Google Classroom

In an effort to help students and parents with remote learning, all of our teachers are using Google Classroom as a hub for announcements and assignments, when possible. Below are some short videos to help you get started with Classroom.

In addition, check out Common Sense Media's "Parents' Ultimate Guide to Google Classroom," for much more information.

Parent/Guardian Summaries

Shortly after rolling out Google Classroom, Google added the feature that allows teachers to invite a parent or guardian of a student to receive email summaries regarding their student's activity in Classroom.

There are very often some misunderstandings about what including a parent/guardian email actually does. Let's start with what it does not do. Providing your email to a teacher to be added to your student in Classroom does NOT give you direct access to Google Classroom. There is no way for parents to actually be invited into a Google class. To be clear, your child's teacher cannot invite you into their Google Classroom because Google Classroom was not designed to allow it.

So, what does giving your child's teacher your email get you? It signs you up for what Google calls "Parent/Guardian Summary" emails. To clarify, these come to your email inbox; at no point do you need to go to the Google Classroom website, and you won't be able to do anything there if you do.

The email summaries you receive will only tell you for your child:

  • missing work - If a student does not click the button to turn in a completed assignment, it is marked as missing.

  • upcoming work - Depending on how frequently you choose to receive the summaries (see below) this will be a list of assignments with due dates within the next week.

  • class activities - This will be any announcements or assignments the teacher has posted since the last summary.

Email summaries will NOT include grades or any information about your child's progress. For that, you will need to contact the teacher directly, or use the SchoolTool Parent Portal.

If your child is in multiple Google Classrooms (often the case with different classes being set up for different subjects), when you are signed up for summaries in one class, you are automatically signed up for summaries in all of them, even if the classes are with different teachers. You will receive one summary email that contains the information for all of the classes your child belongs to.

If you do not receive a summary when one would normally be scheduled to come, depending on your chosen frequency (see below), it means one of two things. First, it could mean that there has been no new activity in Classroom since your last summary, so there is nothing new to tell you. It could also mean that the teacher has turned off summaries for the class. If you are not sure which of the two is the case, contact your child's teacher directly.

Here is how you get started and what summaries:

When you are first signed up by the teacher, you will get an email asking you to confirm that you wish to receive summaries. You will need to click the Accept button in the email in order to start receiving regular summary emails.

You and your child will then get a confirmation email from Google saying you have been signed up to receive summaries.

At the bottom of each summary email you receive, you will see options to manage the settings for your summaries, or unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive them.

In order to access the settings, you need to be using a Google account. If the email you used to sign up for the summaries is not associated with a Google account, the page you will go to after you click Settings will let you sign up for a free Google account using that email address. Doing so will then let you access the settings.

In the settings, you can choose how often you want to receive summary emails from Classroom.

Again, remember that whether you choose daily or weekly, you will only receive a summary if there has been any new activity in Classroom since your last summary email.

If you feel you need more direct access to your child's Google Classroom so you can monitor their progress, etc., then you will either need to sit down with them as they are using Classroom. Again, your child's teacher cannot give you direct access to the Classroom in any other way because that is not a feature that exists in Google Classroom.

Joining a Class in Google Classroom (Students Only)

Getting Around in a Class & Turning in an Assignment