Shrewsbury EdTech

Tech resources for Shrewsbury Public School educators

What Parents Can and Cannot See in Schoology

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There appears to be some confusion over what parents can and cannot see in Schoology. I’m hoping this blog post clarifies things a bit. Keep in mind though, different schools (elementary vs middle vs high school) may have different settings. When in doubt, talk with your school administrators.

Viewing parents who have joined your course or group

As we move forward with Schoology as the official LMS (learning management system” for Shrewsbury, our goal is to ultimately get all parents to register. Like some other middle school teams this year, we are transitioning away from our trusty team website and putting all of resources in Schoology. Since we want all parents to see these resources, it’s important to know just how many of them have registered with their child’s access code, which is found in PowerSchool.

The easiest way to do this is to view the members in your Schoology course or group. When looking at the student names, you hopefully notice that some of them have a small gray name listed below. This is their parent. If there are two names, then both parents have registered. If there are no names listed below the student, neither parent has registered.

What Parents CANNOT See

Before I explain what parents can see in Schoology, it’s probably easier if I start with what they do not have access to view. This is slightly different in courses vs groups.

Schoology groups: Parents are not able to view names, photos, or comments of any student other than their own child. If there is a discussion thread, they can view comments made by the teacher and their child only. All other student names and comments are blurred out.

Schoology courses: Parents are not able to view names or photos of any student other than their own child. If there is a discussion thread, they can view comments made by the teacher and their child, as well as other students in the class. All other student names are blurred out.

What Parents CAN See

Parents can see everything you and their child post in Schoology:

  • Materials
  • Updates
  • Discussions
  • Gradebook

The important piece here is the Gradebook. Parents can view all assignment grades, whether you want parents to be able to view them or not. (This may not be true for the high school.) Whenever you give students a graded assignment that is submitted into Schoology, that assignment gets added to your gradebook.

This has caused some confusion for teachers and parents at the middle school level because some teachers are not using Schoology as their official gradebook. It contains some grades but not all. When parents view the gradebook, they assume  those are all of their child’s grades. To add to the confusion, the Schoology gradebook defaults to showing an overall average grade column, which makes no sense in our standards-based grading system. Parents and students see this overall percentage grade and get an inaccurate perception of their child’s grade, especially if not all grades are recorded in Schoology.

In order to change this setting and remove the overall grade column (and I recommend you do), follow these steps:

Gradebook -> Grade Setup -> Final Grade Settings -> “Hide overall grade from student reports.”

Parent Email Digest and Overdue Notifications Email

Rather than having parents log in to Schoology to see information on their child, they can now have information sent to them! Once parents register for Schoology, they can update their notification settings in order to receive automated emails. Parents can receive an email every time their child has an overdue assignment. They can also choose to receive a parent email digest, either every day or once per week, that summarizes their child’s activity in Schoology.


Author: Mr. Mularella

Middle school science teacher/world traveler

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