New Student Portal Check In Block - Admin Setup Guide

You must be on the latest version 10.0 or the latest version 9.1 to utilize the Student Portal Check In block.

Focus allows districts to give students the ability to mark themselves present through the Focus Portal.

In version 10.0, schools have the option to choose whether students will be checking in for the entire day, or by period. Additionally, schools are able to choose individual students that will have the ability to check in through the Portal, and they can assign a custom Attendance Code to the student’s Portal Check In record as well.

Adding the Portal Block to Your Student Portal (v. 10.0)
Setting the System Preferences

In version 10.0, the options for enabling and customizing the Student Portal Check In feature are school-specific and can be found in both Default School Preferences and School Preferences.

If a student is enrolled in two schools and only one of the schools has the check in feature  enabled, the student will only be able to check in for sections at the school with the check in feature enabled.

1. In the Setup menu, click System Preferences.

2. Click the Default School Preferences or School Preferences tab, then the Attendance sub-tab.

3. Set the following system preferences:

Preference Description

Display a "Check In" block on the Student Portal that allows students to mark themselves Present for the day's sections

Enable this option to turn on the Student Portal Check In feature. This will allow students to mark themselves present to all sections during the current school day.

Student "Check In" Period-by-Period

Enable this option along with the preference above to allow students use the Student Portal Check In feature to mark themselves Present to each period individually throughout the day. This requires period times to be populated (Setup > Periods).

Attendance Code for Student "Check In" Block

Select an attendance code that will be used when the student checks in. Either select an existing code, or set up a new code for Virtual Present in Attendance > Attendance Setup.

4. Click the Save button to complete the process.

Setting the Student's Instructional Method

In version 10.0, Focus allows schools to determine which students at a school can use the Student Portal Check In feature. For example, schools may only want only remote students to use the Student Portal Check In feature, and not students attending school in person. For this, Focus created and published a logging field titled "Instructional Method."

If you do not already have the Instructional Method logging field set up, permissions to this field can be granted through Students > Student Fields or Users > Profiles.

The permissions for the Instructional Method logging field will only display under Users > Profiles once the logging field has been assigned to a Student Category in Student Fields.

The Student Portal Check In feature will display on the Portal for students that have an Instructional Method log field entry with the following:

  1. Instructional Method is not “In Person”
  2. The start/end dates include today
  3. The days of the week include today
Adding the Portal Block to your Student Portal (v. 9.1)

The Portal Editor screen is used to customize the Student Portal page display. In Version 9.1, to utilize the new Check In portal block for all students, you must add the portal block to your default student portal page display. 

1. In the Setup menu, click Portal Editor.

2. In the Dashboards pull-down, select the default dashboard assigned to your student profile(s). The dashboard layout will be displayed on the screen.

If the default dashboard assigned to students is also shared by other profile types (i.e. Parents), we recommend you create a new default student portal. Please reference the Focus University article Adding a New Dashboard. 

3. Edit the dashboard by adding/removing rows or removing an existing portal block to allow room to add the new Check In portal block. 

4. In the Choose a Program pull-down, select the program Check In to add to the dashboard.

5. Click the block in the layout where the program will be placed. The block turns blue and displays the name of the program (Check In) that was added.

6. Click Save to complete the process.

Overview of the Student Attendance Process

The new Check In portal block allows students to “check in” directly through their Focus Student Portal.

In version 10.0, once the System Preferences have been enabled and students have been assigned their Instructional Method, students who have the appropriate Instructional Method will be able to use the Student Portal Check In block.

In version 9.1, students who have the Check In block added to their Portal in the Portal Editor will be able to use the Student Portal Check In block.

Upon logging in, students will see the Portal Block to Check In. The button will be green prior to the student checking in. Once the student has checked in, attendance records will be updated and the button will be grayed out. In version 10.0, if period-by-period attendance is enabled, the button will become available again at the start time of the next period.

1. Upon the student logging into Focus, the Portal page will display by default.

For more information on setting up the Google Classroom API, please reference the Focus University article Leveraging Focus & Google Classroom for Online Learning

2. When the student clicks the I’m present button, attendance records will be updated and the button will be grayed out. In version 10.0, if period-by-period attendance is enabled, the button will become available again at the start time of the next period.

3. If the school district has configured the Google Classroom API integration under Third-Party Systems, a Google Classroom icon will display within the Check In portal block. Clicking the Google Classroom icon will open another tab in the student’s internet browser, directing them to the Google Classroom login screen.

Check In Portal Block Video Lesson

This video provides an overview of the Check In portal block functionality for students.

Viewing Attendance Submitted by a Student

There are several avenues in which student attendance information can be viewed in the Focus Student Information System. 

1. If the teacher has not manually taken attendance, students who have “checked in” will display in green in the Today’s Attendance column on the Take Attendance screen. If teachers have access to Teacher Comments On Take Attendance, the message “Portal Check-In Block” will display in the Comments field for students who marked themselves present through the Portal. Teachers can override the Present code for students who “checked in” through their Portal. 

2. From the Attendance Chart, students who have “checked in” will appear with a Daily Code of P (for version 9.1), or with the attendance code selected in System Preferences (for version 10.0). Upon hovering over the student record, the comment of “Portal Check-In Block” will appear to the end-user.

The example below shows the Attendance Chart for a student who marked themselves Present using the Student Portal Check In feature with a custom attendance code set up for Virtual Present.