Online Learning FAQs

Can parents/guardians access Canvas?


In addition to student Canvas accounts, parents have an ‘observer’ role in Canvas. This role will link parents to their student(s) courses within Canvas.  Parent access will be available by September 1. Parents can learn more about Canvas by vising our Canvas for Parents & Guardians 101 

To login (available Sept. 1), go to:  

Username: parent email as listed in Skyward  

Click “Forgot password” to create your password. Once logged in, your student(s) classes will show on the Dashboard.  

More information about Canvas Family App including a video overview can be found here:



What if I need Tech Support while we are at home? 

A student/family tech support hotline has been set up. The hotline will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day (Monday – Friday). The phone number is: 425-837-6371. IT staff members will be able to help with school computer login problems and MS365 login issues.   

Account information for other programs can be found on the district website. 



I am hopeful that teachers will be teaching live via teams or similar during each class period. I am hopeful that students will be required to have their camera turned on during the entire class period. I guess my question is, is this the case? I think engagement is much higher when kids have the accountability of the camera on and I would love to see more consistency with all teachers being live in front of classes each period.


With our new schedule this year, teachers will be delivering synchronous (live) teaching every period.  However, there is not an expectation that they are delivering instruction live the entire two hour block.  We are envisioning that there might be a variety of activities that a student could participate within that two hour block of time.  A mini lesson could be delivered live and then the students might be given time to complete a task independently, or perhaps work in small groups, or the teacher might assign them to collaborate in a breakout room.  There might be an entry task that all students participate in as the class logs in and attendance is taken, and then might be given a live lesson, and then asked to complete a task or project independently, and then they could rejoin the class all together so that the teacher could check for understanding, give an exit task, and explain what they should be working on before meeting again.  What the class period will look like will depend on where they are in the learning cycle.  As far as turning on the camera, it really will depend on what’s happening at that time in the class.  We want to honor the comfort level of all of our students.  I think that will be a classroom discussion that our teachers will have with their students.  When is it appropriate to have your cameras turned on, and when is it okay to have them turned off.  Some students might have other families working in the background that they may not want others to see.  We will be talking about student behaviors online and want our students to focus on the learning and not each other.



What if my child misses the scheduled online classes? Will there be a recorded video to watch?


Yes, all teachers will have a recorded video of the lesson that students can watch asynchronously if they miss the scheduled online class.



How are the teachers being prepared to run full online classes? Earlier this year when ISD went online, my observation was that my daughter was getting too much of homework she could cope up with. She struggled to upload the work and continued to get hit on her grades due to missing/late assignments. Felt the teachers might be offloading their "challenges" on running online classes effectively to the students with more homework. 

Teachers are being trained on using Canvas which is our new online learning management tool.  There are many features of Canvas that we will be teaching to our students as we begin the year that might help with managing assignments and turning things in.  My suggestion would be to keep communicating with your teachers to let them know about the workload, and together you can come up with solutions.  I am committed to checking in with our students and parents at least once a month to see how things are going, and what tweaks need to be made.  We still have our team of staff ready to support our students.  Please reach out to a counselor, teacher, or administrator to share your experiences and we can help problem solve together.  Everyone’s situation is unique, and we encourage you to reach out to let us know what you are experiencing, so we can help.


Will ALL teachers be required to be online and teach?





Will teachers teach vs. sending our students to 3rd party sites leaving the teaching to other people? How will they be held accountable to this?


There are many resources available that teachers and students can access to support their learning. Our teachers work very hard to create lessons that are engaging and meet the needs of our students. We do have district adopted curriculum, but teachers are able to use supplemental materials in class. If you have specific questions, please reach out to the individual teacher to share your concerns.



Will you be able to include in the video a presentation of how the new Canvas will work as well as the other technology the kids will be expected to use?

Canvas has many videos that students and parents can watch and explore before school starts. 

Here is a video for parents with an overview



How are you marking absences?

We are still awaiting guidance as far as how we are taking attendance each period, and how to account for students that are watching the videos asynchronously.



Will teachers be mindful of due dates for major assignments/projects so students are not overwhelmed?

Yes, that is our hope.  We encourage grade level teams to meet once a month to talk about major assignments and assessments that our students will be experiencing.  I encourage you to reach out to the individual teachers as well if you have concerns. 


Since this will be our first year at BLMS can you share what is recommended for progress monitoring (what's too much, what's a good balance) to have insight during a trimester on how my child is keeping up. I also know that be practices for this maybe from pre-covid - just general information on how to foster student independence.

I think this really depends on each individual student.   As a parent, you will have the ability to be an observer in Canvas, which will give you insight into what is happening.  Our teachers will reach out to you if they are concerned or notice that your child is not engaging.  We do have mid trimester grade checks and that is a great time to check in and ask the teacher questions. 

Sometimes my student needs more time grasping a concept or problem and is reluctant to “raise his hand” online.  If the teacher moves too quickly, he will get lost and fall behind. Will teachers have dedicated time to cover the days lesson, should there be any questions from the students? Or is that time reserved for Wednesdays? 

There will be built in time during the 
two hour block where students can ask questions, similar to when they were together in the building.

Although my student is an A-B student, the mental stress of keeping up last spring was too much for him to grasp as he would be sitting at his computer for 8 hours every day. Will the teachers be more understanding of overloading homework and assignments and considering the mental health of our kids that are trying to navigate everything independently from home?

I would encourage you to keep the communication lines open with teachers, counselors and administrators to let us know what is happening at home.  Together we can problem solve a plan to support our students. 


I wanted to ask how would you be able to guide children who need extra guidance/ counseling?

You will be able to reach out to counselors when you need support. They will be meeting with students individually and in groups.



What is the Teacher: Student ratio, as we are going online?

That depends on enrollment which is changing daily right now. 

How will the homework and grading be done?

Our teachers will be able to explain this to you once we begin school.  Similar to when we are in the building, each teacher will have a course syllabus and course expectations.  They will be able to share how grades will be calculated this year. 



What about Tests?

Yes, teachers will be assessingstudents this year. 

Also, are you still doing no harm grading?


This year we will be giving grades to students.  We have an A-F grading scale.


How will they have social interaction with other kids?

Students will be able to see their classmates online in their classes, and during our advisory time. We are exploring other options such as virtual clubs or possibly a virtual lunchroom to hang out with friends, but we don’t have that in place at this time. 

How will collaboration projects be managed?

All students have an office365 account which allows them access to share documents and resources as well as use Teams.   I found that to be a wonderful collaborative space.


Will you be monitoring how much homework outside of the typical school day will be assigned? My concern is keeping my kids motivated and engaged for 6 plus hours a day online and then having additional work on top of that after the school day ends. I think Zoom fatigue is real and the kids need downtime so they don’t burn out.


Yes, we will be monitoring everything this year. I’m not promising perfection, but I do know that our staff are working really hard to learn and prepare for this year. I am committed to providing opportunities for students and parents to continue to share their feedback each month so that we can problem solve together. I am envisioning some of the Wednesday time being a time to complete work before they attend the block class again. I agree though, we need to balance school time and downtime. Students need to step away from the computer and the school work and focus on their mental health, exercise, engage in a hobby, and focus every day on something that brings them joy.



Will teachers encourage and facilitate creation of small study groups that can meet at parent houses if need be?

I think that is something that students can arrange on their own. Teachers will not be a part of facilitating at-home study groups. Students will have the ability to plan study groups and perhaps meet online through Teams as a virtual study group. They will learn more about that from their teachers.



Besides Canvas, what other technology will be used (Teams, Zoom, etc) so we can determine what computers or calculators are needed?

Yes, Teams or Zoom will be used for the live portion of the class.   You can contact your math teacher for more information about specific calculators needed. 


Will teachers be checking in with students and/or parents if work is not submitted on time?





Will students be able/encouraged to interact with each other via whatever video portal is being used for classes?

There will be built in time for peer to peer interactions.  Teachers have the ability to facilitate small group discussions, possible break out rooms, or team chats. 

What if my child gets bored during online classes?  He usually picks up stuff fast and finishes up work quickly. Will there be any extra work for students like him or are they supposed to sit and wait online? 

I encourage you to reach out to the individual teacher to come up with a plan.  I would anticipate that the block class might be broken up into different learning activities.  Your child might finish early and have time before the whole class is brought together again.  Independent work might be given in the middle of the class or at the end of the class. 



How will they do PE?


Your PE teacher will be able to explain what their class will look like this year. Focusing on physical and mental health is so important, and students will still be able to use Welnet to set goals and record progress.



Will students be using school textbooks at home?

Yes, some of our textbooks are online and students will access those through ClassLink.  Some courses do have physical textbooks that can be checked out and we will be sharing more information about that once we have a district plan for how to distribute materials.



Will live teaching minutes be consistent for all classes? 





Will students be on their computers during the entire class time or will it be a combination of online instruction and independent work? 

There will be a combination of online instruction, independent work, small groups, etc. 


Will there be additional homework after 6 hours of online school?

Homework may be assigned, but they do have Wednesday dedicated as independent work time.


How will we receive our schedule?


Schedules will be released on Friday, August 28th at 8:00 AM.  You can log into Family Access and will be able to see the schedule. 


I assume you and the teachers plan to spend a decent amount of time getting everyone rolling with canvas. 

Yes, we will be working on spending time helping students understand how to navigate through Canvas.  They will get a lot of hands on experience as we work through the different block classes.  I only suggest the tutorials if students are feeling anxious and would like to explore before we start school.


For those of us who chose online only will it all run the same or will those kids be looking at a different schedule/setup?

All of our students will be following the same schedule and will participate in our back to school events and modules during the first week of school. 


What is the plan for music classes?  

The ISD Music Program will continue to provide high quality learning opportunities for our students in online learning. We are excited to incorporate new ways to collaborate. Students will create, perform, respond and connect through Canvas, Smartmusic, and MusicFirst. Smartmusic is a browser-based music education platform that facilitates focused practice, assessment, and immediate feedback. Students will have access to the largest music library in the industry. It has a vast selection of ensemble and solo titles. Using Smartmusic, students will engage in sight reading, composition, professional-referenced recordings and be able to share their performances. 

MusicFirst provides students with a collaborative platform and online music studio where students can record and perform ensembles. These 21st Century music skills will broaden our students’ knowledge and continue to be part of our program when we are all able to be back together in person again. 


How will kids do electives, mine has taken music, we don’t have instruments or ability to buy, what options do we have?

Please reach out to Mr. Murphy (Band) or Mrs. Vail (Orchestra) and they will be able to help with your options. 


Will it be possible to practice music at the school in the gym or cafeteria?

At this point we are not able to bring students into the building for classes.


My daughter has registered for the yearbook class.  Will the curriculum for this class be adjusted given remote learning?  Will they even be able to produce a yearbook?  Can it be more of a graphic design class?

Yes, we are working with our Yearbook company and are excited to partner with them to explore some of their curriculum and online options.  Mrs. Richards will be able to share more about the course and what students will be creating.