The Portal page is the key to navigation throughout Focus and throughout the Student Information System (SIS). Before conducting student searches, taking attendance, etc., you must learn the basics of the software. A lot can be accomplished directly from the Portal page, which includes Alerts, Upcoming Events, a Help button, and more.
When you first sign into Focus, you will be taken to the Portal page.
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 article. Note: If you only have an SIS profile, you will not see the SIS/ERP toggle.
Your username displays next to the school name or school pull-down (if applicable).
In the upper left corner of the screen is the Focus logo. Most districts elect to have their own logo here. This also functions as a Portal button. Clicking the logo at any time from any screen will take you back to the main Portal page.
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 will 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.
From here, you can click on select menu item arrows for additional options (screens).
At the top 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 provided 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, parent, admin, teacher, etc., you will see a profile pull-down; this appears under your username.
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.
Use the Filter text box to begin typing the name or number of the school for a quick search.
Next to 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.
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.
If you are teaching multiple sections, choose the appropriate section from the pull-down.
You can also choose a marking period. 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.
Click the Help icon (?) or hover over the menu and click the Help button to open help documents in ScreenSteps for the selected screen. The Help button is available on every Focus screen.
Clicking the Help button opens a pop-up window to the help documentation. Here you have the option to open the article in a new window and browse other articles housed within ScreenSteps.
Click the Logout icon (→) or hover over the menu and 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.
You can quickly select a student and view their record without conducting a search using the Select Student pull-down available at the top-left corner of every screen, including the Portal page. The pull-down displays students from all of teachers' active sections.
The pull-down displays as Select Student and can be used to search for Students if you have permission to View and Edit Student Info via Users > Profiles > Students tab. If you also have permission to View and Edit User Info via Users > Profiles > Users tab, you can search for and view staff records, as well.
1. Click the Select Student pull-down.
The Search Results tab is selected by default. To use the filters and results of your last student search (and user search, if applicable), leave the tab selected. For example, if you conduct a Student Info search where you searched for students in the 11th grade, the results of that specific search will display in the Select Student pull-down when Search Results is selected.
Here is the last student search conducted; as you can see, the results of the Student Info student search displays in the Select Student pull-down displayed above when Search Results is selected.
If a student or user search has not recently been conducted, the Search Results tab does not display.
2. Click the Search Results tab to remove the Search Results from your latest student search (and user search, if applicable). Once, disabled, the tab turns gray.
3a. To search for students only, click the Students tab.
If Search Results and Students are both selected, the displayed students will pull from all the students assigned to the selected school (School pull-down in the header) OR from the Search Results of your latest student search.
3b. To search for users/staff only, click the Staff tab.
a. Select the Match all check box to display students that are listed in the Search Results of your latest student search AND assigned to the selected school.
Selecting Students and Staff will show all students at the selected school and all staff. Selecting the Match All check box will show zero results because there are no students who are also staff members.
Selecting Search Results, Staff, and Students displays the results of your latest User search and Student search OR all users and students assigned to the selected school.
4a. Scroll through the listed students for the student you want, then click the student name to open the record in Student Info.
4b. Start typing the first name, last name, or student ID in the Filter... text box, then click the student name to open the record in Student Info.
Once the student record is in open in Student Info, the pull-down reflects the selected student information along with additional features.
a. Click the arrow to open the pull-down and startover.
b. Hover over the student's photo to view additional student information.
i. To message the student via the Communication screen, click the blue envelope icon.
c. Hover over the icons for additional information/alerts about the student.
d. Click the red and white X to close the student and navigate to the main Student Info screen where you can conduct a search or pick a new student from the Simple List.
e. Click the left and right arrow to navigate to the previous (left) and next (right) student/user in the list (as displayed in the Select Student/Staff pull-down.
The left arrow for previous student is inactive because Charlie Abe is the first person in the list. Upon clicking the right arrow to navigate to the next student, you can now click the left or right arrow to navigate back to Charlie Abe or go to the next student in the list.
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. Teachers receive Alerts on: referrals that have been processed, students that have been added or dropped, grades that need to be posted, messages sent via Messenger, etc.
As mentioned above, clicking on any of the alerts will link to the corresponding screens. For example, clicking Period 2 - ENG 3 navigates to the Take Attendance screen. Once addressed, the Alert will disappear.
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.
Administrators have the ability to create their own school level profile-specific messages via Students > Communication. However, this option is dependent upon profile permissions.
District & School Announcements and Upcoming Events created via Students > Communication and Users > Calendars 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 the Calendar.
Click the View Calendar link to open Calendar.
The Find A Student module provides a search text box to pull up student records directly from the Portal page.
To conduct a search from the Portal, enter search criteria in the provided text box, such as name of student ID, then select a category from the category menu pull-down in order to select the information you need based on the selected screen/information. Select the Student Group from the pull-down, if applicable. Select the Search All Sections and/or Include Inactive Students check boxes, set More Search Options, then click Search.
Pull-down options include: Absences, Activities, Add Referral, Demographics, Enrollment, Grades or Course History, Grad Reqs, Referrals, Requests, Schedule, SSS, Standard Grades, and Test History.
Once a search is conducted with a category selected from the pull-down, the selection will remain as a default until changed to conduct a new search.
For more details on how to find a student and apply More Search Options, see Searching for Students.
The Birthday List section displays upcoming Student Birthdays as well as upcoming User Birthdays.
Click the student name links to open Students > Student Info.
The Favorites section displays links to screens marked as Favorites.
a. To navigate to a favorite program, click the screen name in the Favorites list
b. To add a program to the Favorites list, navigate to the screen in Focus. Click the screen title and click + Add (name of program) to Favorites.
c. You can also navigate to Favorites by clicking the title of the screen, then clicking the program name in the list.
d. A program can be removed from the Favorites list by clicking the delete button (red minus sign) next to the program name.
Alternatively, click the screen title and click the delete button (red minus sign) next to the program name.
If you are on the screen that you want to remove/delete from Favorites, click the screen title, then click Remove (Program Name) from Favorites.
Recommended screens display as suggestions for favorite links when you have less than three favorites marked.
The Focus University section contains several helpful links including Video Tutorials and Help & Training Docs.
1. Click the Video Tutorials link to open Focus University Training Videos for Teachers in ScreenSteps.
2. Click the Help & Training Docs link to open all help manuals and search for specific documentation.
3. To search all help documentation and videos, enter key words in the provided search engine text box and click the magnifying glass.
Search Results display in ScreenSteps.