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Set up School Connection

The School Connection app in Microsoft Teams (mobile) empowers parents and guardians to engage, support, and monitor their student's learning at school. On a day-to-day basis, parents and guardians can:

  • See upcoming, recently completed, or past due assignments.
  • Read assignment feedback, grades, or rubric feedback.
  • View insights from the past month on their student’s digital activity, assignment turn-ins, and reading progress.
  • Contact a list of educators from their student’s class directory via email.

School Connection is a secure solution that is easy to deploy and provides guardians with information they need to initiate meaningful conversations with their students about their learning. School Connection also saves educators’ time and deepens the partnership between educators and guardians.

Before getting started with School Connection

Class data displayed to guardians (like grades and educator feedback) is a copy of your tenant’s data shared outside of your tenant's data boundary. As such, it's considered customer content that belongs to the guardian.

School Connection is now Generally Available (GA) for all regions except Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The GA for these countries are coming later. To access school connection in these regions, fill the interest form and we'll reach out to you to set it up in private preview. Customers in the European Union (EU) won't have all the data storage and processing occur within the EU during the private preview period.

Tenant admins should ensure that any actions taken related to customer data comply with relevant laws and regulations across all countries/regions. It's the tenant's obligation to fulfill customers' access or deleted requests for personal data that the tenant controls.

Requirements for School Connection

To get the most out of School Connection, educators need to use Teams for Education and the Assignments feature. There's no extra work required for educators to use School Connection.

Guardians need to provide their personal email ID to access School Connection, such as Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Gmail, Yahoo, or other providers. Work emails aren't supported for School Connection. Microsoft uses the guardian contacts listed in your School Information System (SIS) for granting access. You need to use Microsoft Graph or School Data Sync (SDS) to populate each students' guardian contact information. If your school isn't using a SIS, you can still apply SDS to populate guardian contacts.

For any queries, reach out to us at Microsoft Parent Solutions and we'll be happy to assist you.

Enable School Connection

Once School Data Sync has been set up, School Connection can be rolled out in two steps.

Step 1: Enable School Connection in the Teams admin center

  1. Sign into the Teams admin center with an account that has global administrator permissions.
  2. Navigate to Education Settings > Parent and guardian settings.
  3. Find the School Connection toggle, and turn it on.
    1. If you need to, you can block classes in this step.
  4. Select Save.

Considerations for activating School Connection

Once you turn on School Connection, all guardian contacts you synced via SDS can sign into the Microsoft Teams mobile app and add their students to their profile. For more information on this action, see Step 2: Invite parents and guardians to School Connection. If you make changes to the guardian contacts or the students they correspond to, access will be granted or revoked accordingly.

School Connection only displays classes that aren't archived, have been activated, and aren't included in the blocklist. Ensure you regularly perform proper SIS hygiene.

Here are some conditions to consider:

  • If your school uses SDS to create your class teams, these classes aren't activated by default. Class teams only become active and show up in School Connection after being activated by the respective educator.
  • If your school creates class teams outside of SDS, you need to set the isMembershipLimitedToOwners attribute to true to exclude classes you provision from School Connection until activated by an educator.
  • If your school allows educators to create and activate class teams on their own, those class teams are activated by default.
  • Educators can archive and unarchive class teams as needed.

When you turn on School Connection, the Azure portal creates an administrative unit in the tenant. Find this administrative unit by signing into the Azure portal and filtering the list of administrative units for SchoolConnection.

  • Any edits to this administrative unit outside of adding or removing classes could disrupt your School Connection deployment. If you need to populate the blocklist with a large number of classes, use PowerShell. For more information, see Add users, groups, or devices to an administrative unit.

Step 2: Invite parents and guardians to School Connection

As a school admin, you can share the link, https://aka.ms/gotoschoolconnection, with parents to onboard them for school connection app.

This school connection link can be shared over any communication means which your school uses to share an announcement with all school parents, such as email, text message, or putting this link up on your official school website. The parents can simply select this link to start using school connection on their Teams mobile app.

Note

To sign up on this app, please inform the guardians to use the personal email they have on file with your school. Work emails aren’t supported for School Connection.

Once a guardian completes this step, they can engage with the School Connection experience. For parents we've collected a list of FAQs at this link where they can learn more about School Connection.

Parent and guardian experience in School Connection

Parents need to sign into the Microsoft Teams mobile app on their iOS or Android device, using a free Microsoft consumer account that matches the email they have on file. This account can be any personal email ID, such as Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Gmail, Yahoo, or other providers, but not a Microsoft Entra ID work account since Microsoft Entra ID isn't supported by School Connection. Parents can easily create a personal Microsoft account for free here. Also, creating a new email isn't mandatory to create a personal Microsoft account.

Parents can learn more about School Connection by visiting this link.

Once a guardian successfully signs in to Microsoft Teams mobile app, they can enable the School Connection app by selecting it from Settings. This enabling pins School Connection for them in Teams, and they can easily find it next to their other Teams apps (for example, Chat, Activity). Their next step is to add students to their profile by specifying each student’s school-issued email address.

Guardians can only add students to their profile if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • They use a personal email to sign in to on the Microsoft Teams mobile app (and not a work email).
  • That same email is listed as a parent/guardian contact with your student’s school.
  • School Connection is enabled by the school.

If any of these conditions aren't met, the guardian will receive an error.

If a guardian has students at multiple schools, they can add all students to the same profile.

Student data is owned by the school organization. Any requests related to exporting students' information must be raised directly to the school.

Contact us

For any queries, reach out to us at Microsoft Parent Solutions and we'll be happy to assist you.