Changes to the Canvas app and authentication system in early August caused our previous instructions for using the parent app to no longer work.  Please follow the instructions below to create a parent/guardian account, to access Canvas Parent from a computer web browser, to set up the Canvas Parent iOS/Android app, and to obtain a student pairing code from a student account.  Teachers can find instructions for how to obtain student pairing codes here.  

Creating a Parent/Guardian Account and Accessing Canvas Parent via a Computer Web Browser

The first step for most parents/guardians will be to create an account and link it to their student(s).  

  1. Go to
  2. Click the “Click Here for an Account” button in the top right corner of the page
  3. Enter your name, email address, choose a password, and enter a student pairing code. 
    1. NOTE: Student pairing codes can be generated by the student themselves (see video here) or can be provided by a student’s teacher(s).  Step-by-step instructions for getting a code from a student account are at the bottom of this post.  
  4. Check the box to agree to terms of use, and click “Start Participating”
  5. Once you’ve logged in, you can click “Account” in the top left, then “Settings”, then “Observing” to add additional students.  
  6. After creating an account, you can return to the page to log in via a web browser.  

Setting Up the Canvas Parent App

Parents/guardians can also use Canvas’ iOS and Android apps to access student coursework.  Check out the video below the step-by-step instructions for a visual walkthrough.  

  1. Download the Canvas Parent app from the App Store or the Google Play Store
  2. Launch the app.  If you’re previously used the app, you may need to clear the app data from your phone settings menu. 
  3. Click “Find my School”
  4. Type “Iowa” and choose Iowa City Community Schools
  5. Click “Canvas Parent Login”
  6. If you have not already created an account, click “Parent of a Canvas User” at the bottom of the screen and create an account.  You can also create an account via a computer web browser (recommended) using the first set of instructions contained in this post (above). 
  7. Enter your email address as the login username, and the password you chose during account setup, and click “Log In”
  8. Additional students must be added from the web browser interface using the first set of instructions contained in this post (above).  

Obtaining a Student Pairing Code (from a student account)

Student pairing codes – used with the sets of instructions shown above – can be obtained from your child’s teacher or from your child’s Canvas account.  The instructions and video below show how your child can obtain this code from their account.  

  1. The student must be logged in to Canvas
  2. Click the “Account” button in the top left corner of the screen
  3. Click “Settings”
  4. Click “Pair with Observer” on the right side of the screen
  5. Copy the code that appears.  The code is valid for seven days; if it has not been used by then, a new code will need to be generated.

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