Simplified: The Sioux Falls School District has a new way for parents and students to connect with their classrooms. Here’s what you need to know about the district’s new learning management system.

Why it matters

  • The district has long used learning management systems, but the switch this fall will bring all K-12 schools onto one consistent platform called Canvas. In the past, different grade levels and schools have had different systems.
  • Now, a parent with kids in elementary, middle and high school can track all three kids' classes using the same software rather than toggling between programs like Google Classroom and SeeSaw.
  • The district has been training teachers on the new software since the spring. District officials didn't respond to a request for the total cost for the switch, but analysis of board minutes shows more than $1.7 million in authorized spending with Instructure – Canvas' parent company – between training, setup, and subscriptions.
"I really think it's a great tool for parents and students to just keep track of their work and grades," school board member Kate Serenbetz said.

Tell me more about the app

Parents, students and staff can all access Canvas either on desktop or via app, and the app sends notifications with updates.

Students, for example, will see a dashboard with all of their classes, a "to do" list of assignments, a calendar of important dates, a way to receive messages from teachers and more.

What happens next?

You can access Canvas through the Sioux Falls School District website.

Staff training and support for all users will be ongoing as the district transitions over to the software this fall. They're taking it "slow and steady," as Assistant Superintendent Teresa Boysen told board members Monday evening.

"All teachers will continue to receive professional learning needed to ensure they’re using Canvas in all classrooms," Boysen said.