Not sure where to start? Below are frequently asked questions about who has a G Suite account, how to access them, and where to find more help. Just click the question to find the answer.


What is G Suite for Education?

G Suite for Education is a suite of online tools provided by Google to K-12 schools districts free of charge. It provides web-based versions of productivity, learning and collaboration programs, allowing students and teachers to work together in learning.

What web browser should I use to access my G Suite account?

You can use any Internet browser to access your G Suite account: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge. For the best experience, we recommend using Google Chrome. On a Chromebook, the Chrome browser is the only option.

Is the District switching to G Suite completely?

No, not at this time. District employees have the choice to use Google GMail and Calendar or Zimbra to receive their email messages and manage their calendar. But, employees may use other features of G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Classroom) without using Gmail.

Do I need to use Gmail in order to use Google Classroom (or Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.)?

No, you do not need to use Gmail to access other G Suite tools. G Suite tools work independently. You can use Zimbra to send and receive email and still use other G Suite tools. We do recommend that if you use Gmail, that you also use Google Calendar as your primary calendar, because they work best together.

How do I switch from Zimbra to Gmail for my mailbox?

District staff with an email address will also have a G Suite account. Once per day, staff can choose to change where new messages are delivered.

  • Login to the PhilaSD Portal
  • In the upper right part of application menu, click on Account
  • Click on Email Settings
  • Choose the delivery mailbox and click Save

The change takes effect immediately, but only applies to new email. Existing email remains where it was delivered. You will keep both mailboxes so you can always refer back to old messages.

Does G Suite affect the way a parent accesses Parent & Family Portal?

No, there is no connection between G Suite and the Parent & Family Portal.

What about data mining? Is there a concern with students' privacy?

G Suite is compliant with federal information privacy laws like CIPA and FERPA. Further, the District signed an agreement with Google to further ensure student's privacy is protected. The Districts has control of advertisements in G Suite and will continue to disable them. For more information on the District's commitment to student data privacy, visit


How do I change the preferred language in my G Suite account?

  1. Open your Google Account. You might need to sign in.
  2. Click Data & personalization.
  3. Scroll down to the General preferences for the web​ panel.
  4. Click Language.
  5. Select Edit .
  6. Choose your language from the dropdown box, and click Select.
  7. If you understand multiple languages, select Add another language.

Once you've changed your language preferences, close and reopen your browser.

For more information, please visit:


I am a District employee - what is my G Suite username and password?

All School District employees are automatically granted a G Suite for Educaiton account. Your username will be your District email address, and your password will be the same as your PhilaSD Portal password.

I am a District employee - how do I change my G Suite password?

All passwords are synchronized from the PhilaSD Portal. So, when you try to change your password from within your G Suite account, you will redirected to the PhilaSD portal. Your new password will then be applied to all systems.

I am a District employee - how do i reset my G Suite password?

All passwords are synchronized from the PhilaSD Portal. So, to reset your G Suite password, visit and click Forgot your password? You can answer your security questions and reset your password. If you can't remember your questions or you still need help, contact the IT HelpDesk at (215) 400-5555 or email


Do all students have G Suite accounts?

All students who attend a District-managed public school or program will be automatically granted a G Suite account. Charter school students are not eligible for a G Suite account.

What are my students' G Suite usernames and passwords?

Students' usernames will be their District student ID number, and their passwords will be the same as their PhilaSD Portal passwords.

What happens to a student's account after they withdraw or graduate?

Student's G Suite accounts are retained for 2 years after withdrawal or graduation. Students can use Google Takeout to create an archive of their account data. To create an archive, students should visit:


How I do I use G Suite?

All Google G Suite services can be accessed through any web browser, and the web addresses are in the form of "" For example, or Or just search for it in your web browser, and click the appropriate "" link to login.

All Google G Suite apps use these icons to give you access to navigation and settings:

Waffle Icon (or 9 Dot)

Click on this icon in most Google Apps to open a menu to other Google Apps in your account.

Stack Icon (or Pancake)

Click on this icon in most Google Apps to open menus to other features within the current app.

Gear Icon (or Cog)

Click on this icon in most Google to reveal settings and other options within the current app.


Can we use other Google Apps with our District G Suite account?

Only approved Google Apps and services can be used with your G Suite account. For a complete list of supported Google Apps, visit the Google Apps page of this website.

Can we use third-party apps from the Chrome Web Store or Google Play Store?

Third-Party Apps under the Chrome Web Store and Google Play Store are not owned, created or supported by Google - We cannot guarantee that they will work and if they do not we will not be able to support them. But before you start using any Third-Party app please go to as apps need to go through the approval process.

Can we use ChromeCast or Multi-Cast?

Many schools and offices have inquired about adding certain devices to the School District’s network to stream or broadcast media. Many of these devices use a technology known as “Multicast” to broadcast media to many other computers at the same time. Multicast is great for personal home networks, but can easily overwhelm a large enterprise network, especially where WiFi is used heavily. In addition, anyone can easily take control of these devices without using passwords, because they are not designed for a secure network. As a result, in order to ensure reliable and secure Internet access for all users, Multicast is not supported on either the District’s wireless or wired networks.

The following products are not supported and can not be used on the School District’s network:

Apple TV

Google ChromeCast

Google Expeditions **

Roku Media Player

Amazon FireTV


Google Home



** The Office of Information Technology is currently working on a way to support the Google Expeditions product on the District’s network. Please watch for further information before purchasing Google Expeditions hardware.


Where can I find professional development on G Suite?

Your Technology Integration Specialist (TIS) can work with you to provide PD onsite at your school for staff. Your staff can also choose to attend PD sessions that the Office of Educational Technology will provide ongoing throughout the year. Sign up for training through the Cornerstone Learning system in the PhilaSD Portal.

Check out the Resources page for Slides from previous PD Sessions.