Communication (Teachers)

The Communication screen allows teachers to compose messages and class announcements to select students and students within sections. Emails, Files, Polls, Sign Up sheets, SMS, and Phone Calls can be attached to messages and announcements, as needed. Messages can also be scheduled to be sent at a later date or saved as a draft; all incoming and outgoing messages are also housed here.

Composing Messages

The Compose tab allows teachers to create new messages (previously Messenger), to selected students, use a template, create a new class announcement, and/or create a new template.

Users with profile permissions to Print Letters & Send Emails will automatically receive Permission to the Communications Compose tab when version 12 is installed.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Compose tab.

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In addition to composing a message, there are various other options available from this screen. To create an Announcement, create a Template, or Use Template, click the corresponding buttons.

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3. Select the students Recipients Type from the provided pull-down. This option allows you to choose how the Student and/or Family will be receiving the message. Options include:

  • Students sends the message to the student's primary email address and/or phone number as identified in the address block of Address & Contacts via Student Info.
  • Student Personal sends the message to the student's Personal Email address as identified in Student Info.
  • Primary Contacts limits to the contacts marked as custody.
  • All Contacts includes all users and/or persons in a student’s addresses and contacts.
  • Once Per Family sends the message to the student's custodial contacts and/or contact with a Sort Order priority of 1. The Linked Students section in Student Info > Addresses & Contacts is also used to determine which students are in the same family. Within a sibling group, one student within the group who has at least one contact is selected randomly and all of their custodial contacts are messaged. If that student has two contacts with the same linked user, those two contacts are deduped into one, and the user can see the message when logging in, or through any attached notifications.
  • Students & Primary Contacts sends the message to the student's primary email address recorded in Student Info, as well as all logged custodial contacts for the selected student. If the student's custodial contacts reside at different addresses or have different recorded email addresses, the message will be sent to all addresses.
  • Students & All Contacts sends the message to the student's primary email address and/or phone number as identified in the address block of Address & Contacts via Student Info, and all users and/or persons in a student’s addresses and contacts.
  • Teacher Of sends the message to all the students' current teachers.
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The options displayed in the pull-down depend on your profile permissions granted by the district.

If a student does not have a contact and contacts are selected as the recipient, the system will check for the student's contact records including emails and phone numbers; if no no email or phone number can be found, the system will utilize the contact information of the linked user associated with the student and/or the student's contacts.

The system fall back also applies if Primary Contacts is selected and the Contact does not have an Email Address stored in Focus.

If Student Personal is selected and the Student Personal Email address field is empty, the message will be sent to the Student's Primary Email, and vice versa.

If Once Per Family is selected, duplicate messages may be generated based on the recipient's contact details, such as email or phone number. Although queue records will still be generated for duplicate entries, they won't result in actual email/call transmissions. This ensures that when a parent accesses the system to view messages related to any of their students, the message will be consistently displayed, regardless of which student's record is being viewed.

The Communication Reports displays the Status as "Duplicate" when examining the recipient details for the applicable messages.

4. Select the Student Recipients from the provided pull-down. Select which Students should receive the message.

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a. Click the Student Groups icon to select a student group as the student recipients from the pull-down.

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You can directly message student groups as long as you have at least one group assigned to you or your profile. For more information, see Student Groups.

i. Upon clicking the Student Groups icon, the pull-down displayed all available student groups. Select the applicable student group from the pull-down.

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Click the Students icon to switch back to a Students pull-down.

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b. Click the More Search Options icon (magnifying glass) to conduct a student search and utilize More Search Options.

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i. Perform a student search. For more information on how to conduct a student search, see Searching for Students.

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ii. Using the check boxes displayed next to the students, select the students to whom you'd like to send the message. The selections here populate the original student pull-down. Select the check box in the header to select all displayed students at once.

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iii. Click Done.

5. Select the Letterhead template that you'd like applied to your message from the pull-down, if applicable. Letterhead Templates are set up by the district.

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6. Select the Staff Recipients from the provided pull-down. Select which users should receive the message. The users listed are limited to the users active at your school.

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7.  Select the Secure Email check box to flag the messages as secure and require users to log into Focus in order to view the message.

If Secure Email is enabled, the Copy Self option and Cc option are disabled and a warning displays: Copy Self will not include Secure Emails.

8. Select the Push Notification check box to send a push notification to mobile app users when the message is sent.

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9. Select the Add Log Record check box to log the message in the students' and/or users' Letter Log record in Student Info. The message will be logged when the message is sent. Messages are also logged for students when the message is printed.

If Teachers Of is selected from the Students recipients pull-down, the Add Log Record check box is disabled.

10. Select the Copy Self check box to copy yourself on the email so a copy of the email is sent to you as well as the selected recipients.

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When Copy Self is enabled, you receive one message regardless of the number of recipients. If files are attached to the original, the files are sent in the copy, as well. A copy of the email, SMS, and calls are sent in a copy.If copying yourself, your email will not display as a CC. No translations will be made upon receiving a copy of the email.

11. Enter the Subject of the message in the provided text box. If a subject is not entered, the subject defaults to New Message.

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12. To copy other users on the message/email, enter the emails addresses separated by semicolons in the Cc text box. For example, [email protected]; [email protected]

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If the message is flagged as a Secure Email, you cannot carbon copy additional users. The Cc text box becomes inactive.

All users/emails Cc'd will be copied on every message that is sent out. Users are only copied on emails, not SMS or calls. If files are attached to the original message, the files are sent in the copy, as well. Upon being Cc'd, users receive translated messages.

13. Select the First Only check box to copy the entered email addresses in the Cc text box on one email only. When the check box is cleared, the email addresses entered in the Cc text box display on all emails sent.

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14. Enter the Email (Message) in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

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Click use a template to apply a template to your message. See Using Templates for details.

Follow the steps below to attach a File, Poll, Sign Up, SMS, and/or Call before sending.

Shown below is an example of what the screen looks like without the Call Out System. Notice the SMS and Call tab no longer display.

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15a. Click Send to send the message right away. Once sent, the message displays in the Sent tab.

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15b. Click Schedule to schedule when the message should be sent.

a. Select the Send Date using the calendar pop-up and enter the send time in the provided text box.

b. If the message is Recurring, select the recurring method from the pull-down, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Annually.

i. If you set a recurring method, enter a Final Date in the provided text box to establish the time frame for which the message should run.

c. Click Save.

Once scheduled, you can view the message in the Scheduled tab.

Upon scheduling a message, a Send time is required. You must also select a date/time in the future. Dates/times cannot be set in the past.

15c. Click Save Draft to save the message as a draft. If saved as a draft, the message will be saved with all attached data in the Drafts tab.

15d. Click Discard to to discard the message if you do not wish to save it or send it.

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16. Click Print to print the message.

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Attaching a File to a Message

1. Click the File tab to scan or drag and drop files to be attached to the message. The uploaded files send when the message is sent. When an email is sent, the file will be sent as an attachment in the email.

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2a. Drag and drop the file from your computer to the file area.

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2b. Click Choose a file or drag it here to select and download the file from your computer. Select the file, and click Open.

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2c. Click Scan to scan a file from your scanner directly to Focus. Select the Scanner, Color, Format, etc., then click Scan.

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2d. Click Take Photo to upload a file using your computer camera. Once your camera loads, click Take Photo.

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3. Once a file is attached, click the download icon to download the file to your computer or click the delete icon to file.

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To remove all files from the message, click the X next to File.

Attaching an SMS to a Message

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the SMS option doesn't display.

1. Click SMS to attach an SMS text to the template. When the template is applied, the SMS text is sent to the selected profile users. This option is only displayed for users with the SMS profile permission enabled.

  • For Student Profiles, the SMS is sent to the student's primary phone number on their Address card where SMS enabled. 
  • For Parent Profiles, the SMS is sent to the custodial contact with the SMS flag.
  • For User Profiles, the SMS is sent to the users’ phone number.
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2. Type the SMS in the provided text box.

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There is an SMS character limit; here it is set to 130. The number of characters present is displayed out of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 130/130 as displayed above. The number of characters allowed is determined by the district applied by the SMS Character Limit setting.

3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

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a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

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b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

To remove the SMS from the message, click the X next to SMS.

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Attaching a Call to a Message

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Call option doesn't display.

Click the Call tab to type a text-to-speech message or record a template call to be attached to the message.

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If caller ID phone numbers have been set up by the district, they will display on the Call tab upon attaching a call to a message.

If only one number is setup or available to you, the title of the phone number displays next to Caller ID, as shown below.

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If more than one number is setup and available to use, a Caller ID pull-down displays from which you can select the Caller ID you wish to use.

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To remove the call from the message, click the X next to Call.

Voice Recording

1. From the Call tab, click the Recorded tab to record your phone call.

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2. If recording your message, click Record and speak your message clearly. Note: You must ensure that the microphone on your computer has been enabled in your computer settings.

Click Finish to stop the recording when complete.

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There is a one minute time limit on recorded messages. If the recording has not been stopped by clicking Finish before the one minute mark, the recording will automatically end. The Time Remaining feature displays the amount of time left to make the recording counting down from one minute.

There is a brief pause before messages begin upon calls being answered by a person or by voicemail to ensure the entire message is recorded if sent to voicemail. Note: If a person answers the call, the message will begin once the person speaks as opposed to waiting 2-3 seconds.

3. Once recorded, click Play to review your message.

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Click Pause to pause the message.

Click Stop to stop the message from playing and go back to the beginning of the message.

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Click Record at any time, to re-record you message.

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Text-To-Speech Phone Call

1. Click the Text-To-Speech tab to enter text that will be transcribed into a voice message.

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2. If using Text-To-Speech call type, enter the content that will be read to recipients as a phone call in the provided text box.

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There is a Text-To-Speech word limit; here it is set to 180. The number of words present is displayed out of of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 31/180 as displayed below.

3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

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a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

Testing a Call Attached to a Message

1. Click Test Call to preview the call before sending it out with the message.

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2. Enter your phone number in the provided text box for a sampling of the call created. Then, click Test.

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3. In the pop-up confirmation window, click OK.

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Printing & Previewing Messages

1. Follow the steps for Composing Messages.

2. In order to preview the message(s) or to print the message(s), click Print.

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A PDF Print Preview window opens with the message(s) composed.

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3. If printing, you have additional options to consider before printing including:

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a. Include Student's or User's Name/ID on Each PDF Page: Select the check box to include the student's or user's name and identification number on each printed page (as it pertains to that person).

b. Redirect to print Avery Labels for students upon closing modal?: Select the check box to automatically navigate to the Print Avery Labels screen in order to create and print mailing labels for students if mailing the printed letters to students/parents.

c. Print Original: Select the check box to print the original message drafted as opposed to the messages generated based on the recipients' preferred language.

d. Print in Primary Contacts Language: Select the check box to print the messages in the recipients' primary contact language as opposed to the original composition language; i.e. this option translates all letters into the primary contact's language, which is determined by the linked user attached to the primary contact with a sort order of 1.

4. Click Generate Letter to regenerate the messages using the Print Options selected.

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5. Click the Print icon to print the messages. Clicking the Print icon opens another printing window which depends on your computer settings and printer settings.

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6. When finished, click the white X to close the PDF Print Preview window.

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Creating Templates

The Templates tab allows teachers to create and save recurring messages to be applied to messages in order to be sent out to Students and Users without having to rewrite the message every time it is needed.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2a. Click the Templates tab.

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a. Click the pencil icon to create a new template.

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2b. Click the Compose tab.

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a. Click Template.

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3. Enter the Title of the template in the provided text box.

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4. Select the Letterhead template from the pull-down that should be applied to the template. Letterhead Templates are set up by the district.

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5. Select the Secure Email check box to generate a secure message upon using the template to send a message. The Student/User will receive a notification to log into their portal account to view the secure message.

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6. Select the Push Notification check box to send a push notification to mobile app users when the message is sent.

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From the Email attachment tab, you can attach an email to the template. When the template is used, the email contents will be sent to the select profile users.

For Student Profiles, the email will be sent to the student's primary email address. For User Profiles, the emails will be sent to the users’ email address.

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7. Enter the Subject of the message in the provided text box. If a subject is not entered, the subject defaults to New Message.

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8. Enter the contents of the email in the provided text editor.

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Follow the steps below to attach a File, Poll, Sign Up, SMS, and/or Call before saving the template.

Shown below is an example of what the screen looks like without the Call Out System. Notice the SMS and Call tab no longer display.

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9. Click Save to save the template.

Click Discard to to discard the template if you do not wish to save it.

Attaching a File to a Template

1. Click the File tab to scan or drag and drop files to be attached to the template. The uploaded files send when the template is used. If an email is also attached, the file will be sent as an attachment in the email.

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2a. Drag and drop the file from your computer to the file area.

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2b. Click Choose a file or drag it here to select and download the file from your computer. Select the file, and click Open.

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2c. Click Scan to scan a file from your scanner directly to Focus. Select the Scanner, Color, Format, etc., then click Scan.

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2d. Click Take Photo to upload a file using your computer camera. Once your camera loads, click Take Photo.

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3. Once a file is attached, click the download icon to download the file to your computer or click the delete icon to file.

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To remove the all files from the template, click the X next to File.

Attaching an SMS to a Template

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the SMS option doesn't display.

1. Click SMS to attach an SMS text to the template. When the template is applied, the SMS text is sent to the selected profile users. This option is only displayed for users with the SMS profile permission enabled.

  • For Student Profiles, the SMS is sent to the student's primary phone number on their Address card where SMS enabled. 
  • For Parent Profiles, the SMS is sent to the custodial contact with the SMS flag.
  • For User Profiles, the SMS is sent to the users’ phone number.
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2. Type the SMS in the provided text box.

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There is an SMS word limit; here it is set to 130. The number of words present is displayed out of of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 72/130 as displayed above. The number of characters allowed is determined by the district applied by the SMS Character Limit setting.

3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

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a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

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b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

To remove the SMS from the template, click the X next to SMS.

Attaching a Call to a Template

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Call option doesn't display.

Click the Call tab to type a text-to-speech message or record a template call to be attached to the template.

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If caller ID phone numbers have been set up by the district, they will display on the Call tab upon attaching a call to a message.

If only one number is setup or available to you, the title of the phone number displays next to Caller ID, as shown below.

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If more than one number is setup and available to use, a Caller ID pull-down displays from which you can select the Caller ID you wish to use.

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To remove the call from the template, click the X next to Call.

Voice Recording

1. From the Call tab, click the Recorded tab to record your phone call.

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2. If recording your message, click Record and speak your message clearly. Note: You must ensure that the microphone on your computer has been enabled in your computer settings.

Click Finish to stop the recording when complete.

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There is a one minute time limit on recorded messages. If the recording has not been stopped by clicking Finish before the one minute mark, the recording will automatically end. The Time Remaining feature displays the amount of time left to make the recording counting down from one minute.

There is a brief pause before messages begin upon calls being answered by a person or by voicemail to ensure the entire message is recorded if sent to voicemail. Note: If a person answers the call, the message will begin once the person speaks as opposed to waiting 2-3 seconds.

3. Once recorded, click Play to review your message.

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Click Pause to pause the message.

Click Stop to stop the message from playing and go back to the beginning of the message.

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Click Record at any time, to re-record you message.

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Text-To-Speech Phone Call

1. Click the Text-To-Speech tab to enter text that will be transcribed into a voice message.

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2. If using Text-To-Speech call type, enter the content that will be read to recipients as a phone call in the provided text box.

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There is a Text-To-Speech word limit; here it is set to 180. The number of words present is displayed out of of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 16/180 as displayed below.

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3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

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a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

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b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

Testing a Call Attached to a Template

1. Click Test Call to preview the call before applying it the template.

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2. Enter your phone number in the provided text box for a sampling of the call created. Then, click Test.

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3. In the pop-up confirmation window, click OK.

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Viewing Templates

1. In the Students menu, click Communication.

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2. Click the Templates tab.

3a. Select the template from the list.

Use the Filter to quickly search for a template by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

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3b. Click the Table View icon to view all templates in a table view, as displayed below.

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From the table view, you have the ability to view and edit the Title, Letterhead, and Created By.

a. From the table view, click List View to view all templates in the original panel.

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Editing Templates

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Templates tab.

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3a. Select the template that needs editing from the list.

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Use the Filter to quickly search for a template by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

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3b. Click the Table View icon to view all templates in a table view, as displayed below.

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From the table view, you have the ability to view and edit the Title, Letterhead, and Created By.

a. From the table, click Edit for a singular view of the template where you can make changes as well.

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4. Edit the general fields, as needed, including the Title and Letterhead. See Creating Templates for more information.

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5. Click the Email, File, SMS, and Call tabs to edit or add data.

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6. Click Save to apply changes.

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Using Templates

The templates available to you for use consists of your own personal templates created from the Templates tab and any templates shared with your profile by administrative users upon being created.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2a. Click the Compose tab to create a new message.

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a. Click Use Template at the top or click use a template in the body of the message.

2b. Click the Templates tab, then select a template.

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a. Click Use This Template.

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b. Finish creating your message. See Composing Messages for details.

2c. Click the Templates tab, then click the Table View icon to view all templates in a table view.

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a. From the Table View, click Use.

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2d. Click the applicable tab such as Drafts, Polls, or Sign Ups, then select the draft, poll, or sign up sheet.

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a. Click Use Template.

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You can also click use a template in the body of the message if a message hasn't been entered yet.

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3. In the Use Template pop-up window, click the correct template Title to apply to your message.

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The Use Template pop-up window displays the following information as it applies to the template(s): Title, assigned Profiles, assigned Schools, Attached Tab, Letterhead, Academic Record Category, and Created By.

The data from the template loads and populates your message.

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See Composing Messages for more information about how to complete a message, save the message as a draft, schedule the message, or send the message.

Deleting Templates

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Templates tab.

3a. Select the template that needs to be deleted.

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Use the Filter to quickly search for a template by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

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a. Click Delete.

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b. Click Delete in the conformation pop-up window.

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3b. Click the Table View icon.

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a. From the Table View, click delete button (red minus sign).

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b. Click OK in the conformation pop-up window.

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Creating Announcements

The Announcements tab is used to create and publish messages on the Portal to selected sections.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2a. Click the Announcements tab.

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a. Click the pencil icon to create a new announcement.

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2b. Click the Compose tab.

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a. Click Announcement.

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3. Enter the Title for the announcement in the provided text box.

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The Title is required to post an announcement.

4. Select the Sections for which you want the announcement to display on the Portal from the corresponding pull-down.

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5. Enter the Publish start date and end date in the text boxes provided. Enter the start date to determine the date in which the announcement should be posted to the Portal and the end date to determine when it should be removed.

The Publish start date defaults to Today while the end date defaults to No Expiration. If an end date isn't specified, the announcements displays on the Portal until deleted or end dated.

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When you send an Email, SMS, or Call and post an announcement together, the announcement's attached Email/SMS/Call are sent out when the Communication Queue scheduled job runs after the call out window system preference time has begun on the Active date from the announcement. The Announcement itself is posted to the Portal on the Active date.

6. Select the Push Notification check box to make the announcement visible to students/parents in the Mobile App who are not logged into Focus. Note: This is only applicable to customers utilizing the Community Mobile App.

7. Enter the Announcement in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

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Follow the steps below to attach an Email, File, Poll, Sign Up, SMS, and/or Call before posting.

Shown below is an example of what the screen looks like without the Call Out System. Notice the SMS and Call tab no longer display.

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8. Click Post.

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Click Discard to discard the announcement if you do not wish post it or save it for a later date.

Once posted the Announcement displays on the Student Portal in the District & School Announcements section.

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Attaching an Email to an Announcement

1. Click the Email attachment tab to attach an email to the announcement. When the announcement becomes active, the email contents will be sent to students in the selected sections.

For Student Profiles, the email will be sent to the student's primary email address.

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2. Enter the contents of the email in the provided text editor.

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To remove the email from the announcement, click the X next to Email.

Attaching a File to an Announcement

1. Click the File tab to scan or drag and drop files to be attached to the announcement. Once attached, the File displays with the announcement for the user to download. If an email is also attached, the file will be sent as an attachment in the email as well.

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2a. Drag and drop the file from your computer to the file area.

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2b. Click Choose a file or drag it here to select and download the file from your computer. Select the file, and click Open.

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2c. Click Scan to scan a file from your scanner directly to Focus. Select the Scanner, Color, Format, etc., then click Scan.

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2d. Click Take Photo to upload a file using your computer camera. Once your camera loads, click Take Photo.

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3. Once a file is attached, click the download icon to download the file to your computer or click the delete icon to file.

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To remove the files from the announcement, click the X next to File.

Attaching an SMS to an Announcement

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the SMS option doesn't display.

1. Click SMS to attach an SMS text to the announcement. When the announcement becomes active, the SMS text is sent to the students in the selected sections.

  • For Student Profiles, the SMS is sent to the student's primary phone number on their Address card where SMS enabled. 
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2. Type the SMS in the provided text box.

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There is an SMS word limit; here it is set to 130. The number of words present is displayed out of of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 130/130 as displayed above. The number of characters allowed is determined by the district applied by the SMS Character Limit setting.

3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

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a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

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b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

To remove the SMS from the announcement, click the X next to SMS.

Attaching a Call to an Announcement

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Call option doesn't display.

Click the Call tab to type a text-to-speech message or record a template call to be attached to the announcement.

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If caller ID phone numbers have been set up by the district, they will display on the Call tab upon attaching a call to a message.

If only one number is setup or available to you, the title of the phone number displays next to Caller ID, as shown below.

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If more than one number is setup and available to use, a Caller ID pull-down displays from which you can select the Caller ID you wish to use.

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To remove the Call from the announcement, click the X next to Call.

Voice Recording

1. From the Call tab, click the Recorded tab to record your phone call.

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2. If recording your message, click Record and speak your message clearly. Note: You must ensure that the microphone on your computer has been enabled in your computer settings.

Click Finish to stop the recording when complete.

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There is a one minute time limit on recorded messages. If the recording has not been stopped by clicking Finish before the one minute mark, the recording will automatically end. The Time Remaining feature displays the amount of time left to make the recording counting down from one minute.

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There is a brief pause before messages begin upon calls being answered by a person or by voicemail to ensure the entire message is recorded if sent to voicemail. Note: If a person answers the call, the message will begin once the person speaks as opposed to waiting 2-3 seconds.

3. Once recorded, click Play to review your message.

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Click Pause to pause the message.

Click Stop to stop the message from playing and go back to the beginning of the message.

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Click Record at any time, to re-record you message.

Text-To-Speech Phone Call

1. Click the Text-To-Speech tab to enter text that will be transcribed into a voice message.

Communication

2. If using Text-To-Speech call type, enter the content that will be read to recipients as a phone call in the provided text box.

Communication

There is a Text-To-Speech word limit; here it is set to 180. The number of words present is displayed out of of the maximum number of characters allowed, such as 18/180 as displayed below.

Communication

3. Click Insert Field to insert select fields from Focus into the SMS, such as student demographic information.

Communication

a. Select the Keep Window Open check box to select multiple fields without closing the pop-up window.

Communication

b. Once all fields have been selected, click Done.

Testing a Call Attached to an Announcement

1. Click Test Call to preview the call before posted it with the announcement.

Communication

2. Enter your phone number in the provided text box for a sampling of the call created. Then, click Test.

Communication

3. In the pop-up confirmation window, click OK.

sandbox.focusschoolsoftware.com says
Editing Announcements

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Announcements tab.

Communication

3. Click the Inactive icon to include inactive announcements in the list of announcements. Inactive announcements include announcements where the Publish end date has passed.

Communication

4. Select the Announcement that needs editing from the list.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for an announcement by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

Communication

5. Edit the general fields, as needed, including the Title, Sections, Publish dates, etc. See Creating Announcements for more information.

Communication

6. Click the Announcement, Email, File, SMS, and Call tabs to edit or add data.

Communication

7. Click Post to apply changes.

Communication
Deleting Announcements

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Announcements tab.

3. Select the Announcement that need to be deleted from the list.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for an announcement by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

Communication

4. Click Delete.

Communication

5. Click Delete in the conformation pop-up window.

Communication
Inbox

The Inbox tab displays all incoming messages sent from students, parents, and other users. The Inbox tab loads by default when accessing Communications. Message threads are in order of most recently received and display the sender's name and the number of unread messages (if any).

New messages display as an Alert on the Portal page. Click X New message(s) to open your Inbox.

Portal

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Inbox tab.

Communication

All incoming messages are displayed along with the sender's name, section for students, and profile for all other users. The number of unread messages displays next to the sender's name.

Communication

3. Click the sender's name to open the messages.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a message by typing the the sender's name or part of the sender's name.

Communication

Click the pencil icon to create a message from the Compose tab.

Communication

Once selected, all incoming and outgoing messages between you and the selected user displays. The date and time is displayed along with all messages.

Communication

The icons next to the messages determined the message status and allow various tasks.

The clock icon indicates that the message is processing.

The envelope icon determines the email was sent.

The paperclip displays for attachments. These files can be clicked and downloaded/viewed.

The x icon displays when a message couldn't be sent; the reason the message wasn't sent displays when you hover over the x icon normally because No Contact Information was found. This means the message was delivered to the recipient's Focus Inbox but the recipient was not notified otherwise due to invalid contact data. 

The phone icon displays when the phone call was sent.

The message bubble icon displays when a SMS was sent.

Communication

4. Click the flag icon next to incoming messages if the message is inappropriate and should be flagged as such.

Communication

In the pop-up window, click Confirm.

Communication

Once flagged the message is removed and replaced with "Message Content Flagged."

Communication

a. Click the red flag icon for more options, such as Add Referral, View Message, or Remove Flag.

Communication

i. Click Add Referral to add a referral via Add Referral for students. In the pop-up window, select the applicable options and follow the steps for adding a referral to complete the process. Then, click Save.

Communication

ii. Click View Message to display the message while keeping it flagged.

iii. Click Remove Flag to remove the flag from the message.

If profanity is used that is recognized by the system, the message is automatically flagged and hidden. To view the message, create a referral, or remove the flag, see the steps described above.

Upon viewing the message in your email via the email address provided, the following disclaimer displays: Disclaimer: The following message has been automatically flagged for inappropriate content. Reader discretion is advised.

5. To respond to incoming messages, type your message in the provided text area. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

Communication

6a. Click Send to send the message right away.

Communication

6b. Click the clock icon to schedule the message to be sent at a later date and time.

a. Select the Send Date using the calendar pop-up and enter the send time in the provided text box.

b. If the message is Recurring, select the recurring method from the pull-down, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Annually.

c. Click Save.

Once scheduled, you can view the message in the Scheduled tab.

Upon scheduling a message, a Send time is required. You must also select a date/time in the future. Dates/times cannot be set in the past.

6c. Click the pencil icon to continue writing the message from the Compose tab where additional options are available, if needed.

When the pencil icon is clicked during a reply, the Compose screen automatically locks onto the original message's recipient.

Communication
Sent Messages

The Sent tab displays all outgoing messages sent from you to students, parents, and other users. Message threads are in order of most recently sent at the top of the list and display the recipient’s name.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Sent tab.

Communication

All outgoing messages are displayed along with the recipient's name, section for students, and profile for all other users.

3. Click the recipient's name to open the messages.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a message by typing the the recipient's name or part of the recipient's name.

Communication

Click the pencil icon to create a message from the Compose tab.

Communication

Once selected, all outgoing and incoming messages between you and the selected user are displayed. The date and time is displayed along with all messages.

Communication

The icons next to the messages determine the message status and allow various tasks.

The clock icon indicates that the message is processing.

The envelope icon determines the email was sent.

The paperclip displays for attachments. These files can be clicked and downloaded/viewed.

The x icon appears when a message fails to send. Hovering over the x icon typically reveals the reason for the failed delivery, often indicating "No Contact Information Found." This indicates that while the message was delivered to the recipient's Focus Inbox, they were not notified due to invalid contact data.

The phone icon displays when the phone call was sent.

The message bubble icon displays when a SMS was sent.

Communication

4. Click the flag icon next to incoming messages if the message is inappropriate and should be flagged as such.

Communication

In the pop-up window, click Confirm.

Communication

Once flagged the message is removed and replaced with "Message Content Flagged."

Communication

a. Click the red flag icon for more options, such as Add Referral, View Message, or Remove Flag.

Communication

i. Click Add Referral to add a referral via Add Referral. Follow the steps for adding a referral to complete the process.

ii. Click View Message to display the message while keeping it flagged.

iii. Click Remove Flag to remove the flag from the message.

If profanity is used that is recognized by the system, the message is automatically flagged and hidden. To view the message, create a referral, or remove the flag, see the steps described above.

Upon viewing the message in your email via the email address provided, the following disclaimer displays: Disclaimer: The following message has been automatically flagged for inappropriate content. Reader discretion is advised.

5. To send additional messages, type your message in the provided text area. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

Communication

6a. Click Send to send the message right away.

Communication

6b. Click the clock icon to schedule the message to be sent at a later date and time.

a. Select the Send Date using the calendar pop-up and enter the send time in the provided text box.

b. If the message is Recurring, select the recurring method from the pull-down, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Annually.

c. Click Save.

Once scheduled, you can view the message in the Scheduled tab.

Upon scheduling a message, a Send time is required. You must also select a date/time in the future. Dates/times cannot be set in the past.

6c. Click the pencil icon to continue writing the message from the Compose tab where additional options are available, if needed.

When the pencil icon is clicked during a reply, the Compose screen automatically locks onto the original message's recipient.

Communication
Scheduled Messages

The Scheduled tab displays all messages scheduled to be sent out later.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Scheduled tab.

Communication

Scheduled messages are displayed with the date and time for which they are scheduled along with the number of recipients.

Communication

3. Click the scheduled message to view details and make changes.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a message by typing part of the date or part of the message information.

Communication

Click the pencil icon to create a message from the Compose tab.

Communication

Once selected, the scheduled message displays. Edit the message, as needed. For details, see Composing Messages.

Communication

4. Once all edits have been made, click Reschedule to reschedule the message for a different time and/or date, or click Save to apply the changes to the already set time and date.

Communication
Drafts

The Drafts tab displays all messages saved as drafts.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Drafts tab.

Communication

Drafted messages are displayed with the date saved and the type of message, such as Email.

Communication

3. Click the drafted message to view details and make changes.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a message by typing the the date and number of recipients or part of the date and number of recipients.

Communication

Click the pencil icon to create a message from the Compose tab.

Communication

Once selected, the drafted message displays. Complete composing your message and prepare to send the message or save it as draft again. For details, see Composing Messages.

Communication
Polls

The Polls tab offers users the capability to craft Polls for dissemination to students, parents, and staff, facilitating swift and efficient data collection. These Polls can cover various topics such as Prom themes, entertainment preferences, and more. Users will enjoy the flexibility to create Polls featuring Descriptions, deadlines for Responses Allowed, Questions, Answers, and diverse response types like multiple choice, true or false, reactions, free response, etc.

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add-on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Polls option/tab doesn't display.

Creating Polls

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Polls tab.

Communication

3. To create a new poll, click the pencil icon.

Communication

Polls can also be created and attached from the following tabs: Compose, Templates, Announcements, Scheduled, and Drafts.

a. Click the applicable tab and the applicable message/template/draft, such as Templates tab and the ESOL: ELL_Schedule template.

b. Click the Poll tab and follow the steps below.

Communication

4. Complete the top section of the screen including who should receive the poll using the Students and Staff recipient pull-downs, which Letterhead template to apply, and additional options all explained in Composing Messages.

Communication

5. From the Poll tab, enter the poll Description in the provided text box.

Communication

6. Enter the End Date and Time until which responses are allowed.

Communication

Question 1/1 displays by default. Enter the data for question 1 before adding additional questions.

Communication

7. Select the question type from the provided pull-down; options include Multiple Choice, True or False, Reaction (Smiley), or Free Response. A different question type can be selected per question.

a. If you select Multiple Choice as the question type, you can also select the Select Multiple check box to allow users to select more than one option as a response for this question.

Communication

8. Select the Required check box to flag the question as required. Upon taking the poll, users will not be able to submit their responses until this question is answered.

Communication

9. Enter your question in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

Communication

10. If using multiple choice, enter the answer options in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images. By default, there are two options available.

Communication

a. To add answer options, click + Option.

Communication

b. To delete a question, click the X.

Communication

11. To add another question, click the + (addition) icon next to Question 1/1.

Communication

12. Follow the steps listed above for adding questions and options.

Communication

13. Click Edit to delete questions or change the order of the questions added to the Poll.

Communication

a. From the Edit Questions pop-up window, click the delete button to remove a question from the Poll.

Communication

i. In the confirmation window, click Confirm.

Communication

b. To change the order of questions, click the Sort Order field and edit the number.

Communication

c. When finished, click Done.

14. You have the ability to attach an Email, a File, a Sign Up sheet, SMS and/or Call. Click the corresponding tabs to attach these items to the Poll.

Communication

15. Click Send.

If any of the questions are empty, you cannot send the poll.

There are various other options available, such as Schedule, the ability to Use Template, Print, Save Draft, and Discard. For information on all available options, see Composing Messages.

Viewing Poll Results

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Polls tab.

Communication

3a. Select the poll from the list to view results.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a poll by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

Communication

3b. Click the Table View icon to view all polls in a table view, as displayed below.

Communication

a. From the table view, you have the ability to edit the Title, End Date, and End Time. Click the fields to make changes. Once edited, changes save automatically. Grayed out fields cannot be edited. These fields are grayed out for polls created by other users.

Communication

b. From the table view, you can also view the Responses / Recipients, Publish Date, and the Results by clicking the corresponding button.

Communication

c. If you didn't create the poll, you can click View to view the poll details and sign up. See Taking Polls for details.

d. From the table view, click List View to view all polls in the original panel.

Upon clicking the Poll from the List View or clicking Results/View from the Table View, the Poll description and active timeframe displays.

Communication

The questions are displayed along with the responses. You can view responses in a Bar Graph, Pie Chart or in a list per student Name and Response.

Communication

4. To view other questions in the poll, click the arrows.

Communication

5. The response view defaults to a Bar Graph view. To view responses in a pie chart, click the Pie Chart icon.

Communication

6. Hover over the bars or pie pieces to view details about the percentages.

Communication

7. The Closing date and time displays. Click the End Date and/or Time field to edit the deadline. Once edited, the changes save automatically. Note: You can edit this information, if you created the poll. If the poll was created by another user, you cannot edit this information.

Communication
Taking Polls

When a poll is sent to you, you will receive a message notification in the Alerts section of the Portal page. Click the alert to open Communication.

Portal

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2a. When you have new messages, the Communication screen defaults to the Inbox tab.

Communication

a. Click the applicable message.

2b. Click the Polls tab to view results and/or take the poll.

Communication

a. Select the Poll that was assigned to you.

Below is an example of a Poll from the Inbox tab.

Communication

Below is an example of a Poll from the Polls tab. When you have the ability to partake in the poll, the questions and options display along the right side.

Communication

The questions displays and the options for selection. This varies depending on the types of questions included in the poll.

3. Select the radio buttons, enter your responses, pick an emoji reaction, etc. then click Next to answer all questions (if taking the poll from the Inbox).

Communication

Click Back to go back to the previous question(s).

Communication

4. When finished, click Submit.

Communication
Sign Ups

The Sign Ups tab empowers users to create sign-up forms for events such as Prom Chaperones, accessible to students, parents, and staff. The creation process aligns with that of Polls, but with the added ability for users to set the Max Responses, specifying the desired number of participants for the task. Results are displayed based on sign-up numbers rather than visual representations like pie charts or bar graphs.

This functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. If this add-on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Sign Ups option/tab doesn't display.

Creating Sign Ups

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Sign Ups tab.

Communication

3. To create a new sign up sheet, click the pencil icon.

Communication

Sign Ups can also be created and attached from the following tabs: Compose, Templates, Announcements, Scheduled, and Drafts.

a. Click the applicable tab and the applicable message/template/draft, such as Templates tab and the ESOL: ELL_Schedule template.

b. Click the Sign Up tab and follow the steps below.

Communication

4. Complete the top section of the screen including who should receive the sign up sheet using the Students and Staff recipient pull-downs, which Letterhead template to apply, and additional options all explained in Composing Messages.

Communication

5. Enter the Event Title in the provided text box.

6. Enter the Event Location in the provided text box.

7. Enter the Event Date in the provided text box.

8. Enter the Event Time in the provided text box.

Communication

9. Enter the End Date and Time until which responses are allowed.

Communication

Question 1/1 displays by default. Enter the data for question 1 before adding additional questions.

Communication

10. Enter your question in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

Communication

11. Enter the answer options in the provided text editor. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images. By default, there are two options available.

Communication

12. Click the arrows to change the number of Max Responses per response. For example, if you need 4 volunteers to help set up from 5:00pm-6:00pm, be sure the Max Responses is set to 4 or higher. By default, the maximum is set to 1 response.

13. To add response options, click + Option.

Communication

14. To delete a response, click the X.

Communication

15. To add another question, click the + (addition) icon next to Question 1/1.

Communication

16. Follow the steps listed above for adding questions and responses.

Communication

17. Click Edit to delete questions or change the order of the questions added to the sign up sheet.

Communication

a. From the Edit Questions pop-up window, click the delete button to remove a question from the sign up sheet.

Communication

i. In the confirmation window, click Confirm.

Communication

b. To change the order of questions, click the Sort Order field and edit the number.

Communication

c. When finished, click Done.

18. You have the ability to attach an Email, a File, a Poll, SMS, and/or Call. Click the corresponding tabs to attach these items to the sign up sheet.

Communication

19. Click Send.

If any of the questions are empty, you cannot send the sign up sheet.

There are various other options available, such as Schedule, the ability to Use Template, Print, Save Draft, and Discard. For information on all available options, see Composing Messages.

Viewing Sign Ups

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Sign Ups tab.

Communication

3a. Select the sign up sheet from the list to view results.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a sign up sheet by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

Communication

3b. Click the Table View icon to view all sign ups in a table view, as displayed below.

Communication

a. From the table view, you have the ability to edit the Event Title, Location, End Date, and End Time. Click the fields to make changes. Once edited, changes save automatically. Grayed out fields cannot be edited. These fields are grayed out for sign ups created by other users.

Communication

b. From the table view, you can also view the Responses / Recipients, Publish Date, and the Results by clicking the corresponding button.

c. If you didn't create the sign up sheet, you can click View to view the sign up details and sign up. See Signing Up for details.

Communication

d. From the table view, click List View to view all sign ups in the original panel.

Upon clicking the Sign Up from the List View or clicking Results/View from the Table View, the sign up sheet Event Title and active timeframe displays.

Communication

4. Click the pencil icon to edit the Event Title of the sign up sheet.

Communication

a. When finished, click the check mark to apply changes.

Communication

The questions are displayed along with the responses including the number of responses received out of the max number or responses set. You can view responses per user Name and Response.

Communication

5. To view other questions in the sign up sheet, click the arrows.

Communication

6. The number of responses displays out of the number of max responses set. You can edit the number of max responses by clicking the field and typing in the new number or by clicking the arrows.

Communication

A green check mark displays when the set number of responses has been met.

Communication

7. The End Date and end Time displays, as well as the Event Location, event Date, and the event Time. Click the fields to edit the signup information. Once edited, the changes save automatically.

Communication

8. Click Add Response + to manually add a response from a user.

Communication

a. In the Add Response pop-up window, enter the volunteer's Name in the provided text box. Then, click the arrows to sign up for the applicable time or area, etc.

b. Click Next to respond to remaining questions.

Communication

c. When completed, click Submit.

Communication

The manual response is added to the table.

Communication

9. Click Edit next to any of the users to edit the response submitted by the user or to submit a response on behalf of the user.

a. In the Override Response pop-up window, click the submitted number to enter a new one or delete it; you can also click the arrows to change the response. From here, you can also make a new selection or create a selection (if users haven't submitted a response yet).

b. Click Submit to apply the changes.

Communication
Signing Up

When a sign up sheet is sent to you, you will receive a message notification in the Alerts section of the Portal page. Click the alert to open Communication.

Portal

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2a. When you have new messages, the Communication screen defaults to the Inbox tab.

Communication

a. Click the applicable message.

2b. Click the Sign Ups tab to view results and/or sign up.

Communication

a. Select the Sign Up sheet that was assigned to you.

Communication

Below is an example of a Sign Up sheet from the Inbox tab.

Communication

Below is an example of a Sign Up sheet from the Sign Ups tab.

Communication

The questions displays and the options for selection.

3. Enter a numbered response, typically 1, or click the arrows to change the numbers to respond to times or areas for which you are available to volunteer.

If signing up in your Inbox, click Next to navigate to the next questions.

Click Back to go back to the previous question(s).

Communication

4. When finished, click Submit.

Communication
Editing Translations

The Edit Translations functionality, available via the Compose, Templates, Announcements, and Drafts tabs, allows users to manually translate messages into other languages. If not set, the system will automatically translate the message, using Google Translate, for the user/student based on the selection in the District’s set Translation Field.

This functionality requires the purchase of Focus' Translations add-on package. If this add on hasn't been purchased and enabled by your district, the Edit Translation feature doesn't display.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the applicable tab, such as Templates, Announcements, or Drafts.

Communication

3. Select the applicable template, announcement, or draft from the list.

Communication

Use the Filter to quickly search for a template, announcement, or draft by typing the title or part of the title in the provided text box.

Communication

4. Click Edit Translations to manually translate the message into another language.

Communication

5. Select the language of translation from the provided pull-down.

Communication

6. Enter the message to be translated in the provided text area.

Communication

7. Click Add Language to add another language of translation.

Communication

8. Select the second language from the provided pull-down.

Communication

9. Enter the message to be translated in the provided text area.

Communication

10. Add as many language as needed. To delete added languages, click the X next to the selected language.

Communication

11. Click Save.

Communication
Settings

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Settings tab.

Communication

3. Select the Expand Table List When Viewing Announcements or Templates by Default to view the Templates and Announcements data in the table view by default. Without this setting enabled, the Templates and Announcements tabs default to and open in List View.

4. Select the Opt In for Push Notifications on all messages check box to receive push notifications for every message sent to you via the mobile app.

5. Select the Opt Out of Email Notifications check box to opt out of receiving notifications for new messages.

6. Click the Email Signature tab to create and save your personal email signature that will be added to the end of your sent messages.

Communication

a. Type your signature in the provided text area. There are a variety of tools available, including text formatting and the ability to add links and images.

Communication

7. Click the SMS Signature tab to create and save your personal SMS signature that will be added to the end of your sent text messages.

Communication

a. Type your signature in the provided text area.

Communication

8. If you will be out of the office and want to set up a message that will be sent automatically in response to incoming messages during this period, enter the Out of Office: Start Date and End Date in the provided text boxes.. Then, enter the message in the text area.

Communication

9. Click Save.

Communication
Caller ID Phone Numbers

The Caller ID Phone Numbers section allows users to add new phone numbers that will display as the Caller ID when phone messages are sent out. Note: The Phone Numbers enabled display as the Caller ID for phone messages only not for SMS text messages.

The Caller ID Phone Numbers functionality requires the purchase of the Call Out System. Contact your district’s support representative to set up a demonstration.

The Call Out System requires at least one Caller ID to be set up and flagged as District Default in order for the Call tab to be made available when composing a message.

1. In the menu, click Communication.

2. Click the Settings tab.

Communication

3. In the Caller ID Phone Numbers section, enter a Title for the phone number to be used as Caller ID. Note: The Title is for internal use only and doesn't display as caller information.

Communication

4. Enter the Phone Number that will display as Caller ID for outgoing phone calls.

Communication

5. If the Phone Number is made Public, you can determine the Schools that should have access to the Public caller ID phone number from the corresponding pull-down. If no schools are selected from the pull-down and the Public check box is selected, all schools will have access.

Communication

6. Select the Public check box to allow other users to select the phone number from the Caller ID pull-down upon adding a Call to your message. Note: The pull-down displays if there are multiple phone number set up from which to choose.

Communication

7. Select the School Default check box to make this number the default number for anyone at the selected school(s). Note: If a user doesn't have any schools selected in their user enrollment record, they will have the district default as their default.

Communication

8. Select the District Default check box to make the phone number the default for the entire district. Note: There has to be one number set as the District Default in order to send calls. If you try to add two district default numbers, the most recently added one will be treated as the default.

Communication

9. Press the Enter key to add the phone number, and click Save.

Communication

Once the phone numbers have been added, they will display on the Call tab upon attaching a call to a message.

If only one number is setup or available to the user, the title of the phone number displays next to Caller ID, as shown below.

Communication

If more than one number is setup and available to use, a Caller ID pull-down displays from which users can select the Caller ID they wish to use.

Communication
Did You Know?

The communication module respects the hide schedules preferences set by the district via Setup > System Preferences > Scheduling tab. If the "Hide scheduled from teachers" setting is enabled, the student pull-down for the teachers is blank. If the "Hide schedules from students and parents" setting is enabled, the teacher pull-down is not populated for parents or students.

If the system preference, Always Confirm Recipient Count when Sending Communication, is enabled, a confirmation pop-up window indicating the number of recipients displays instead of only displaying the confirmation when the recipient count is over 100. This preference only affects staff users, and not parents and students.

[FOCUS-41719] Communication - Always Confirm Recipient Count - JIRA