Portal

The Portal page is the key to navigation throughout Focus and throughout the Student Information System (SIS). Before conducting students searches, taking attendance, etc., you must learn the basics of the software. A lot can be accomplished directly from the Portal page--it includes Alerts, Upcoming Events, a Help button, and more.

All portal blocks can be added via Setup > Portal Editor.

The Basics of the Portal Page

When you first sign into Focus, you will be taken to the Portal page.

Portal

Click SIS to navigate through the Student Information System.

Depending on your role at the district and your profile permissions, you may have access to the ERP system as well. For more information on the ERP Portal page and basic navigation, see the Basic Navigation document. Note: If you only have an SIS profile, you will not see the SIS / ERP toggle.

Portal

Your username displays next to  the school name/school pull-down and school year pull-down in the header.

Click the logo/Portal button at any time from any screen to navigate back to the main Portal page.

Portal

Most districts elect to have their own logo here, as opposed to the built in Focus logo.

Logos and other district information can be customized via Setup > District Info.

If the logo is not displayed, a pop-up window is open (an example is shown below). Close the window to return to the main Focus screen and the Portal page.

Next you see the Focus navigation menu along the left side of the screen. If you hover over any of the menu icons, the menu will open and the menu titles will appear.

Because you may have different Preferences set up, your menu may be located along the top of the screen. To change your preferences, select the Users menu, and click My Preferences. From this screen, you will have the ability to customize the look of your Portal page and more. To change the menu, select or clear the selection for Use Sidebar Menu. Once finished, click Save. See the article on My Preferences for information on how to customize the look of the software.

My Preferences

From here, you can click on any of the menu items for additional options (screens).

To quickly find a screen within a menu, click the menu and type the full or partial name of the screen in the Search text box. The menu will filter based upon the entered criteria. Click the desired screen.  

At the bottom of the menu is a magnifying glass (in the left corner of the screen). To search for any screens within SIS, click on the magnifying glass and start typing in the white text box--this will pull any screens that match. Once you see what you are looking for, click the name and the screen will open.

If you have more than one type of profile assigned to you, such as, teacher, parent, admin, etc., you will see a profile pull-down under your username. Click the pull-down to change your profile selection.

Upon signing out of Focus, the system will remember the last profile used and log back into the system with the last used profile. For example, if you logout as a Teacher, when you log back into Focus, your profile will still be set to Teacher.

Across the top of the Portal page you will also see the name of your School(s). If you have access to more than one school, this will be displayed as a pull-down. Click the pull-down to change the school selection.

Portal

Begin typing the name or number of the school in the Filter text box for a quick search.

Portal

Under your school(s) is the school year pull-down, which will default to the current school year. This pull-down is accessible at all times and can be changed as needed. Click the school year pull-down to change the school year for which you are working.

Portal

When a previous or future year is selected, the header and accent color of the screen will turn red as an alert that you are working in a different school year.

Portal

Click the marking period pull-down to choose a different marking period for which you are working. The marking period, like the school year, will also default to the current marking period. Note: What you see in your pull-down may vary depending on district set up and your type of school.

You will also notice your Last login listed with the day and time, as shown in the image.

A Focus greeting will welcome whomever is signed into the system. You will see your username here.

The Portal page may also come equipped with additional dashboards; dashboards can be set up (normally by the district) via Setup > Portal Editor, and are available for selection from the dashboard pull-down. These additional dashboards usually display important student data resulting from advanced reports or queries entered in the Portal Editor.

The dashboard pull-down only displays dashboards assigned to your profile via Setup > Portal Editor. If you only have one dashboard assigned, you will not see a pull-down.

In addition to school/student data being displayed as part of additional dashboards, if you have more than one profile, you will see additional Portal pages. In the example shown, there is a System Administrator portal, a System Admin Support portal, and Assessment & Accountability Admin portal.

Portal

The last two tools on the Portal page are the Help and Logout buttons found in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Portal

Click the Help button to view help documentation in ScreenSteps pertaining to the screen you are using. The Help button is available on every Focus screen.

Add a Student

Clicking the Help button will open a pop-up window to the help documentation. From the pop-up window, you have the option to open the article in a new window and browse other articles housed within ScreenSteps.

Click the Logout button to sign-out of your Focus session. Logging out will take you back to the main login screen. Note: Closing out of the window will not sign you out. Closing the browser all together may or may not sign you out depending on your browser settings.

Messenger

One of the last tools on the Portal page is Messenger, which allows you to send messages to other users.

1. Click Messenger at the bottom of the screen to begin utilizing the feature.

Students and parents can only send messages to their assigned teachers. Teachers can send messages to their students, students' parents, and school staff.

2. Recent chats will appear on the right side of the screen. Click the user's name to open the chat again.

3. There are two icons in the upper right corner of the messenger window. Click the first one to open Batch Messenger, described below. Click the second settings icon to open Preferences.

Portal

a. To send a batch message, select the Students, Parents, and/or Staff users to whom the message is being sent from the Send To: section and the corresponding pull-downs. Note: You can select multiple users from combined pull-downs.

b. Select the Send To Students check box to send the message to the students selected from the Send To: Students pull-down. Select the Send To Parents check box to send the message to all parents of the students selected from the Send To: Students pull-down and/or the parents selected from the Send To: Parents pull-down.

c. Type the message into the provided text box. You can also use the listed features: Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Insert Special Character, and Smiley.

d. Click Send.

e. You can also click the X in the right upper corner of the screen to close Batch Messenger or click the Cancel button.

Portal

Utilize the Filter text box located at the top of the pull-down for a quick search. Begin typing the name of the desired user. You can also click the Check all visible and Clear selected links for quick selections.

e. To customize Messenger, click the Preferences icon and select the check boxes for listed features you'd like to include.

f. When customization is complete, click Save.

g. You can also click the X in the right upper corner of the screen to close Preferences or click the Cancel button.

Portal

4. To begin a new message, click the group, such as Students, Parents, or Staff listed at the bottom of the Messenger (Recent Chats) screen. Then, select the student, parent, or staff member from the listed users.

To quickly locate the user in question, start typing their name in the Filter text box.

5. Selecting a user will open a new messaging screen. Type your message in the provided text box and press Enter to send the message.

6. Upon sending a message, you have several additional options listed along the bottom of the window. These options include (listed from left to right): SpellCheck, Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Insert Special Character, and Smiley.

7. Once the window is open, you can minimize it by clicking the arrow, or close the window, by clicking the X.

8. You also have the option to flag messages by clicking the red flag next to the date and time stamp at the top of the messaging window.

a. Upon selecting Flag Message, the message will be hidden from all users involved unless you click Unflag Message. Flagging message is a great tool for message that should be reported and reviewed by administrative staff. Flagging a message allows administration to review problematic messages without having the search through all messages sent.

b. If you are logged in as a teacher, referrals can be created as needed via flagged messages from students. In this situation, click the red flag and select Flag Message or you can select Flag Message & Create Referral. For more information on creating referrals, see Add Referral.

Profanity and other inappropriate language is automatically flagged in Focus Messenger.

Set up the Focus Chat Alerts job via Setup > Scheduled Jobs in order for emails to be generated upon messages being sent.

Alerts, District & School Announcements, and Upcoming Events

The Alerts module contains profile-specific notifications, which are automated by Focus and used to manage daily tasks. Alerts link to the corresponding screens in Focus to complete the alerted task. Administrators receive Alerts on the following: teachers who haven’t taken attendance, daily absences, new and merged referrals, pending change requests, transfer requests, Custom Reports, records with activated Alerts settings, and new versions/updates to your version of the software.

As mentioned above, click on any of the alerts to open the corresponding screens. For example, clicking 53 new referrals will navigate to the Referrals screen. Once addressed, the Alert will disappear.

Referrals

The District & School Announcements module contains profile-specific notifications or reminders from both Focus and the school/district. Messages will display on the Portal based on entered start and end dates; if no end date is specified, the message will remain on the Portal page. Typical messages include reminders for deadlines, meetings, etc., and can be clicked to display more information.

Administrators have the ability to create their own school level profile-specific messages via Setup > Portal Messages. However, this option is dependent upon profile permissions.

District & School Announcements and Upcoming Events created via Setup > Portal Messages and Users > Calendar display depending on your permissions to selected schools via Users > User Info > Permissions tab. If you have access to all schools, the messages that display depend on the school selected from the school pull-down located in the header. If you have three enrollment records with schools A, B, and "All Schools," the portal will show all of the following: Messages/events from School A, messages/events from School B, and messages/events from the school selected from the school pull-down.

The Upcoming Events module contains reminders of the next seven events on your Calendar. Upcoming Events display until the event occurs, and the date appears in the title. Hover over the event with the mouse to display a tooltip, which contains the event's description, if one was added upon creating the event via Users > Calendar.

Portal

Click the View Calendar link to open Calendars. Administrators can create events via Users > Calendar.

Focus University

The Focus University section contains several helpful links including Video Tutorials, Help & Training Docs, and Weekly Webinars.

1. Click the Video Tutorials link to open Focus University Training Videos in ScreenSteps.

Focus University Training Videos | Documentation for Administrators

2. Click the Help & Training Docs link to open all help manuals and search for specific documentation.

Portal

3. Click the Weekly Webinars link to open featured videos and webinars sorted by the week released.

Portal

4. To search all help documentation and videos, enter key words in the provided search engine text box and click the magnifying glass.

Portal

Search Results display in ScreenSteps.

Documentation for Administrators
Punch In/Out

If your district is utilizing the Time & Attendance screens via ERP, employees have the ability to clock in and out via the Punch In/Out section of the Portal page.

The Punch In/Out section must first be set up via ERP > Human Resources > Time & Attendance Setup and Time & Attendance Approval; both screens require profiles permission via ERP > Setup > Profiles > Time & Attendance Approval and Time & Attendance Setup in the Human Resources section.

The current time displays along with the date.

If your schedule has been flagged as a Variable Schedule, the green check marks displays.

The time you Clocked in at and the time you Clocked out at displays, when applicable.

1. If special requests have been set up by the district, you can select the event or activity for the Special Request pull-down in order to submit time worked outside your normal hours or duties. Examples of special requests are field trips, athletic events, covering another teacher's class, fundraisers, etc.

2. Select your Job title from the pull-down.

3. Select your Facility of work from the pull-down.

4. Once all selections have been made, click Punch In to log your start time at work.

Once you've clocked in, the amount of time you have left to work displays. In the example shown, the employee has 3 hours and 37 minutes left in the work day. The employee's work hours are also displayed: 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

5. At the end of the work day and when you are required to clock out for breaks, click Punch out. Note: Some districts build breaks directly into the work schedule; therefore, employees are not required to clock out for lunch.

6. Click Travel to submit travel time as opposed to punching in.

7. In the Travel pop-up window, select your Job.

8. Select the facility from which you traveling from the From pull-down.

9. Select the facility to which you traveled from the To pull-down.

10. Enter any notes and additional information, such as the reason for your travel time and why it should be included in your daily work hours in the Notes/Reason text box.

11. Click Submit.

12. When you arrive at your destination, click Arrived.

13. If you have permission, click Edit Clock Ins to view and/or edit the hours you clocked in and out of the system.

Profile permission must be given via Users > Profiles > Employee Self Service > View/Edit Timecards or ERP > Setup > Profiles > Employee Self Service > View/Edit Timecards.

Clicking Edit Clock Ins opens Employee Self Service > View/Edit Timecards. From this screen, click View All Timecards to review all punch in and punch out times, as well as request changes.