Sunday, September 18, 2016

Google Classroom: Guardian Email Summaries

January 2017 Update!

Google Classroom rolled out the ability for guardians to receive summaries of student work and activities via email.  Guardians may choose a weekly or daily summary of the following:
  • Missing Work
    • Work that is late at the time the email was sent.
  • Upcoming work
    • For daily summaries - work that is the day of the email or the next day.
    • For weekly summaries - work that is due in the upcoming week
  • Class activity
    • Announcements, assignments and questions posted
See an example below:

Let's Get Started:

Step 1 - You need to turn the feature on!  Under the student tab, on the left side you will find the image below or Include this Class.  If may ask if you would like to add to all of your classes.

Step 2 - Invite guardians!  I teach an A/B schedule, with 12 classes and 380 students.  For me this was a task that seemed daunting until...Google Forms!  Yes!  Create a Google Form.  

Google Forms Tips:

  • Don't forget to set a data validation for the email address:

  • Make sure you adjust your settings so guardians/parents can complete the form.  I did not want to limit to 1 response because I teach multiple grades and do have siblings. 

  • In the response menu, create a spreadsheet to collect and view responses.
  • You can also choose the Google Form Add-On "Form Notifications,"  and set up an automatic response reminding guardians to look out for an email invitation.  You can also set up this add-on to notify you via email when you have 1, 10, 20 or 100 responses.  This will minimize you having to check the response form constantly.
Step 3 - After you send out your Google Form, via email, Remind, paper note with the link to your form).  Sit back and wait for responses to roll in!  Once you collect responses, you will copy the email address the guardian/parent supplies and paste next to their name in Google Classroom: 
Select invite next to the student name and paste the email address.

Once you invite guardians/parents, you will notice (invited) next to the guardian email. Guardians will have 120 days to accept the invitation.  After 120 days, the invitation expires.  I suggest you make this known. This indicates an email was sent and waiting for the guardian/parent to accept the invitation.   If Guardians would like to adjust their email summary settings and choose one of the following:
  1. Daily Summaries (sends out at 5 pm every day)
  2. Weekly Summary (sends out at 5 pm on Fridays)
  3. No Summaries
Guardians will need to create a Google Account.  A Gmail is NOT required.  Guardians may use any email domain of their choice, but they create a Google Account.  Here is the LINK to the page they would need.
It will also send an email notifying students through their G Suite for Education email that a guardian email summary was set up.  I like this feature as a safety check to double-check that this is really their guardian/parent email.


  • Guardians cannot view or access the Google Classroom stream.
  • Guardians do not have to have a Gmail, but they do have to have a Google account.  Use this URL  December 2016, guardians may use any email domain.  Gmail or a Google Account is no longer required.
  • If guardians/parents do not receive a summary, you may not have posted anything new to Google Classroom
  • Your G Suite for Education Administrator can turn-on settings so that once one teacher enters an email for a guardian/parent, any other teacher that chooses to use the feature guardians/parents will automatically get summaries from other teachers.
  • Here is a help link for guardians/parents:
  • Here is a help link for students:  This might be useful to explain this to students.
  • Here is a help link for teachers:
Overall, guardian summaries is working well with guardians/parents who have chosen this option.  They are also getting summaries from my colleagues who are piloting this with me.  I hope to roll this feature out to more of my colleagues now that I have this detailed blog post about it!  Once I set up my Google Form and sent out via Remind, it has been very little work.  I spend a few minutes each day inviting guardians/parents as they sign-up.  The rest is left up to the guardian/parent.  I now offer communication about student work through our online grade book and guardian email summaries.  I also use Remind to communicate with students and parents.  Give Guardian Summaries a try!