. What should a teacher do with Canvas courses from previous years?
- Courses that no longer have students clearing No Marks should be concluded. To conclude a course, open the course, on the lower-left click on “Settings,” on the right, click “Conclude this Course,” and then confirm by reading the message and click the blue button “Conclude this Course.” No Canvas courses with student grades should ever be deleted.
Q. When do student enrollments sync with what I see in Synergy?
- A sync between Synergy and Canvas happens each night each workday.
Q. Will Grade Passback be available to send grades from Canvas to Synergy (automatically)?
- No, we had originally intended on offering this feature, but had to put that project on hold due to technical challenges that cannot be overcome at this time. We plan to continue this project and offer this functionality in the future – most likely for the spring semester. Teachers will need to enter a single, overall grade for each student into Synergy for each progress or semester grading report. Teachers are not required to keep all assignment grades in both systems. Please communicate to your students and families whether the updated grades will be in Canvas or Synergy.
Q. Are there any other apps that are already loaded into Canvas that I should be aware of so that I don’t keep asking you if they exist?
- We have integrated Google Drive, Office 365, EdPuzzle, Kahn Academy, YouTube, MS Teams, TurnItIn, FlipGrid, Google Assignment, Springboard and OER Commons. These are found on the class navigation bar and “External Tools” in the Rich Content Editor and Online Assignment Type.
Q. Will there be ongoing Canvas LMS training throughout the year? Perhaps specific to my subject area?
- Yes, we will continue to support teachers and students in the use of Canvas LMS throughout the year. Full-release Ed Tech TOSAs are also available to work with PLC teams as requested.
Q. Will our Canvas courses this Fall be automatically populated with our students like they were last year for us (one course with sections enabled)?
- Yes, one course will be pushed out broken into sections (by periods). Student enrollments are managed by the district and are automated.
Q. Why do I see two copies of a course in my dashboard?
- WARNING: These courses will be condensed into one course. Please wait, as we do not want you to lose any work. We anticipate this will be rectified over the weekend. If you want to continue developing your course, please do so in your practice course from your training session. It is an easy process to copy over work later into the official course.
Q. I have a blank course in Canvas. What do I do?
- As courses are created in Canvas, they start with no content (blank). DO NOT ADD any content to a blank class. Please wait for the district Design Elements (and any modules developed by design teams) to be added by your Ed Tech team. It takes us a day or two to catch up to master schedule changes.Please wait for your courses and blueprints to be deployed prior to customizing these courses. Teachers who began drafting in a blank course, may have it overwritten when the blueprint is deployed the first time. Please wait for the blueprint to be applied. If you are in doubt if your course is the correct version, you are welcome to work within your practice Canvas course from your training session. It is an easy process to copy over work later into the official course.
Q. What do I do if I do not have any courses in Canvas?
- Canvas courses are designed to mirror the courses assigned to a teacher in Synergy, with a one-day delay. Once you have a schedule in Synergy, you should also see courses in Canvas the next day. If you do not see these courses, please contact EdServices@euhsd.org or call (760) 291-3250.
Q. What do I do if I think I have the wrong course or wrong blueprint applied to my course?
- We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact EdServices@euhsd.org and provide the specific course name, number, and sections that have the wrong content, for example, English 9 A (P) 20201S_902_2802-11. Please note that we will remove all of the content in the course and apply the correct content to fix the problem.
Q. I see lessons referencing Journalism and Chemistry in my course blueprint, but I don’t teach these courses. Do I have the wrong course?
- Blueprint courses were pushed out as of Tuesday. Our design team members were asked to finalize blueprints by July 30 and to remove any “extra” content. However, in some cases, there may be leftover “sample” lessons from Journalism and Chemistry, you would recognize these samples from the Canvas training, that were accidentally not removed by the design team teachers. Please simply delete any content that does not fit your course, as these were examples the team used to get started.
Q. I experienced technical difficulties and was not able to do as much as I had planned on Friday. What time will I be able to use for preparing my classes?
- Teachers will continue to have preparation and planning time from 11:30 AM onward on Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18, as well as half-day August 21 and all day August 24.
Q: When do student enrollments sync with what I see in Synergy?
- A sync between Synergy and Canvas happens each night each workday.
Q: Why are my section enrollments larger than the number of students in that section?
- Section enrollments include teacher(s) assigned to that section.
Q: Will students see everything that a teacher sees in a Canvas course?
- Enrolled students will only see content a teacher publishes by clicking the publish button. Published content is indicated with either a green check mark or a green “published” button at the top or right.
Q: How do I know my course has the correct blueprint associated to it?
- Open a course, click on Settings and click on the Course Details tab at the top. As shown in the image below, verify the highlighted course Name and Blueprint Course match. Complete this form immediately if they do not.
Q: My course has content (pages/discussions/assignments) that is not related to my course. Why is it included in the course blueprint I received?
- Teacher blueprint designers were given examples from which to design courses. As a reminder, unpublished content will not be seen by students. Unnecessary content will be removed from the blueprint by designers and then subsequently removed during the next blueprint sync.
Q: How frequently will content in a course blueprint be updated and synched to teacher courses? Does this process change any customizations made by teacher?
- Blueprint synchronization will occur weekly after a review by Ed Services. The blueprint synchronization will update any file yet to be modified by a teacher. If a teacher changes a file, the blueprint sync will not modify that file. All content added by a teacher is not affected. As mentioned above, any file removed from the blueprint that has not been modified by a teacher will be removed from a teacher’s course.
Q: If a page in Canvas changes title or content, can I get it back?
- Yes, pages in Canvas have a “View Page History” feature where you can find and restore a page after changes are applied to the page. Click the 3 vertical dots at the top-right to get started. Module content may be removed but can easily be added back.
Q: When should I publish my course?
- Students will not be able to see any published content in a course until the course itself is published. Remember to publish your course(s) any time before 8/25, and the course will become available to students based on 8/25, unless a teacher has changed the “Start Date” in a course’s Settings page under Course Details. Changing the Start Date is not recommended. Students can practice logging in to Canvas at any time.
Q: My Dashboard in Canvas is quite full. How can I remove courses from my Dashboard?
- Click Courses and then click All Courses. For each course you wish remove from your Dashboard, click the orange star. Click any white star (which turns it orange) to add a course to your Dashboard.The FAQs below were initially drafted in conjunction with the EUHSD Ed Tech Committee in 2018-19 to assist with messaging the Canvas LMS rollout plan and have been updated to reflect our current status.
Q. Why do we need a learning management system?
- As we looked at curriculum districtwide and providing 21st century learning opportunities for our students, we found value in a learning management system (LMS). When a teacher switches courses or retires, a Google Classroom or individual website goes away. In addition, as curriculum committees update the course, these updates are not easily made available virtually for students, while in a learning management system we can build student-facing curriculum.
Prior to a districtwide LMS, each teacher was asked to transfer the content from the curriculum document (a static PDF) to make it accessible for their students. By having an LMS, our curriculum teams of teachers can build student-facing curriculum and make it accessible and customizable for all teachers (and their students). If a teacher changes courses and/or retires, the content remains in the system, and the curriculum teams have access to update and build.
Q. How did the district select Canvas LMS?
- During the 2017-18 school year, a committee of teachers from all school sites and administrators discussed learning management system (LMS) options. They carefully reviewed input from DLA teachers and scholars’ years of experience in another LMS used since the school’s opening. At the end of the review, Canvas LMS was unanimously selected.
Q.. Why was Canvas LMS selected?
- Canvas gives teachers the ability to deliver accessible, highly-engaging lessons that deepen student’s learning. Canvas provides a single platform that provides the following benefits:
- Design using the principles of Universal Design for Learning in support of Emerging Multilingual Students and students with disabilities.
- Modify and deliver content instantly to students.
- Create a shared workload in creating Canvas-based curriculum. Once created, content can be deployed across multiple teacher’s courses instantly. For example, College Board SpringBoard ELA 9-11 content is available in Canvas. Additional curriculum will be ready for fall 2020.
- Integrate with external tools such as Google Docs, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Turnitin.
- Differentiate by assigning different content to students with custom due dates.
- Use simple, powerful grading tools to provide students timely feedback.
- Prepares them for future education, as it is used by all 115 California community colleges as well as a significant number of universities which aligns with our district’s mission.
- Provides consistency in knowing all due dates on a single calendar for all classes.
- Integrates with external tools such as Google Docs, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Turnitin.
- Gives a platform to collaborate with classmates.
- Access to course syllabi, materials, grades, assignment calendars, and communication in a single location. Parents will know 100% of the expectations of their child’s class.
- View missing assignments for all classes quickly. Parents see what their student sees, they just can’t complete the assignment with their parent account.
- Effectively monitor student engagement metrics as required by LCAP and state expectations.
- Run reports to see how students are achieving.
- Provides a quick glance at course content, discussions, and assignments.
Q. There are a number of staff members currently using Google Classroom. Why was this not selected?
- Google Classroom does not offer the capabilities available in Canvas that we need as an organization. We acknowledge some may not have been aware of the advantages of Canvas, including the new distance learning monitoring requirements of the LCAP. Our intention is to continue to provide ongoing professional learning and support so that every teacher is equipped to effectively use Canvas.
During campus closures due to COVID-19, we have found that the lack of analytics available with Google Classroom makes it more difficult to track student engagement. An LMS provides this information that is now required by state and federal guidelines.
Q. How has Canvas been used in our district?
- By 2018-19, 70 teachers were trained and implemented Canvas. In 2019-20, weekly lessons (aka TEE time) were delivered to students via the LMS after teachers received training. This school year, 302 teachers and 5,826 out of approximately 7,100 students have used Canvas. During the week of April 13-19, 2020, there were 223,909 Canvas page views in that week alone.
Q. What is the expectation for use of Canvas LMS in 2020-21?
- As curriculum teams of over 70 teachers are currently reimagining curriculum in all subject areas this spring and summer, Canvas LMS will be the tool used for building out the curriculum. Thus, our summer and fall training will focus on the use of Canvas LMS and the newly available curriculum. It is important to note that the entire Google Suite of tools as well as Microsoft Office may be used within Canvas LMS. Our families will be notified that students and parents/guardians will access their courses in Canvas LMS for the 2020-2021 school year and will receive communications through this tool.
Q. What steps do teachers complete to make their Canvas course(s) available to students for day 1 of school?
- Contained in each Canvas course is a page “Ready Your Course to Go Live.” Here is a video that outlines the steps.
Q. What is Mod 0? Does a teacher need to do anything with Mod 0 content?
- Mod 0 is a module in all Canvas courses that offers activities teachers are encouraged to implement. Day 1 & 2 activities are intended to be jigsawed by period but could be assigned differently at teachers’ discretion. Teachers can deliver other activities if they wish. Each school site administration team will be messaging details on how their site will conduct student experiences during the first days of school. Watch this video to learn more about Mod 0.
Q. Will grade pass back be available to send grades from Canvas to Synergy (automatically)?
- No, we had originally intended on offering this feature, but had to put that project on hold due to technical challenges that cannot be overcome at this time. We plan to continue this project and offer this functionality in the future. Teachers will need to enter a single, overall grade for each student into Synergy for each progress or semester grading report. Teachers are not required to keep all assignment grades in both systems. Please communicate to your students and families whether the updated grades will be in Canvas or Synergy.
Q. I heard that the Conference tool in Canvas, Big Blue Button, has limitations. What are those limitations?
- Big Blue Button (BBB) is a videoconferencing tool that offers 15 simultaneous conferences to run across the entire district. BBB is a 3rd party add-on with an additional cost. We are not planning to pay the $210,000 per year for each teacher to have access currently. The functionality with Teams is already included in our accounts.
Q. Can staff members such as collab teachers (co-teachers), BIAs, IAs, interpreters be added to a Canvas course?
- Yes, teachers can add co-teachers, BIAs, IAs, interpreters, etc. to their class with the appropriate Canvas role (Teacher or TA). Here’s how. Subs will be added by administrators as needed.
Q. Will Case Managers get a Canvas course with their caseload students enrolled?
- No. Case Managers will be given access to monitor students on their caseload via Dashboards in Grade Guardian. See link to Grade Guardian training above.
Q. When I view “People” in my Canvas course, who are Observers?
- Observers are the parents/guardians of students in your classes. Observers can view their student’s grades, calendar, and assignments (with due dates) which will help students be successful.
Please view this video from Dr. Moore, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, for a curriculum update.
Q: What is the expectation of teachers to use Canvas?
- All teachers (except for those teaching Edgenuity classes) are expected to use Canvas each school day with their students. All links to instructional resources/activities outside of Canvas MUST be linked inside your Canvas course. Examples include MS Teams Meetings, Zoom, Google Apps for Education, etc. Students and parents/guardians benefit from navigating learning from a single location. In addition, student participation in Canvas is how teachers determine students’ attendance via Grade Guardian in Canvas. Having students access an MS Teams Meeting from a link within Canvas eliminates students entering the meeting as “Guests.”
Q: How does Grade Guardian keep track of students’ participation (attendance) in Canvas?
- Anytime a student logs in and submits/posts in a graded discussion, a graded assignment, or graded quiz (any of which is worth at least 1 point), Grade Guardian counts that as “attending.” Please consider adding a daily discussion on days your class meets and make it worth at least 1 point. This makes taking attendance easy for you! Submitting any graded assignment counts as attendance. Review your Grade Guardian dashboard daily and look under “Latest Submission.” It is located at the lower left of your class navigation menu in Canvas.
Q: Is there training available for Grade Guardian? When can teachers expect to have student data populated in Grade Guardian?
- Teachers can watch this training (password: y25m$?5r ). Classroom data is available now and updates each night. Check Grade Guardian the next day to see your students’ Canvas interactions from the previous day. Counselors, case managers, and admin will have access to students on their caseloads via custom Grade Guardian dashboards shortly. Here is the training for counselors, case managers, and admin (password: y25m$?5r ) so you can get ready for when dashboards are created for you.
Q. Will the Big Blue Button continue to be available in Canvas LMS?
- Yes and no. We currently have access to the “free” version, allowing up to 15 users (teachers) to use it at once. Thus, if a teacher is the 16th one to access it with their students, it will not work.
Q. Monday, September 7 is a holiday. What is the process for reconciling attendance for the prior week for students who were absent?
- We appreciate our teachers adapting to the new protocols for taking attendance and recognize this is a new and different process. As this Monday is a holiday, teachers are encouraged to reconcile attendance for the prior five school days on Tuesday. The window for teachers modifying student attendance allows for editing only the prior five school days, so any delay beyond Tuesday would mean that the teacher must communicate attendance changes through the Attendance Office for each student and each day that would be reconciled. This is a more cumbersome process than reconciling in Synergy, so we encourage all teachers to use asynchronous time on Tuesday for the reconciliation process.Some teachers have found success by reconciling attendance throughout the week and not waiting until Monday (or in this case, Tuesday) to reconcile. This is a teacher option as desired.Any teacher that misses the 5-day reconciliation window will need to review their student attendance/rosters and communicate any changes based on student asynchronous participation directly with the Attendance Office at their school.
Q. In TeacherVUE, I sometimes see a new attendance code “TNW.” What is this new code?
- A new attendance code “TNW=Technology Not Working” has been added to Synergy for office use only. This code is used for the purpose of identifying instances when a student could not participate in asynchronous or synchronous distance learning due to technology issues in the student’s home.
Q. How can a teacher see a student’s activity on Canvas?
- In Grade Guardian, click on the student’s name. Under the heading “last access”, click on the date (the date acts as a link). It goes to an “access report” and shows all of the student’s participation in that course.
Q: Is there training available for Grade Guardian? When can teachers expect to have student data populated in Grade Guardian?
- Teachers can watch this training (password: y25m$?5r ). Classroom data is available now and updates each night. Check Grade Guardian the next day to see your students’ Canvas interactions for the previous day. Counselors, case managers, TOSAs, social workers, and admin have access to students via custom Grade Guardian dashboards. Here is the training for counselors, case managers, and admin (password: y25m$?5r).
Q. On Monday, if a student was absent for the Weekly Lesson but later logs on to Canvas and does work for another class, do they get marked present?
- Yes. They would be marked present with the DLA (Distance Learning Asynchronous) code.
Q. If a student does not come to the live class for Tuesday or Thursday and does half of the work, would they only be marked present for one day?
- Not necessarily. There are multiple factors to determine asynchronous attendance. Work production is one way. A student logging in to canvas is considered present. A student emailing or calling a teacher is considered present. A student attending office hours is considered present. Most likely this student should be marked present for both days.Remember, the amount and quality of work will determine a student’s grade not attendance. Students are considered present unless they are not accessing or communicating with the course, teacher, or school in any way during the week.
Q. What should I do if a student has communicated they have technology problems?
- Please let your Assistant Principal know as well as the Attendance Office.
Q. Can you link all the resources for taking attendance that were previously shared?
Q. For tardiness: what if they leave early?
- Mark the student as Tardy. We do not want students leaving class early. However, if they are producing work, that is the key. If they are not producing work and they are leaving early, that would necessitate a call to the parent/guardian about the lack of engagement.
Q. When will the pictures populate?
- Teachers should ask their site administrators when the pictures taken during registration will be sending pictures of the 9th graders to Data Management? Grades 10-12 should already be loaded into the system.
Q. Do students know they do not need to come synchronous?
- No, this has not been shared with students. In fact, the Student Behavior Expectations sheet states that, “Students will be engaged/participate in online instruction during class time.” It should be shared that students who do not attend, leave early, etc. will miss valuable instruction.
Q. How do subs take role?
- The school should identify when a virtual sub is taking over a class. Once that time is identified, the school’s attendance office will send an electronic roster for the sub. Remember that no sub is needed for absences up to 2 days.
Q. Why can’t I see Grade Guardian on my Canvas class?
- You can only see GG when the course is published and populated with students.
Q. What is the standard for Citizenship?
- EUHSD Administrative Regulation 5121 addresses citizenship grades. The citizenship grades are designated as Excellent, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If a student’s citizenship/behavior becomes Unsatisfactory, the steps to address it can be found in the “Student Expectations in a Virtual Environment” sheet provided to you by your school site administration.
Q. Who is telling students about behavior?
- While district and schools will send out expectation information (infographics forthcoming), classroom teachers will still set the expectations in their class. The Student Behavior Expectations sheet can be used to set and/or reinforce teacher expectations. This sheet will be shared in the near future by your school site administration.
Q. Do we take attendance for Weekly lessons?
- Yes, teachers will take attendance on Mondays during the live session. If a student attends but does no work, student is still marked “present.” If a student does not attend the Weekly Lesson on a Monday but logs in and attempts any work for your course (Weekly Lesson or your course work) on a Monday, student should be reconciled to “present.”
Q. Did/will ALL students receive a list of etiquette guidelines/expectations from DSC with first day log in information?
- Yes, this messaging is expected to go out on Friday and ongoing from both the district office and school sites. In addition, it is important that expectations will be included as teachers set up their classes. The Student Behavior Expectations sheet can be used as desired.
Q. Are we encouraged to conduct our 40 minutes live at the same time every day to help students maintain consistency with attendance?
- Yes. Remember, as was discussed earlier on this FAQ sheet, “Students will be engaged/participate in online instruction during class time.” Also, the 40 minutes (at the comp sites, 34% at DLA/VHS) is a minimum. Students will be expected to log in at the beginning of each period and should have clear instructions on what to do at that time.
Q. What is the district view on breakout sessions with small groups of students and the potential for inappropriate behavior occurring between students in those? Do these or not do them based on the potential liability issues?
- Teachers are responsible for student behavior in class as a whole, as well as small groups they may assign. Any behavior that is undesirable should be responded to following the guidelines described in the “Student Expectations in a Virtual Environment” sheet provided by your administrative team. Liability will only become possible if we fail to respond to a known discipline issue.
Q. So if we are taking into consideration multiple factors, does that mean that attendance is subjective?
- NO. Either a student attends synchronously, or they participant and/or complete work asynchronously to be marked “present.” The students should be marked present, and the quality of the work should be graded based on academic standards the teacher has set.
Q. What if a student doesn’t submit the assignment? Are they absent?
- If the student attends the online class, but does not produce work, they are still present for class. If they do not attend class, and do log in or produce any work, they should be marked absent.
Q. So if they don’t come to our synchronous but do all our Canvas assignments, we clear their absences?
- Yes. The teacher will clear all absences for the previous 5 days.
Q. What about a student who has a special circumstance (or maybe not even a special one) and goes back to make up work beyond the 5-day window we have access to in order to change attendance….. how does that attendance get changed? Or it just doesn’t?
- If work is completed earlier that the one week prior, please consider it for grades. It typically would not change a student’s attendance. Special cases and/or long-term absences will be handled through the Attendance Office. Situations beyond the 5-day window should be reported to the Administrator in charge of Attendance, as well as the Attendance Office.
Q. Is Distance Learning Asynchronous attendance subjective? You said that we would “consider multiple factors”, such as the color bar, the last time they logged in, the amount of assignments they completed. So if they’ve done all the work, do we “overwrite” all the previous week’s synchronous absences? (Or is DLA just a “yes or no” thing, like credit or no credit?)
- Teachers have discretion here. Yes, the “DLA” code would overwrite any synchronous absences if students have logged in, participated and/or completed any assignments. Currently, we are leaning towards your last point—as in yes or no, attendance in any form or not. We anticipate further clarification from the California Department of Education on Monday, August 24.
Q. Can you link all the resources for the EMLs that were shared on Wednesday?
- Yes, we are happy to share these and are thankful for our wonderful EL TOSAs who shared their expertise with our teachers.
This tool was provided by SDCOE and modified to reflect the connections to EUHSD ELD Transfer Goals.
Q. How will I know who my BIA is?
- Please contact your site administrator.
Q. Have our BIAs received training on how to use the main tech tools?
- Yes, BIAs and IAs received training on Canvas and Microsoft Teams on Wednesday.
Q. How do I add an IA or BIA to a Canvas Class?
- Teachers can add co-teachers, BIAs, IAs, interpreters, etc. to their class with the appropriate Canvas role (Teacher or TA). Here’s how.
Q. What are the roles of our IAs, BIAs, and DHH Instructional Assistants?
- Please see the specific job descriptions for these classified positions available on our district website. They have been provided training and access to technology to support students during distance learning.
Q. Can you link all the resources for the SWDs that were shared on Wednesday?
- Yes, we are happy to share these links for supporting SWD and how to access IEP at a Glance on Synergy: (links need to work)
Q. How do I add an IA or BIA to a Canvas Class?
- Teachers can add co-teachers, BIAs, IAs, interpreters, etc. to their class with the appropriate Canvas role (Teacher or TA). Here’s how.
Q. When do we request subs and how?
- Canvas LMS teachers shall request a sub for absences that are longer than two days from the Canvas LMS trained sub pool. Canvas LMS teachers shall provide Canvas LMS lessons to the sub for the day(s) absent and student work for each class period. Independent Study Teachers shall not request a sub for absences less than four days. Independent Study Teaches absent for four days or more, shall request a sub from the Edgenuity trained sub pool. Further information will be forthcoming.
Q. Will substitute teachers be trained and required to access to Canvas and Microsoft Teams?
- Yes. Substitute teachers will be given access to Canvas through Substitute login accounts provided by site secretaries responsible for supporting substitutes. These site secretaries will be trained on how to support substitutes with the necessary login information for Canvas and how to use the lesson plans provided by teachers. Substitute accounts in Canvas allow them to assist students in completing discussions, assignments, and synchronous meetings, but will not be able to do any grading or creation/editing/deleting of content in modules. Substitutes will have access to synchronous videoconferences in Microsoft Teams that are placed on Canvas pages. The directions for substitutes on how to access synchronous videoconferences will be part of the Substitute and Lesson Plan Packet provided to substitutes. Substitutes will come from a trained pool of substitute teachers.
Q. Can other EUHSD teachers work as a substitute?
- Yes. Should a Canvas or Edgenuity trained substitute not be available, certificated staff may period sub first (including non-classroom bargaining unit members) per existing contract language and/or and administrators may sub if no bargaining unit member is available.
Q. Will substitute teachers be given access to Grade Guardian?
- No, but if a substitute is a “long term substitute,” they will be given teacher level access to the necessary Canvas courses, which includes access to Grade Guardian.
Q: How do substitutes take attendance and can they access Synergy?
- The school should identify when a virtual sub is taking over a class. Once that time is identified, the school’s attendance office will send an electronic roster for the sub. Remember that no sub is needed for absences up to 2 days. They will not have access to Synergy.
Q. Will substitute teachers be required to attend all synchronous meetings with students?
- Yes. Substitute teachers will have access to Canvas, which allows them to click on the links to access the synchronous meetings with students.
Q. Do I need to provide a substitute lesson plan?
- When a substitute is required, teachers must provide lesson plans to the substitute. It is recommended that teachers submit these lesson plans to the site secretary responsible for supporting substitutes. Please follow any additional guidance from site administrators. If you are absent 2 or fewer days, you are not required to submit a substitute lesson plan. Please provide any necessary directions to students through Canvas.
Q. What should be included by teachers in the lesson plans for substitutes?
- All necessary directions on how to support both synchronous and asynchronous work with students in Canvas.
Q. Are we required to use the provided substitute lesson plan template?
- No, but it is a helpful resource to support substitute teachers with understanding how to support students during your absence.
Q. I heard that MS Teams got updated so that we can see all the students in my class?
- This YouTube video explains how to change your settings:
You will then be able to…
• See up to 49 people at once.
• See participants “together” versus boxes.
• See meetings in new windows, outside the main Teams application.
• Focus mode to avoid distractions.
• End meeting for all participants.
This update also allows you to set roles for “participants” versus “presenters.”
Q. Is Microsoft Teams going to be able to handle the district using it to teach?
- The glitches that happened on Wednesday were not EUHSD issues. In an email to district staff from Stephen Yi, he wrote, “Please be aware that Microsoft Teams is having ‘service degradation’. As they state: users may be intermittently unable to join Microsoft Teams meetings that are hosted in North America.”
Q: What are the best practices for security when running a MS Teams Meeting with students?
- First, ensure students who arrive before the teacher wait in the lobby. Second, turn off the ability for students to share their screen without your permission. Know that students are not able to click the record button in a MS Teams meeting. Last, download the attendance from the meeting to count as attendance. Here is a short video that walks you through the steps. Also, having students access an MS Teams Meeting from a link within Canvas eliminates students entering the meeting as “Guests.” Therefore, there is no need to allow “guests” into your class in Teams.
Q. Is Microsoft Teams confirmed as the video conferencing platform for students—or do I have choice in video conferencing platform?
- MS Teams is our district standard tool for videoconferencing for meetings, instruction, and more. The Teams app is improving all the time. It now allows for custom backgrounds and displaying up to 9 participants simultaneously, up from 4 last spring. Teachers can also set up “breakout rooms” by using Channels in an MS Teams. The IT department currently supports the use of MS Teams; they are unable to support the use of outside programs at this time.While teachers do have discretion in the use of communication tools, the following message was shared with families in FAQs:Live instruction will be conducted primarily using the Microsoft TEAMS platform. This platform values student privacy and safety. Teachers will be trained in MS TEAMS and understand the full functionality of the platform. The live instruction offered as a part of the blended model supports the high-quality instruction and personalized learning environment our families are accustomed to in EUHSD.
Q. Will there be training on how to use Microsoft Teams?
- Yes, we will have this training available in the PL Symposium, August 17-18.
Q. I’ve created modules for my own use. If I let the district use them in the Blueprint courses, will I be paid for that work I’ve already done?
- We would be thrilled if you would agree to have your work used in a Blueprint course that is not already being developed by a designer. While we can’t pay you for previous hours that went into the building of modules originally, you may be paid up to 5 hours for fine-tuning and revising your work to meet the standards outlined in the EUHSD Blueprint Learning Design Principles. Please contact the facilitator overseeing your content area for next steps.
Q: Can a teacher customize a Blueprint course once they receive it?
- Yes, teachers are highly encouraged to customize a Blueprint course once they receive it. Ways to customize include, but are not limited to
- Publish/Unpublish content/modules
- Add/modify content
- Reorder content
- Determine point values and due dates
Teachers are encouraged to customize in a way that is aligned to the EUHSD Blended Learning Design Principles.
Q: What happens when a Blueprint “syncs”? Will the content a teacher customized change?
- Our Blueprint sync process adds and/or updates pages/discussions/quizzes/assignments not yet customized by a teacher. Canvas Blueprint syncs are programmed to skip content customized by teachers receiving the Blueprint. Canvas calls this an “exception.” Here is a video explaining the sync process.
Q: When will our district Pear Deck account become available district-wide?
- Pear Deck was Board approved on Oct. 6. We expect login information, training and more to be available here by Oct. 14th . What is Pear Deck? Watch this video to learn more.
Q: Is Ed Tech support available for help in Canvas, Edgenuity, MS Teams, Office 365 and more?
- Yes, please reach out to Ed Tech TOSAs Sue Pastor, Cassiopeia Guthrie, or John Johnson (Edgenuity specialist) for assistance. If you have any ed tech questions, please visit http://bit.ly/euhsdedtech in lieu of email or text. This will increase their responsivity (all three Ed Tech TOSAs answer questions there) and help you get those techy questions answered quickly.
Q. If there is no subject-specific Blueprint in place for my course, what are my options for support?
- We recognize our teachers have been asked to work in new and different ways in our Distance Learning environment, and we greatly appreciate the engagement and passion of each of our educators. While some Blueprint courses were not developed over the summer, all courses remain eligible to be built as district Blueprint courses. Our goal is to have all courses collaboratively built by teachers who are currently teaching the courses. We encourage all teachers to take the Climb 4 Feedback Survey by 8:00 AM, Thursday, September 10 to share their feedback on Blueprint courses and to share their interest in assisting with our further work of developing curriculum modules in Blueprint courses.
Q. Why wasn’t one of the courses I will be teaching presented during the Curriculum Rollout?
- All Climb 4 designers were invited to share the incredible work they have been doing all summer and walked colleagues through the modules developed thus far in Canvas blueprint courses. Courses were listed in Sched for a preview (brief presentation) if there was a designer who worked on the course interested and available to provide that tour.
Q: What is Module 0 and when/how are we using it? Module 0 launches with lessons for periods 1-6. We are starting with block. Are we supposed to do the virtual bootcamp over two days then? What is the first week supposed to look like? When will we learn more about Module 0 and what the first week is supposed to look like?
- Module 0 is a module in all Canvas courses that offers activities teachers are encouraged to implement. Day 1 & 2 activities are intended to be jigsawed by period but could be assigned differently at teachers’ discretion. Teachers can deliver other activities if they wish. Each school site administration team will be messaging details on how their site will conduct student experiences during the first days of school. Watch this video to learn more about Mod 0.
Q. Are we to upload/copy the modules from the blueprint course into our personal site-based Canvas courses now?
- Any subject-specific content created by teacher designers working on blueprint courses starts with the Design Elements (including course icons and sample pages) have already been synced to site-based Canvas courses. If subject-specific content is not in site-based Canvas courses to this point, it likely means no teacher is working on that blueprint. Teacher should create content in their courses.
Q. I’m co-teaching English 10. How do I get access to the English 10 Canvas blueprint? My school still isn’t sure who I will be co-teaching with as the master schedule is still changing.
- Teachers can add co-teachers, BIAs, IAs, interpreters, etc. to their class with the appropriate Canvas role (Teacher or TA). Here’s how.
Q. The classes I made last semester (Spring) are still published. Do I delete or “unpublish” the classes I made and all their modules from last Spring? If so, how do I keep my assets (graphics, assignments, quizzes)?
- Unpublishing a course is the safest option which results in removing access enrolled to students and observers. Deleting a course with students, grades, and/or course assets to which you wish to retain access should NEVER be done. If a teacher wishes to archive all course content and prevent EVERYONE ENROLLED (teacher, student, TA, observers) from accessing the course, a teacher should choose “Conclude this Course” from the course Setting menu.
Q. I heard we are cutting curriculum by 40-60%. Isn’t this watering down the curriculum? Are others doing this in our county, state, nation?
- As many of you know, there is a difference between curriculum and standards. Standards are outlined by our state and are expectations of learning for students by grade level and subject. The curriculum process we are embarking on is not recommending cutting standards nor is it watering down curriculum. In fact, it is designed for quite the opposite result. Forty to sixty percent of our curriculum might be used to provide deep learning for students across all standards, with particular emphasis on essential standards as identified by teacher teams.
In EUHSD, different subjects have different approaches to volume and coverage of standards. The development of NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), for example, was methodical in prioritizing standards as well as identifying assessment boundaries to limit scope. Teachers of other subjects may be working with curriculum that covers topics that may go well beyond what is needed and beyond the state standards.
The intent of the content refinement is to allow our teachers and students to go more deeply into the content rather than rushing to “cover” the content, something that is tough in a regular year. Our district mission, vision, and subject area transfer goals call for deep learning, critical thinking, and collaboration.
With the likelihood of “toggling on/toggling off” schooling, it is possible that our classes may have the typical 5-hours of instruction split up as 1 hour of face-to-face instruction, 1 hour of synchronous instruction, and 3 hours of asynchronous instruction each week. By strategically refining the content and focusing on big ideas identified by teams of teachers, we will be better able to accommodate student learning in each of these models, taking into consideration the frequency of contact time with students and realities students and staff are facing in these uncertain times. This work is more critical than ever, as we anticipate embarking on another unusual year of learning.
EUHSD is not alone in this work either, as organizations and curricular leaders are suggesting this refinement nationwide. National curriculum leaders such as Jay McTighe, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, and Tony Wagner all speak to a future forward curriculum grounded in authentic, relevant, contemporary applications of learning. The Association for the Advancement in International Education has been supporting international schools through COVID-19 as well as post-pandemic and have multiple speakers (educators from around the world) calling for reduction of content. Finland revised their national curriculum in 2016 to make space for students to engage in more exploration and investigation.
Q. If my PLC and I shifted to Standards-Based Grading and have already identified essential standards, why are we being asked to do this work again? Where does the work we have already done fit in?
- The work already done in identifying essential standards is being used in climb 3 by site representatives as the design teams are sketching out reimagined courses
Q. What about AP courses? Can we build those out too?
- Yes. Originally, we were not sure how much interest we would have from teachers and wanted to ensure we were able to build out our college prep and SAI (Specialized Academic Instruction, formerly Basic) courses. In addition, there was an awareness from teachers and administrators that it may be premature to build out courses before guidance is provided by The College Board on any potential curriculum redesign.
However, in seeing the overwhelming support and participation by teachers and teachers feeling a strong urgency to build out AP courses now, we are happy to support collaborative teams of AP teachers in this work, following a similar approach in use by our course curriculum design teams. Please contact Jen Hughes (email@example.com) if you are interested in this.
AP courses are always guided by The College Board, including teacher certification. Thus, this is an optional area in which Ed Services is happy to support and is guided by teacher readiness/interest. There is the possibility that courses will need to be further adjusted in late summer/early fall should The College Board provide changes to course outlines.
Q. Why is there such a structured approach to the curriculum design?
- We are structuring the process across our courses based on the principles of Understanding by Design (Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe) in order to have guaranteed continuity of product for teachers and students. The consistency of first, best instruction across the district is a goal, and creating student-focused products necessitates us to move in the same development direction. In this way, there will be commonality in how students navigate and see the work, as our learning experiences are designed with the student in mind. This is even more important for our at-promise students such as Emerging Multilingual Learners, students with IEPs, and parents.
Q. Can the virtual design team go faster if it is ready and move into building the course(s) in Canvas LMS? Or do we need to stay with the pacing of other groups?
- There is flexibility in the process and pace. If a design team is ready and desires to move at a more rapid pace, they are encouraged to reach out to their facilitator.
Q. What if I wasn’t able to work on curriculum this summer? Will I be able to customize the curriculum for my students?
- Yes. The curriculum teams in July are beginning to build out a “blueprint” Canvas course for each course they are working on. Likely, we will have the first four to six weeks of instruction ready for teachers prior to launch. This will be available for teachers to use and customize so they don’t each have to reinvent the wheel. By having these “blueprint” courses, it allows the curriculum committees to get feedback from teachers and students and continue to refine and develop the course, pushing out new modules/units once they are ready. Teachers have the option to use and customize the modules based on the needs of their students and their content standards.
Q. If teams are able to include more than 60% of the essential standards, would this be an acceptable support for our students?
- We are still responsible for students learning all standards; however, the emphasis and focus of the time in class is on deeper learning around essential standards. The refining of 40-60% of content is a guideline, and teams are encouraged to focus on essential standards. The focus and permission is to refine and ensure the content and student tasks are sufficiently paced to provide time for critical thinking, collaboration, and deep learning.
Q. Will the modules be all asynchronous? Or will we be able to build in synchronous components?
- We will be building the modules in climb 4 so that students may interact with them either synchronously or asynchronously.
Q. Who is Allison Zmuda and why is she involved in the curriculum work in EUHSD?
- Allison Zmuda is a renowned educational consultant and author with expertise in personalized learning and curriculum design. She began working with the EUHSD in summer 2019 and was the keynote presenter at our Professional Learning Symposium in August. She began working with curricular teams in winter 2020. We partnered with her to accelerate and scale up our process due to the unexpected closure of school campuses due to COVID-19 and our desire to be more prepared for supporting students in fall 2020.
VAPA & Applicable CTE Courses
Q. Can we combine courses since our standards are meant to be 1-2 years long?
- Yes, this also accommodates for combo classes that are often in place for our VAPA & CTE pathways. Another suggestion is to add enrichment activities in modules for advanced students/courses.
Canvas LMS Gradebook
Q. I heard that we can do grading in Canvas, but I usually use Synergy. Do I have to change?
- No, not at all. One of the most requested features from our Canvas users is the ability for them to have the Canvas grades automatically transfer to Synergy so they don’t have to do double entry. We recently found out that we will be able to turn on this service, so that those who wish to use the Canvas gradebook will not have to do double-entry to enter those grades in Synergy. Teachers are welcome to use Canvas gradebook, Synergy gradebook, or both. The Canvas gradebook features are reviewed in the training, and additional training on this topic will be available in August for those who are interested.
Q. Is the district going to mandate how we setup our canvas course?
- No. The curriculum teams in July are beginning to build out a “blueprint” Canvas course for each course they are working on. Likely, we will have the first four to six weeks of instruction ready for teachers prior to launch. This will be available for teachers to use and customize so they don’t each have to reinvent the wheel. By having these “blueprint” courses, it allows the curriculum committees to get feedback from teachers and students and continue to refine and develop the course, pushing out new modules/units once they are ready. Teachers have the option to use and customize the modules based on the needs of their students and their content standards.
Q. Why is there a course template? Who is creating the template?
- There is not a course template with content, but there are common design elements and icons that will be consistent across courses, aligned with best practices in distance learning, and informed by Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. The purpose of having common course elements is to provide a consistent “look and feel” for our courses for student usability. By labeling our navigation bar and icons similarly, students will feel more comfortable in moving from course to course and finding what they are looking for. This is even more important for our at-promise students such as Emerging Multilingual Learners, students with IEPs, and parents.
A small working team of teachers and administrators are designing common course elements, with guidance from a Curriculum Advisory Committee.
Q. Could you please offer insight into how Edgenuity courses (specifically the core classes) fit into the curriculum redesign that we are planning for 2020-21? Will the identification of essential standards also apply to the curriculum we typically offer our independent study students?
- After we confirm our unit outline, tasks, and such for our Canvas courses, we may revisit the Edgenuity classes in the future and review them through the lens of essential standards. Edgenuity courses are designed in a way that allows for students to work independently with teacher support as necessary whether school is toggled on/off. These classes are already packaged to support students learning at their own pace and with all content standards, built in feedback to students, and additional support from their teacher of record.
Q. If we toggle on/off, how do we ensure deep learning/authentic assessment? All tests and quizzes in Edgenuity can be Googled. When we toggle on, can we require proctored exams?
- Yes, when we resume or “toggle on” schooling, we anticipate resuming proctored exams. In addition, the essays and projects assigned to students in Edgenuity classes are often more reflective of student learning. If there is a discrepancy between the quality of work on quizzes/tests and projects/essays, teachers are encouraged to have the conversation with students regarding the perceived discrepancy.
Q. Might we use Canvas LMS and the new courses in Independent Study (IS)?
- This will likely be an option for IS by Fall 2021, after we have all courses more fully built.
Q. I found a great online resource that I’d like to use with my students. If I purchase a license, will the district reimburse me?
- No. The district has a variety of software licenses and resources for teachers to use with their students. If a teacher finds another resource they are interested in, they may use a free version to pilot. However, individuals are not authorized to purchase licenses and be reimbursed for them. If you’d like support in finding a similar solution with software provided by the district, please email Damon Blackman.
Q. How is the district taking care of paying bills for previously made purchases?
- We are continuing to process payments for orders/invoices and mailing out payments to vendors once a week. We encourage anyone who is aware of any outstanding invoices to forward them to Business Services, so we can check the status of payment.
Q. Are we still able to make new purchases?
- Yes, we are still within the Business Services’ timelines for placing orders. Sites would need to place requisitions and get them approved in PeopleSoft.
Q. I made purchases prior to the closure. Is someone available to receive them? How do I go about obtaining those items?
- Initially we did pause all orders, so nothing has been received since we closed, but we are going to start receiving orders after Spring Break. We do not plan on delivering items to schools until they are reopened.
Q. Are conferences/travel requests still being processed? What is the timeline?
- At this time we are moving forward with travel requests for conferences held remotely, pending a review of the particular cancellation policies. We will not be processing hotel/overnight travel stays at this time. Online forms exist for travel request approval and should be routed via email through the appropriate channels.
Q. Are student field trips still being processed?
- At this time we are not moving forward with local field trip requests. We will not be processing hotel/overnight travel stays at this time.
Q. Are we still issuing the State Seal of Biliteracy to seniors who qualify?
- Yes, we have placed the order for the seals already.
Q. Are we still able to give out SAT/ACT fee waivers? Would we be able to perhaps take a picture of the fee waiver or email the code to the student per eligibility?
- No, as these tests have all been either canceled or postponed, we are not currently issuing the fee waivers.
Q. What is happening for students taking courses at Palomar College (OGHS & EHS)? Will they resume?
- Some EUHSD students are enrolled in Dual Enrollment Classes at Palomar College during the school day. All Palomar College courses will be delivered remotely. Palomar instructors will be contacting their students via email. It is vitally important that students frequently check their palomar.edu email for updates. Students who are seeking academic support or other basic need resources, should please visit the Student FAQsand our Quick Guide to Student Services. Palomar instructor, student services staff and other departments are available to answer questions remotely and can be reached via email or phone. Division and department directories are available on Palomar.edu Palomar has designed a new TeachAnywhere website for our faculty which contains resources and FAQs.
Palomar will work with EUHSD dual enrollment students on accessing Canvas (LMS), PeopleSoft, and Palomar email.
Q. Are state tests still taking place this year?
- In the Assessment Spotlight, Issue 85, dated March 20, 2020, the California Department of Education provided an update about statewide testing this school year. We are not to worry about any statewide testing this school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) is doing the following:
- Suspending all CAASPP testing
- Suspending Summative ELPAC testing
- Placing the Physical Fitness Test on hold until students return to school
- Placing high school equivalency testing on hold until testing centers are reopened
In addition, if a school is back in session, the expectation is that the Initial ELPAC will be administered to students for initial identification, as required by California Education Code Section 313(a). However, Senate Bill 117 extended the timeline to conduct the Initial ELPAC by 45 days. Local educational agencies should continue to assess newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English when they return to school. This will ensure that new students who are English learners can receive the appropriate instruction and services.
The CDE will continue to make available the following resources to support teaching and learning:
- Practice tests, training tests, interim assessments, and Digital Library formative assessment tools and resources for CAASPP
- Practice tests and training tests for ELPAC
Students received textbooks and, if needed, laptop computers. In addition, certain subjects requiring hands-on material provided instructional materials kits (e.g. math, science, VAPA, CTE).
In addition, all students will receive a set of standard instructional materials. Unfortunately, many of the following materials have had supply delays and will be received by school sites closer to the start of the school year:
- 2 mechanical pencils
- 2 pens (likely one blue, one black)
- 1 notebook with 5-subject areas
- 1 graph notebook
- 1 measuring tape, double-sided (60 inches/150 centimeters)
We are able to support certain software at a district level at this time. If you have ideas for software solutions that are widely applicable and meet a current need, please submit them to EdServices@euhsd.org.
Q. If I teach Independent Study (IS) and my student conferences are regularly taking 30 minutes each week, how do I fit in office hours daily as well?
- We appreciate our dedicated IS staff who spend time one on one with each student weekly, reviewing work and supporting their progress. As we shared in our beginning of the year meetings and trainings, we encourage flexibility in the use of office hours, as one on one weekly meetings with students can also count for what might be done during the “office hours” time. The intention is to be available to support students, and if that is being done sufficiently through the weekly meetings, teachers may have flexibility in the use of their time.IS leads across the district meet regularly throughout the year to discuss and reflect on what is working and areas for improvement. We encourage all IS staff to share their thoughts and suggestions with their IS lead staff member(s), so that the team is representing our growing team and experience.