Use the Preferences module to customize the look and feel of the software. Everything from the heading colors to the way student lists are displayed can be selected.


1. To set specific preferences, from the My Information menu, click Preferences.

2. Selecting Preferences navigates to your Preferences screen, as shown in the image below.

Setting Display Options

1. The first tab is the Display Options tab, which allows you to customize the appearance of Focus.

2. Your first option is the Language preference. The default selection is English. Select the applicable language radio button to translate select screens to the selected language.

3. Select the Highlight Color, 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.

4. You can choose how student information is displayed using 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.

5. If the district has importing staff photos and you would like them to display where applicable, select the Display User Images check box.

6. 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. The images show the menu on the side and the top.

7. Select the Default Filters On check box to automatically enable the filters feature whenever present on a screen, as opposed to turning on the filters manually.

8. 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.

9. Select how you want the date to display via the Date Format pull-downs. Choose whether you want the day of the week (Mon) to display. Choose how you want the month to display; options include March, Mar, 03, and 3. The options for the day include [0]26, 26, and 26th. If you want the year displayed, choose either 2018 or 18.


10. 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.

11. 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.

When you enable Configure Gradebooks separately for each section, settings enabled via Grades > Gradebook > Settings > Configuration tab will only affect the current section when applied.

The preferences Configure Gradebooks separately for each section, Combine sections in the same period for taking attendance, and Combine sections for gradebook are school year specific. When you change a Gradebook Configuration setting, the setting will only be changed for that school year and not all years.


12. You also have the option to combine different sections that take place during the same period in order to take attendance by period, as opposed to taking attendance for every section separately even though they take place during the same period. Select the Combine sections in the same period for taking attendance check box to enable this function.

13. 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 your Gradebook, be aware that if sections are ungrouped after grades have been entered, you 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.

14. Select the Enable Two Factor Authentication check box to require additional authentication upon logging into Focus via the Google Authenticator application. Clear the selected check box to remove this additional security feature. Note: This preference only displays if the district first enables it in System Preferences or Profiles.

15. 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 choices 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. You can also set a Default User Category for when accessing the My Profile screen.

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

6. If you do not want to Display student search screen by default, selecting any screen that pulls students will skip the search screen and list students in either a Simple List or Customized List depending on the preference selected below. Select the check box to ensure you have the ability to search for select students.

7. Upon conducting a search, the resulting students will display in the customized list if you select for it to show by default using the Display customized list by default (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.

8. 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.

9. If the 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.

10. Select a Student Name Format for how you would like students' names to display in Focus; 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

11. 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.

12. If you want 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.

13. Select the Display student photos in student lists check box to view students' photos in student listings. Note: If the check box is cleared, the students' photo won't display in student listing, but it will display in the students' records as normal.

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

Password, Columns in Student Lists, Columns in User Lists

1. To change your Focus password, click on the Password tab. From here it is required that you enter the Current Password, the New Password, and Verify New Password.

The Password tab may not be available to all users. The ability to change the password here will not be available to district users who are utilizing Active Directory or Single Sign On.

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

3. To edit the Customized List from step 7 of Student Listing, click on the Columns in Student Lists tab.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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.

6. To customize the information displayed on the Customized List tab upon conducting a user search, click the Columns in User Lists tab.


7. 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.

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

My Preferences

The same information found on the Columns in User Lists tab can be set up/edited via the Customize User List tab shown next to the Customized List tab.

User Info
Email Notifications

1. To enable email notifications when forms require your attention, click the Email Notifications tab.

2. Select Receive Email When Forms Require Your Attention.

When a form is submitted by the requester, the form approver will receive an email with a link to the form that is pending approval. The requester will receive an email when the form is approved, denied, or when the form is sent back to the originator.

3. Click Save.

Class Section Names

1. To customize the section names, click the Class Section Names tab.

2. On this tab you will see your courses and the corresponding details, such as Course Number, Course Title, Period, Section, Marking Period, and the Course Title. 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 you 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

Grant all applicable permissions by clicking Allow.

Sign in - Google Accounts

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

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.

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.