Preferences (Teacher Programs)

The Preferences screen is designed to allow administrators to customize teacher preferences per course. Teachers have access to these preferences via My Information > Preferences.

Searching for Users (Teachers)

1. To conduct a user search in order to set specific preferences, from the Users menu, click Preferences under the Teacher Programs submenu.


This will lead you to a Find a Teacher user search module where you can begin setting criteria for a search. The Search Screen module includes a search bar, the More Search Options feature, and options to Search All Schools, Include Parents, and Include Inactive Users.

2. Enter the user's name or ID in the User text box.


Click the User List tab for a complete list of users without conducting a search. You can also simply click the Search button and leave the User text box empty to pull all active users.

The search bar is not case sensitive, and full or partial entries can be in either a first last or last, first format. The comma is necessary in the last, first format. A full user name or ID number can also be entered into the search bar. Searching for "ro" will pull every user whose first or last name begins with "ro" into the search results.


3. Click More Search Options to search for groups of users with similar information in any number of user fields and/or user data.


Clicking More Search Options displays a list of modules that can be opened and closed with the gray triangle. Set as many selections as needed to yield more specific search results. Note that the Profile defaults to Teacher and cannot be changed. In the example shown, the user search will be defined by the Teacher Profile and the Female Gender.

To clear search parameters and start over, click the Reset button.

4. Click Search.

All resulting users will display in the User List.

5. When you find the correct user, click on the user's name to open the user's record. As shown in the image, the users are defined by Gender: Female, and the only Profile displayed is the Teacher Profile.

6. Clicking the user's name navigates to the user's Preferences screen. The user's name is displayed in the top right corner. Click the small red X next to the user's name to close the user and search for another one.


To open the selected user's User Info record, click on the user's name displayed in the header (next to the red x).

Setting Display Options

1. Click the Display Options tab to customize the appearance of Focus for the selected user/teacher.


2. Select the teacher portal Language preference using the radio button to select from English, French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.

2. Select the Highlight Color using the radio button, which applies to menus, tabs, and headers. In the image shown, green has been chosen. Once saved, all menus, tabs, and headers will turn green; see the image shown for an example.


3. Select how student information is displayed from the Student Info Layout pull-down. The options include Once Column, Two Columns, and Three Columns. The default set up is one column. See the image for an example of two columns.


4. Select the Display User Images check box to display staff photos in User Info or My Profile (Teacher Portal) and other applicable locations in Focus.


5. Choose whether you want to display the menu on the side or at the top by selecting the check box, Use Sidebar Menu or by clearing the selection.

6. Select the Default Filters On check box to have the Filters functionality turned on by default when accessing screens that have filters.


7. The menu icons will always appear when using the sidebar menu; however, when using the top menu, the menu icons are optional. If you do not want the menu icons to display, clear the selection for Display Menu Icons.


8. Select how you want the date to display from the Date Format pull-downs. Choose whether you want the day of the week (Fri) to display. Choose how you want the month to display; options include April, Apr, and 04. The options for the day include [0]22, 22, and 22nd. If you want the year displayed, choose either 2022 or 22.


9. Once you select how you would like the date to display, you can select the format in which it displays, such as Month Day, Year or Day Month, Year.

10. Select the Configure Gradebooks separately for each section check box to create categories for each section separately, as opposed to creating categories in a combined gradebook for multiple sections.


11. Select the Combine sections for taking attendance check box so teachers can take attendance for multiple sections scheduled during the same period at the same time, as opposed to taking attendance separately for each section.


12. Select the check box to Combine sections for gradebook to combine multiple different sections into the same gradebook as a way for teachers to enter grades for several sections all at once.


If you decide to combine sections for a teacher's gradebook, be aware that if sections are ungrouped after grades have been entered, teachers may lose grades previously entered. See the warning below that displays when Combine sections for gradebook is selected.

a. Teacher gradebooks can be combined By period or by Custom Groups.

b. If you select Custom Groups, more options will displays starting with Ungrouped Sections. To create a new group of sections, click Add Group.

i. Once a new group has been added, you can edit the title of the group by clicking the provided text box, as shown in the image.

ii. To add sections to the group, drag and drop the desired sections from the Ungrouped Sections box to the created group, in this case the ALG 1 box.

iii. If there are groups that do not contain sections, click the Remove Empty Groups button to delete them. You can also click the red X in the corner of the group to delete it.

iv. To delete all groups, click the Remove All Groups button.

13. Select the Enable Two Factor Authentication check box to enable two factor authentication, which requires teachers to log in using an authenticator code from the Google Authenticator app in addition to their Focus credentials. Note: Two factor authentication can alternatively be enabled for specific profiles in Users > Profiles.


14. When all selections have been made, be sure to click the Save button to apply changes made.

Student Listing

1. From the Preferences screen, click on the Student Listing tab to customize the display of students in conducting any kind of search along with additional student listing settings.


2. Select how you would like the students sorted in the results of a search by using the radio button in the Student Sorting section; the choices include Name; Grade, Name; and Enrollment Date, Name.


In the example image shown, the students have been sorted by Grade, Name.

3. In conducting a student search, the ability to export the data is always available; however, you can choose whether the data is exported via an Excel spreadsheet (Tab-Delimited) or in a CSV file. Make your selection in the File Export Type section.


4. In navigating to Student Info, you have the option to decided which tab is automatically selected for students. Most users elect to have Demographics as the default tab; however, using the Default Student Category pull-down you can select whichever tab you desire.


In the example image shown, Letter Logging has been selected; therefore, upon navigating to the Student Info screen, the Letter Logging tab is automatically selected.

5. Select a Default User Category that displays when accessing the My Profile screen.

In the example image shown, the General tab has been set as the default category.

6. Select a Default Employee Category that displays when accessing the Employee screen via ERP > Human Resources > Employee. This feature is only applicable to users who have access to ERP and Human Resources.

7. To Display student search screen by default, select the check box. This means that in selecting any screen that pulls students will open the search screen in order for a search to be conducted. However, if you want to skip the search screen and go directly to a Simple List or Customized List of students, clear the selected check box.

8. Upon conducting a search, the resulting students display in a customized list if you select the Display customized list by default check box (and have selected to Display student search screen by default). If you have opted out of a default search screen, the Customized list will appear automatically. If you do not want the customized list to display by default, the Simple List will display instead.

The information displayed in the Customized List can be set up or edited via the Columns in Student Lists tab; see the section on Password and Columns in Student Lists for more information. Note: The same information found on the Columns in Students Lists tab can be set up/edited via the Customize Student List tab shown next to the Customized List tab.

9. If the teachers are always searching for inactive students, you can save them some time by making the selection automatic. Select the Search inactive students by default check box. However, the user will still need to select whether or not to Include Previous Years Inactive Students and/or Use Most Recent Enrollment if given access to these options.

10. If the student search only yields one result, the option to skip the list of students and navigate directly to the student's corresponding screen is available. Select the Skip the results page when there is only one result check box to apply this change.

In the image shown, only one student has been returned as a result of the search conducted. As you can see, there is only one student listed. The option above would skip the screen shown and navigate directly to Avelar's Student Info screen.

11. Select a Student Name Format for how you would like students' names to display in Focus for the selected user. Options include:

  • Last Name, First Name Middle
  • First Name, Middle Last Name
  • Last Name, Nickname
  • Last Name, First (Nickname)
  • Last, Nickname Middle
  • Nickname Middle Last

12. If you want the students ID numbers and grade levels displayed in all student lists, be sure to select the check boxes for Display Student ID in student lists and Display grade level in student lists.

13. Select the check box to Display Local ID in student lists if the district uses students' local IDs as well as system student IDs.


14. If you want the user to see students' alert icons that would show ESE, ELL, 504, etc., be sure to select the appropriate option from the Alert Icons pull-down. You can select to Display in Gradebook & Student Lists or Display in Student Lists. Select Don't Display if you don't want them to display for the selected teacher.

15. You can elect to have students photos shown in student lists by selecting the Display student photos in student lists check box.

16. When all selections have been made, be sure to click the Save button to apply changes made.

Columns in Student Lists and Columns in User Lists

1. To edit the Customized List mentioned in Student Listing, click on the Columns in Student Lists tab.


2. There are many options to choose from in selecting what to display in student lists. The choices are broken down by section. Each section contains data from the Student Info screens including demographic, immunizations, 504, contact information, etc., to name a few. In the image shown above, Birthdate has been chosen by selecting the Display in Student Lists check box. Students' birthdates will now display, as shown in the image.

3. You can select as many columns as you would like to appear in the Customized List. When finished, click the Save button to apply changes.

3. To customize the information displayed on the Customized List tab when the user conducts a user search, click the Columns in User Lists tab.


4. Select the check box in the Display in User Lists column to display the selected Field on the Customized List tab of the user search.

My Preferences

There are many options to choose from in selecting what to display in user lists. The choices are broken down by section. Each section contains data from the User Info screens including General Info, Certifications, Employee Demographic, etc.

5. Select all the fields applicable, then click Save to apply changes.

My Preferences
Class Section Names

1. To customize the section names for the teacher to reference, click the Class Section Names tab.


2. On this tab you will see all of the teacher's courses and the corresponding details, such as Course Number, Course Title, Period, Section, and the Marking Period. You will see that the Course Title information is underlined in blue, which means the information here is editable. Click on any of the titles to edit and customize the name. Note: The customization is only viewable to the teacher in the Gradebook. The original title displays for all other users, teachers, and parents.

3. When all edits have been made, be sure to click the Save button to apply changes made.

Linked Accounts

1. Click the Linked Accounts tab to view, link, or unlink Google accounts.


2. To link a new account, click Sign in with Google Classroom to link the account.


3. Follow the prompts to sign in to your Google account.

Sign in - Google Accounts

a. Grant all applicable permissions by clicking Allow.

Sign in - Google Accounts

b. Confirm your choice by reviewing all permissions, then click Allow.

Sign in - Google Accounts

4. Once an account is linked, click the unlink icon to sign out of the Google account and unlink the account.

Additional Features

Use the Filter text box located at the top of the pull-down for a quick search. Begin typing the name of the desired field.

Click the Check all visible and Clear selected links for quick selections. In the example shown, all Genders has been selected.

Click the floppy disk icon to export the listed data to an Excel spreadsheet.

To make the selected tab full screen, click on the expansion icon (four arrows) next to the Search text box. Once in full screen mode, click the icon again to exit full screen.

If looking for specific information housed within the selected tab, type the information in the Search text box provided and press Enter.

In viewing preferences for a specific user/teacher, you have the ability to navigate to the previous or the next user in the original resulting list of users. Click on the gray arrows to move to the previous user and the next user in the list.

If only one arrow is displayed that’s means that you are either at the beginning or the end of the list. In the example, shown there is only the right arrow because the user selected is at the beginning of the list.

You can also sort data by clicking on any of the headers. Click once for ascending results; click twice for descending results. In the image shown, results have been sorted by clicking on Field twice; therefore, the listed fileds start with Z.