Family Resource Hub

Chesterfield County Public Schools

Parent Account Creation and Access

Read this first! #

This page will provide directions to create an account using a desktop browser. While the Parent mobile app provides an on-the-go glimpse at course calendars and due dates, Canvas provides a much richer observer experience on desktop browsers, where much more content is available view using an interface similar to a student’s. We encourage you to access Canvas via a desktop browser to view more content and communicate with your student’s teachers.

Before beginning to create an account in Canvas, please ensure that you are using a supported browser. Canvas supports the current and first previous releases of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Parents and guardians often desire the ability to see their students’ course assignments, due dates, announcements, and other content.  Chesterfield County Public Schools values and encourages parent and guardian participation in the student learning process.  The district has enabled parents and guardian Canvas account creation and self-enrollment. These accounts can be linked to those of their students. 

What can observers do in Canvas?

  • Read course announcements
  • See the course assignments page
  • Preview course documents
  • View the course syllabus
  • See course outcomes (learning standards)
  • View the course calendar
  • Examine their student’s grades on assignments
  • Access their student’s conversations
  • Communicate with the course instructor

What can observers not do in Canvas?

  • Submit assignments
  • Read course discussions
  • Take quizzes
  • Join course groups
  • Send messages to students (other than the one they are observing)
  • See course rosters
  • See unpublished courses

Please be aware:

  • That the permissions referenced above are given to parent and guardian observers, but individual teachers are able to customize their course menus to better suit the needs of their specific classes. You may not be able to view each of the features listed under “What can observers do in Canvas?” if a classroom teacher does not make use of a specific feature. 
  • That the student must have an account and be enrolled in Canvas courses before the parent or guardian can sign up to observe the student.

Instructions for Co-enrolling in Canvas as an Observer #

Prior to Enrolling: Have your student generate a student pairing code from their own account in Canvas. This is done by clicking on the student’s profile picture and selecting the “Settings” option.

Step One: Navigate to You will see the screen on the right. 

Step Two: Click on “Parent of a Canvas User? Click Here For an Account” link in the upper right-hand corner.

Step Three: Complete the Registration Form and click the blue “Start Participating” button. Enter the student pairing code  your student generated earlier in the field highlighted by the red box. 
Step Four: Get Started! You will be taken to your Canvas account dashboard. You can now log in at any time by navigating to the URL in Step One. We recommend you bookmark it for easy reference! 

Do you have more than one student in CCPS?

If you have more than one student who is working in one or more classes in Canvas, click here to learn how to link to and observe additional students.

How do I link a student to my user account as an observer? #

If you signed up for a Canvas account as a parent, you can add students to observe within the same institution. Additionally, if an institution created an observer account linked to a student for you, you can add students to observe.

To link yourself to a student, you will need to enter a student-specific pairing code. Pairing codes are case sensitive and are valid for seven days. Students can generate pairing codes from their User Settings. Depending on institution permissions, admins and instructors may also be able to generate pairing codes. For more information on pairing codes, view the Pairing Codes – Frequently Asked Questions PDF.


  • You cannot add students whose accounts are not within your same institution (Canvas URL). To observe students in another institution, you must sign up for an account using that institution’s Canvas URL.
  • If you are not able to access all of a student’s courses, the option to link to additional students is not available to you.
  • Once you have linked to a student from the Observing page, you cannot remove the student. To remove a student, please contact the student’s instructor.

Open User Settings

Open User Settings

In Global Navigation, click the Account link [1], then click the Settings link [2].

Open Observing

Open Observing

In User Navigation, click the Observing link.

Add Student

Add Student

Type the pairing code in the Student Pairing Code field [1] and click the Add Student button [2].

View Student

View Student

View the paired student.

Video Instructions #

Video Instructions - Spanish #

Updated on July 22, 2021
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