Using Canvas With Your Student

Canvas is West Des Moines Community Schools’ official learning management system. A learning management system is software that helps provide, track, and report on classes and assignments. For Project-Based Learning Network (PBLN) courses, Canvas is replacing ECHO to make things more consistent for WDMCS students and families.

Canvas FAQ

How do families access Canvas to observe their learner’s progress?
Create an account using a Student Pairing Code obtained from your student. Once you’ve created an account and logged in, you will have access to the Dashboard and gradebooks.

Get the Full Instructions: Create a Canvas Parent Account

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Where can I see my child’s grades?
If your child is not in the PBLN pathway, their grades are stored in Infinite Campus, not Canvas. Teachers may use Canvas to store digital resources and assignments.

If your child is in the PBLN pathway in grades 7-12, Canvas provides a list of their assignments and projects. When you click on “Grades” in the Course Navigation Menu, there are two different gradebooks. The first stop is “Assignments.” This area is used by some PBLN facilitators to assess the Knowledge and Thinking learning outcome. Facilitators may also use the Learning Mastery gradebook to show student progress in more detail. Learn more about the different grade books in the “How to Navigate Canvas as Parent/Observer” video.

Where will letter grades be reported?
All official letter grades will continue to be reported at the end of each term in Infinite Campus for grades 7-12. Infinite Campus is required for state reporting. It helps the district manage student information, attendance, and enrollments.

Even for PBLN courses?
PBLN learners receive feedback on the five New Tech Learning Outcomes (NTLOs). These are weighted and calculated to provide the letter grade reported in Infinite Campus. The weights for each learning outcome are:

  1. Knowledge & and Thinking Outcomes and Course Standards—52%
  2. Oral Communication—12%
  3. Written Communication—12%
  4. Collaboration—12%
  5. Agency—12%

I’m a WDMCS employee; why won’t my district email let me create a parent/observer account?
If you are a WDMCS employee as well as a WDMCS parent, you will not be able to use your district-issued single sign-on process. You will need to use your personal email account to log into Canvas as a parent observer.

NEWSLETTER: Stay updated with the latest edition of Canvas News