Tips and Resources for Families, Students

Make Sure You're Ready for the First Day

Article Date: Sep 09, 2020

En Español

The first day of school is Monday, September 14, which makes this a great time for families to and students to get ready for that first day. From preparing a learning space to charging your iPad, there are a number of key steps that families can take now to ensure a successful start to the school year, according to Interim Superintendent Lora Nordquist.

“This year, the first day of school will look a little different, but it’s still an exciting time for our families and students. In order to make that first day as meaningful as possible, we want families to help get students ready to learn with a few simple steps,” said Nordquist.

iPad Ready

Students with an iPad from last spring need to follow these steps to get their iPad ready for the first day of school:

  1. Open your iPad and turn it on. Charge if necessary.
  2. Check your settings for available updates. Do any available updates. (allow time for this. It can average 10-30 minutes to complete updates. )
  3. Check your wiFi connection. Does your VPN work? If not, go to Self Service and re-install Global Protect. After you install it, re-start your iPad and check the connection.
  4. For grades 6-12: Open Canvas using the red BLS Canvas icon on your home screen. Log in using your username (firstnamelastname) and your personal district password. If you are unable to open of log in here, swipe out of all open apps, and try it again. AND/OR you can enter this URL into a browser and access Canvas through it:
  5. If you forgot your password, or still need tech assistance, please call 541-355-8700. Make sure to leave a message with a clear name and contact information.


  • Prepare a space to learn. Talk to students about where they would like to set up a space to learn. “A learning space doesn’t need to be fancy or elaborate. But we know that having a dedicated area – the corner of the living room or a kitchen counter – can help prepare students mentally to learn each day,” said Nordquist. “Thinking about where children will learn can help set their frame of mind for that first day and the rest of the year.”
  • Adjust schedules. It’s time to start heading to bed earlier and getting up earlier in the morning so that students can avoid feeling groggy that first day back.
  • Free meals. Our schools continue to offer free meals for children age 0-18, serving breakfast and lunch ‘Grab and Go’ meals at 19 schools throughout Bend, La Pine and Sunriver between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Monday to Friday. Take a look at the list of schools to find the spot closest for your family (students can grab a meal at any location).
  • Material pick-ups. Most schools are hosting materials pick-ups for students, including hands-on learning materials, iPads and more. If you haven’t heard from your school, be sure to get in touch to collect any needed items before the start of school.
  • Home Help Line. Call the student support line for help with iPads and student accounts: 541-355-8700 (bilingual).
  • WebEx. Teachers will use the WebEx platform to host live meetings with students. Learn more about WebEx and how to download it onto a student issued iPad. WebEx meetings, small groups and one-on-one sessions are hosted within teacher’s WebEx rooms. To find a teacher’s room, go to: Those experiencing challenges logging in to a teacher’s room should contact the school.


  • Teacher connection. Students in kindergarten to second grade will begin the year with a focus on connections and hands-on materials. Families should watch for communication from teachers this week about when and how to connect.
  • Devices. Schools are awaiting a shipment of iPads for our K-2 students. For the moment, we will only be distributing to families who don’t have a device at home. We expect iPads to arrive within the next couple weeks.
  • Seesaw. Seesaw is an app where students, teachers, and families can share work and announcements in a safe, secure and private environment. It will be the primary platform that teachers in grades K-2 will use for instruction.


  • iPads. Students in grades 4-5 should have their school-issued iPad from the previous school year. New students and those in grade 3 will receive an iPad from the school (be sure to check in with your school if you do not have one). Take time to charge the device. Find more iPad resources on our website.
  • Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a workflow tool that allows teachers to assign work, share links and resources and make class announcements. It will be the primary platform that teachers in grades 3-5 use for instruction.


  • iPads: Every student should have a school assigned iPad. Your iPad should be charged and ready for school every day. Students who do not have a school iPad should reach out to their school prior to the first day. Find more iPad resources on our website.
  • Canvas: Canvas is our new learning management system for grades 6-12. All students in sixth through twelfth grade will be logging onto Canvas to access their course materials. Students will be expected to log onto Canvas daily to access assignments, online discussions, and assessments. Learn more about Canvas on our website or watch these short overview videos:
  • VIDEO: Canvas Overview for Student

  • Check email. Prior to the first day of school, students should check their school district email for updates and key information. Find instructions on how to set up student email on the iPad.
  • Review Daily Learning Schedule. Starting Sept. 14, students should be ready to login to their first class and begin learning.