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Community Participant

Specialists (Art, Music, and PE) in Elementary Canvas Courses

I am a technology integrator in the Oshkosh Area School District in Wisconsin.  We currently have 3 pilot elementary schools in Canvas, but we will have 10 more in the Fall of 2021.  The new elementary UI looks promising, but my question to the community is how do other districts organize their specialists' courses?  Our specialists teach K-5, and each have multiple schools.  Should they get a tile for every grade they teach?  That would mean over 12 course tiles.  Should we crosslist all the grades that are the same?  That would bring them down to 6 tiles with multiple sections in each.  Does anyone foresee issues with setting up specialists this way (e.g. global announcements for one school will go to students at the other)?  Is there a better way for these teachers to organize their courses?

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Community Participant

Currently our specialists generally cross-list each grade level together.  For example, they would have a first grade music course with all of their first grade sections inside.  We haven't really used global announcements this year, but plan on doing so more next year.  If a principal/teacher posts global announcements within a sub-account, however, the announcement will only be seen by those students in the sub-account.  At the course level, the teacher can designate which sections see the announcement in case there is something building-specific.  I'm not sure if that's the best method or not, but it seems to be working well for them this year.

Community Participant

Thank you for your response.  This is what we are leaning towards.  It has been interesting training elementary teachers when they will be getting a new user interface.  It might change how we do some things, especially our homepages. 

Community Participant

The cross-listing per grade/school is what we have in mind as well. We combined music, PE and counselors for K-5 in what they called a 'wellness center'. Im interested in seeing how it all works with the new layout and subjects for both students and teachers.

Community Contributor

HI @timothy_kohl , in Blue Valley Schools, we have setup our instance first by subaccounts. We have 21 elementary schools so we have 21 sub-accounts in Canvas for elementary. Then we create a general classroom tile where the classroom teacher posts math, science, ELA, social studies assignments and work. Then we create a separate course for each specials (art, music, PE, Spanish). So the students will have five courses plus an All-student school course that we use for communication, library and counselor resources. Finally, we leverage the global announcements to post things to the student dashboard. 

Community Champion

Through SIS, each teachers receives one Canvas course for each unique course ID assigned to them. If they teach multiple sections of the same course (ex. Grade 1 Music or English 11), all sections feed to the same Canvas course. So, a specialist may have 6 different Canvas courses at a given school. Because of our subaccount structure, if they are split between schools they would have a different set of courses at the other school. This could be 12 courses, but most of our specialists don't teach all grade levels at all their schools.

Community Member

My district has 38 elementary campuses. Our specials teachers (music, art, PE, stem) receive one course tile per grade level. Each of the homeroom classes within that course are separate sections, as they attend the class on different days of the week. We do not have any elementary teachers who teach at multiple campuses, but we have some middle school dyslexia teachers who teach at multiple campuses and they do crosslist their courses of the same level into one course tile. The students are still separated in sections by their home campus, so it is possible to make specific campus announcements to the individual sections.

Community Participant

Thanks to those of you who replied.  I think we will be giving a course tile per grade level for each specialist teacher.  That would mean they could get at least 12 tiles if they teach in more than one school.  The grade levels can be cross listed so they should only have one tile per grade. I think we are going to leave it up to the specialist teacher.  Some may want to keep their schools separate because of different physical learning spaces and student needs.