The Portal page is the key to navigation throughout Focus. Before conducting students searches, taking attendance, etc., you must learn the basics of the software. Many tasks can be accomplished directly from the Portal page.
Focus is a web-based program. It does not live on your computer. You access Focus through a web browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Focus can be accessed on any device in which you have an internet connection.
Login into your account by navigating to Focus through the link supplied to you from your district.
After you enter your username and password you will be prompted to name your computer. This is a security measure. You can name your computer anything that is familiar to you and click Submit.
Focus will allow you to stay logged in until you are inactive for 20 minutes. If you are inactive for 20 minutes Focus will automatically sign you out.
Once you have successfully logged into Focus you will be taken to the Portal screen.
The portal screen layout is dependent upon what access profile you are assigned. An example of some of the options you may see on your portal screen are listed below:
- The icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen is a clickable home button. Clicking here will take you back to the portal screen no matter where you are in the system.
- The Select Student/Staff dropdown allows you to quickly select a student or user and view their record without conducting a search.
- This area will display your name. If you have multiple profiles assigned, you will see a pulldown menu here that allows you to toggle between the available profiles.
- When using Focus you are always “IN” a school. In this area you will see the school you are currently working in , if you have access to multiple schools you will see a pulldown menu here that allows you to move between schools.
- When using Focus you are always “IN” a school year, in this area you will see the school year you are currently working in, you can use the pulldown to select prior or future years. If you change your school year and it is outside out the current year the background will turn red.
- When using Focus you are always “IN” a marking period. In this area you will see the marking period you are currently working in , use the pulldown menu to toggle between, marking periods.
- Depending on your access, you may see a dashboard pull-down menu on your portal screen. If you see this menu, you can click on the pull-down and view the dashboards. Dashboards are used to view a variety for data sets on your students. Contact your MIS department for additional information on dashboards.
The portal screen also contains important alerts, messages and tools. What you see on your portal depends on your profile access.
- Alerts will appear on your portal screen for various reasons. For example, you may receive an alert if there are new referrals to process. They are interactive meaning you can click on them to get more information or perform actions.
- The District and School Announcements block on the portal screen will display messages from your school/district that are informational. Messages are not private or sent to you directly like an email.
- Your school/district creates a calendar within Focus. The Upcoming Events block shows you the next 7-10 events that are on the calendar based on the school you have selected.
- Use the Find a Student block to search for a student or group of students. If you have access to more than school you will see a Search All Schools Use the Include Inactive Students checkbox to include students who are withdrawn this year in your results list. Click More Search Options to narrow your search to a specific grade level or specialized group of students based on any data you have access to.
- The PAEC Help Center section contains links to links to help articles created by Student Data Services.
- The Focus University section contains several helpful links including Video Tutorials and Help & Training Docs.
The Favorites/Recent Programs section displays links to screens marked as Favorites as well as the most recently visited screens.
To navigate to a favorite program, click the program name in the Favorites list in the Favorites/Recent Programs section.
To add a program to the Favorites list, navigate to the screen in Focus. Click the screen title and click + Add (Program Name) to Favorites.
You can also navigate to Favorites by clicking the title of the screen, then clicking the program name in the list.
A program can be removed from the Favorites list in the Favorites/Recent Programs block by clicking the delete button (red minus sign) next to the program name.
Preferences gives each user the ability to customize their Focus account. You can access preferences from Users > My Preferences. The first tab that displays will list all your Display Options. These are options that determine the way data is displayed as you use Focus.
- The Highlight Color applies to menus, tabs, and headers. Once saved, all menus, tabs, and headers will turn the color selected.
- You can choose how student information is displayed using the Student Info Layout pull-down. The options include One Column, Two Columns, and Three Columns. The default set up is one column.
- Check this box to Display User Images in user lists.
- Choose whether you want to display the menu of modules on the side or at the top of your screen by selecting the check box, Use Sidebar Menu or by clearing the selection
- When Default filters on is checked filter options will default to open on reports so you can enter filter data without the need to click the filters on from the report screen.
- 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.
- 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 26, 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. If you want the year displayed, choose either 2018 or 18.
- 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.
When all selections have been made, be sure to click the Save button to apply changes made.
The options that are set under Student Listing control how student information displays.
- Select how you would like to see 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 conducting a student search, you always have the ability to export the data; 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
- In navigating to Student Info, you have the option to decide which tab is automatically selected for students. Most districts elect to have Demographics as the default tab; however, using the Default Student Category pull-down you can select whichever tab you would like to see when accessing student information.
- In navigating to User Info, you have the option to decide which tab is automatically selected for users. Use the Default User Category pull-down you can select whichever tab you would like to see first when accessing User information.
- If you do not want to Display student search screen by default, uncheck this box. If the box is checked the search screen will be displayed every time you access a student module.
- Upon conducting your search, the resulting students will display in your 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.
- Focus only searches the school that is chosen in the top right corner. If you have access to more than one school, you can choose to have Focus search across the schools you have access to by selecting Search all schools by default.
- Focus only searches for active students each time a search is completed. If you would like to Search for inactive students by default each time you search, check this box.
- If your search only yields one result, you have the option to skip the list of students and navigate directly to the student’s corresponding screen. Select the Skip the results page when there is only one result check box to apply this change.
- Select a Student Name Format for how you would like students’ names to display in Focus.
- If you want the student ID numbers displayed in all student lists, be sure to select the check box for Display Student ID in student lists.
- If you want the students’ Local ID numbers displayed in all student lists, be sure to select the check box for Display Local ID in student lists.
- If you want the grade levels displayed in all student lists, be sure to select the check Display grade level in student lists.
- If you want to see students’ alert icons that would show ESE, ELL, 504, etc., be sure to select the check box to Display alert icons in students lists.
- If Student photos have been uploaded into Focus you can select to have students’ photos shown in student lists--select the Display student photos in student lists check box.
When all selections have been made, be sure to click the Save button to apply changes made.
Help and Logout
The last two tools on the Portal page are the Help and Logout buttons found in the bottom right corner of the screen.
You can click the help link on any page and get a popup help document SPECIFIC to the page you are on.
For example, if you are on the portal screen and click help, you will see an article all about the options on the portal screen.
If you are on the student schedule screen and click help, you will get an article about student schedules.
After reading the help document, click the X in the top left to close the article.
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.