Virtual Instruction Parent Toolkit
As students begin virtual instruction, they are going to engage in live instruction and support on most days and have access to school staff five days a week. They will also have learning experiences and assignments that occur outside of the live classroom experience. Families are asked to support their children to the best extent possible as they adjust to the virtual classrooms, lessons and assignments. Resources are provided below to better assist families as they nurture and guide their children to be successful this fall.
The HCPSS 2020-2021 virtual instruction model provides students with synchronous learning with their teachers four days each week. The remaining instructional time is designated for students to complete asynchronous learning activities and assignments. Students also have daily opportunities to access additional synchronous supports.
Secondary StudentsHigh school and middle school students are enrolled in four class periods in the fall semester and four class periods in the spring semester. One class period could include two semester-long classes.
Students in grades K-5 will engage in synchronous lessons four days a week via Google Meet in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), language arts and mathematics. Students will engage in science, social studies or health via Google Meet two days each week. Elementary students also will engage in related arts synchronous lessons via Google Meet two days each week.
Prekindergarten students will engage in daily synchronous lessons four days a week. Lessons will be interdisciplinary in nature, with a focus on literacy, science, social- emotional learning and mathematics, and will be delivered in both the small- and whole-group setting.
Canvas and Google Meet
Students will participate in virtual instruction with online classes via Google Meet. All Google Meet instruction requires a login code that can be found in the student’s Canvas. Students will use Canvas for calendars, class assignments, announcements, discussions, grades and more.
What is Canvas and how do I log in?
Canvas is a web-based learning management system, or LMS. It is used by HCPSS schools, teachers and students to access and manage online course learning materials and communicate about skill development and learning achievement.
Students may log in to Canvas using the Canvas student mobile app or via web browser:
- Go to hcpss.me
- Select the Canvas button at the top of the page
- Log in with student credentials
Parents/guardians also may access Canvas to track upcoming assignments and class/school events, communicate with your child’s teachers, and monitor grades and course progress. Parents may download the Canvas Parent mobile app or log in online. Parents will log in using the same credentials as when logging in to HCPSS Connect/Synergy for Family File, report cards, etc.Parents may use the Forgot Password feature in HCPSS Connect if needed.
- Go to HCPSS Connect
- Select the blue HCPSS Connect Login button
- Log in with parent/guardian credentials
- Select More Options from the left menu
- Select Canvas from the middle of the page
Please note! Parents/guardians using the same computer as their child should make sure children are logged out of Canvas prior to accessing.
Both students and parents may find these online Canvas orientation videos and guides to be useful for learning more about Canvas, how to set notification preferences, viewing grades and more.
What is Google Meet and how does a student get in a class?
Google Meet is a video conferencing application that teachers will use to facilitate virtual instruction.
Google Meet codes are available in the student’s Canvas calendar and/or announcements. Please note! Google Meet codes are not viewable via the parent Canvas.
Student joining a Google Meet:
- Go to to hcpss.me
- Select the G Suite button
- Log in with student credentials, if not already logged in
- Select the Google apps waffle menu at the top right corner
- Select Google Meet
- Type in meeting code found in Canvas
- Choose camera and microphone options (you can select or unselect these at any time during a Meet)
- Select Join Now
Additional Google Meet resources and videos are available online.
Occasionally, students may have issues with HCPSS virtual instruction platforms. If the Google Meet and Canvas online resources do not provide resolution, email your child’s teacher(s) with the problem. Your child can work on other assignments in Canvas and/or another learning platform used by their teachers, such as Lexia Core5 or DreamBox at the elementary level or Actively Learn at the middle and high school levels, until the issue is resolved.
Need Help? Ask your child’s teacher and/or library media specialist via email or Canvas Inbox. Contact information can be found on the school’s website. Families also may find the following to be helpful:
- Student Technology Resources: Provides guides, resources and videos for HCPSS student technology
- HCPSS Connect Parent Resources: Provides guides and videos for HCPSS Connect—including Synergy, Canvas and Family File
What if I don’t know or I forgot my log in?
All students are provided with credentials used to log in to HCPSS computers and applications. Parents/guardians with children new to the system were emailed login information. Students may use Account Self-Service to retrieve usernames and/or reset passwords. Self-Service is linked off the hcpss.me website or directly at:
How can my child borrow a laptop?All elementary school students will be provided with an HCPSS Chromebook. While additional devices are being procured, parents/guardians of middle or high school students in need may request one. Full details can be found online.
How do I use a Chromebook?HCPSS-issued Chromebooks include a start up guide packaged with the device. Additionally:
What Are My Responsibilities?
A successful virtual instruction program requires collaboration and shared responsibilities among students, educators and families. These best practices are offered to support families in transitioning to virtual instruction in the home environment.
As we support learning through virtual instruction, these tips and suggestions are offered to support families in transitioning to a home-based learning environment.