Zoom has very quickly become the most prominent video meeting application during this time of school closures and working from home. The District evaluated several options, and has selected Zoom because it offers better video quality compared to other services and has a rich set of meeting-management tools which can help online classes run smoothly and keep students safe.

This cheat sheet provides a quick overview for helping your student use Zoom, and is conveniently printable:

The Principals have also defined expectations for Zoom usage, for both teachers and students.

Participation in Zoom meetings is voluntary; if you are not comfortable with your student attending a Zoom meeting, your student is not required to attend. All lessons delivered through Zoom will also be recorded and posted online for your student to view later. You can also ask your student’s teacher for a phone number to attend the Zoom meeting by phone, without video.

Note: Your student should use their real name when joining their teacher’s Zoom meeting. Teachers will only allow names they recognize into the meeting.

If your student’s name is incorrect, here are instructions for changing their name in the Zoom app.

Zoom Accounts

Neither you nor your student need a Zoom account to join your teacher’s Zoom meeting. In fact, students are not able to create Zoom accounts using their school email address.

When you join a meeting without a Zoom account, you will simply be prompted to enter your name or your student’s name. We suggest using First Name and Last Initial.

Please visit the Join a Zoom Meeting as a Student page for more detailed instructions on joining Zoom meetings.

The Zoom App

You do not need to install the Zoom app to join a Zoom meeting; it is possible to join directly through the browser.

However, video quality will likely be better if you join using the Zoom application, and you may have a better meeting experience. Apps are available for many platforms, including:

Zoom Safety & Privacy

As Zoom has gained popularity, Zoom has also become a target for people who join meetings solely to cause disruption. As classes move online, this has become a topic of great concern for schools around the world.

We have taken steps to improve the safety of Zoom meetings hosted by teachers, including:

  • Turning off screen sharing for everyone but the teacher.
  • Training teachers to use the Waiting Room feature to screen participants before they join a meeting.
  • Enabling meeting passwords.

Student Safety

Students are not able to create a Zoom account using their school email address, which prevents them from hosting their own Zoom meetings. However, just as students are able to join their teacher’s meeting without an account, they are unfortunately also able to join other meetings as well.

Unfortunately, as Zoom becomes a cultural phenomenon, private meetings with friends, and even public, anonymous Zoom meetings, are becoming more common. These Zoom meetings will not have the same protections outlined above for teacher-hosted meetings, and could expose your student to inappropriate content or connect them with strangers.

It is therefore more important than ever to be aware of how your student is using their device, and to monitor their usage of Zoom in particular. It may be helpful to hold your own family Zoom meetings with friends or relatives, to help establish social norms around video calling for your student, and provide a way to talk with them about Zoom and online safety.