for example the same science course with multiple periods of students
does this create different gradebooks...of is this automatically designed when the county imports?
There is only one gradebook per Canvas course. Adding sections is an organizational thing and if you have different periods, then I would recommend it. You can filter by section in the gradebook or Speedgrader so you can see and enter just one section at a time.
You can also assign different due dates to sections using differentiated assignments. That means that if you have something come up and you miss one period for a school event or a weather cancels part of a day, you can change the dates for just those periods affected.
The school district, through your local Canvas Administrator, would need to set that up. Some schools use it and some don't, although I highly recommend adding the sections if you have some way of determining them, which it sounds like you do. You don't have to use them, but it's better to have it and not use it than to not have it available and need it.
You might also get some benefit from this page in the Canvas Admin Guide: What is the hierarchical structure for Canvas accounts? , especially the part about "View Courses and Sections".
Thank you...we are just rolling this out and each school (only 4 in the district) has a tech coach. I know there will lots of questions on this. Also thanks for the hierarchal link...I was looking for something like that to try and understand.
In that case, you may also find this discussion useful. Understanding Courses and Sections
It's long, but it gives good information about the different ways that you can set up courses and sections.
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