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ManageBac User Group Conference Dubai: Recap

December 15, 2014
On December 12-13, 2014, we hosted our first user group conference in the Middle East in Dubai, at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis. We were thrilled to welcome over 90 participants from 20 different IB World Schools.


The day began with a keynote presentation by Principal and CEO Michael Gernon entitled “Are We There Yet?” The talk challenged participants to think about 21st century learning, and if their schools were helping develop the right skills and attitudes needed for the 21st century.
The keynote was followed by a general presentation from GEMS World Academy and our company updates. Our slides are available to view here.


After lunch, participants went into programme-specific breakout sessions, including:

  • Admissions: The Customer Journey by Sally Rummel, Director of Development and Admissions at Raha International School
  • Three Perspectives on the IBCC by Alexander Harrison of GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, Peter Stoddart of Emirates International School Jumeirah, and Michael Worth of Greenfield Community School
  • MYP Next Chapter and Implementation by Carolyn Mason Parker of GEMS International School – Al Khail
  • Curriculum Planning, Assessment and School-to-Home Communication in PYP by Ali Ezzeddine of SEK International School Qatar
  • Establishing In-House Protocols by Brycen Davis of Istanbul International Community School
The day concluded with a hosted dinner at The Imperium at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.


On the second day of the conference, our keynote address was given by Lance King, founder of The Art of Learning, who led a spirited discussion of ATL skills.
The morning breakout sessions included:
  • Cross-Cultural Harmony in Admissions by Nivin El Aawar of ISL Qatar
  • DP Coordinator Meeting by Nausheen Arif of Emirates International School – Jumeirah
  • Further ATL Discussion with Lance King
  • Using ManageBac to Support PYP Learning by David Gerber of GEMS World Academy
  • Implementing ManageBac (and other technologies) by Farah Misquitta of Ecole Mondiale
The afternoon breakout sessions included:
  • Managing Expectations Across Admissions by Natalie Kvackova of International School Prague
  • Reporting for Diploma by Joe Hamkari of ISL Qatar
  • Assessment and Reporting in MYP by Andrew MacRae and Rhonda Zaharko of GEMS World Academy
  • PYP Reporting by Kirsten Anderson of Faria Systems
  • Flipping the Classroom by Frank Peterson of Raha International
We had a wonderful time connecting with our schools in Dubai! We were available throughout the conference to lend support, answer questions, and hear feedback. We are also very grateful to GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis for hosting us in their wonderful facilities.


For further information, you can:

Participants said:
“All the staff were fantastically helpful; the conference had a great atmosphere and the talks were inspirational and thought provoking.”
 “So impressed with you all. Really, I am really looking forward to working with you all now that I’ve met you. Thanks for the great opportunity!”
“Learning from other schools was helpful! Very interested to join another conference.”


Save the dates for our upcoming conferences!

Company Update in Dubai

December 15, 2014

At our user group conference in Dubai this past weekend, we provided a general company update, including a review of our service in 2014 and what we have planned for 2015. The slides are now available below.

Introducing the New Student Roster!

December 11, 2014

We’ve released the new Student Roster! After extensive feedback from schools regarding the Applicant page and limitations of our old filter, we’ve built a new interface that supports searching for students by any field.


Clicking on the Students tab for the first time will automatically open a new nine-step Interactive Tutorial, which guides you through the new changes. If you accidentally clicked “Do not show again,” you can view the tutorial again via the Tutorial button at the bottom of the page.

In upcoming months, we plan to gradually implement Interactive Tutorials throughout OpenApply, ManageBac and InterSIS.

Left Navigation Changes:


  • The Students tab will show all students in the system, regardless of enrollment status or enrollment year.
  • The Applicants tab will filter for all non-Enrolled students (Pending, Applied, Admitted, Wait-listed, Declined) students for the current academic year.
  • The Enrolled Students tab will filter for all Enrolled students for the current academic year.
  • Any additional filters you create via Save Filter Settings will appear below.

Search Result Improvements:


Two types of search results are now supported. For example, if the filters Grade 5, Grade 10, Enrolled, and Germany location have been selected:

  • Or will display students that meet any of the selected criteria.
    • All Grade 5 students will appear in the search results, regardless of enrollment status and location.
    • All Grade 10 students will appear in the search results, regardless of enrollment status and location.
    • All Enrolled students will appear in the search results, regardless of grade level and location.
    • All applicants from Germany will appear in the search results, regardless of enrollment status and grade level.
  • And will only display students that meet all of the selected criteria. The system is smart and knows that students cannot have multiple grade levels or statuses. Therefore, students only need to match with one filter within each filter group.
    • Enrolled Grade 5 students from Germany will appear in the search results.
    • Enrolled Grade 10 students from Germany will appear in the search results.

Search Results Improvements:


Clicking Filter Results will display the full list of students who meet the search parameters. You can arrange the spreadsheet-style columns in any order, or show/hide any fields.

You can tag, send checklist reminders, or export any selected group of students in bulk. In addition, you can search anything in more granularity to find specific students.


Lastly, searching for students on the top navigation bar will search for all students irrespective of enrollment status, grade levels, or enrollment years. Note that you can minimize the filter settings.


Save Filter Settings:


Any filtered list of students can be saved and stored on the left navigation. You can update a filter, or create new filters at any time. New filters that have been created are available to view by all admissions administrators.

Programme for ManageBac User Group Conference Dubai

December 7, 2014

We are busy preparing for our first user group conference in the Middle East later this week! We look forward to welcoming 80+ participants from schools across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, including:

  • GEMS World Academy
  • International School of London Qatar
  • King Faisal School
  • Dhahran High School
  • ABA, An IB World School
  • Australian International School
  • Emirates International School Jumeirah
  • Emirates International School Meadows
  • Emirates National School – Abu Dhabi City Campus
  • Emirates National School – AAC
  • Emirates National School – Mohamed Bin Zayed City Campus

GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis is graciously hosting the event, and our featured speakers include Michael Gernon and Lance King.

Our conference features five different tracks focused on IB school management: DP, MYP, PYP, Technology, and Admissions.  Please feel free to browse the conference schedule here.

For those of you who are unable to make it to Dubai, check out our upcoming conferences!

Feature Friday

November 21, 2014

We’ve made improvements to the system this week:


  • May 2015 Exam calendars have been added and can be accessed via the IB Group > Plans > Exam Calendar.Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.51.38 AM

Upcoming Changes:

  • Reports: Excel Export Term Grades UI change and performance upgrade.
  • MYP Reports: Service as Action grade descriptors.

Welcome New ManageBac Schools

November 17, 2014

Welcome the following schools to ManageBac!

1. Kings-Edgehill 2. Eastern Mediterranean 8. Minnetonka9. Bologna5. Oakmont High6. Abbotsford 7. LaSelle 3. Granite Hills High

  1. Curtis High School
  2. Gateway International School
  3. Saudi School in Vienna
  4. King’s-Edgehill School
  5. Eastern Mediterranean International School
  6. Granite Hills High Schoo
  7. Back Of The Yards College Preparatory High School
  8. Harrison Preparatory School
  9. Oakmont High School
  10. Grand Rapids High School
  11. Abbotsford Middle School
  12. LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School
  13. Gray-New Gloucester High School
  14. St. Stephens Episcopal School Houston
  15. Minnetonka High School
  16. St Andrew’s School: The International School Of The Bahamas
  17. Keystone Academy
  18. International School Of Bologna
  19. International Academy Of Macomb
  20. International School Hout Bay
  21. King Abdulaziz Saudi School In Rome
  22. Shawnee Mission Northwest HS
  23. J.E. Williams Elementary School
  24. Williams Technology Middle School
  25. Providence Elementary School
  26. École Secondaire Catholique Saint-Frère-André
  27. The IDEAL School And Academy

In addition, welcome the following school districts!

  • Prince George’s County Public Schools

We’re proud to support you this academic year and beyond!

Feature Friday

November 7, 2014

We’ve made several changes to the system this week:


  • Open Days now support start and end times between 7:00 am – 9:00 pm.
  • The Google Maps display of your school address on the front page can now be enabled or disabled in the General Settings.

Applicant Profile:

  • The Overview tab is now only shown to students who have not filled out any application forms.


  • Tours now operate under independent calendars via Settings > Admissions > Tours. This means that different programmes can now set tours on the same day.


  • The logic and conditions of archiving applicants have changed. To accommodate schools that are integrated with ManageBac, there are now three different archive functions: 1) Archived, 2) Archived as Graduated, and 3) Archived as Withdrawn

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 2.57.21 PM

1. Archived decreases the total Applicants by one. This function is intended for applicants who’ve discontinued the application process. Only Pending, Applied, Admitted, Wait-listed, and Declined students can be archived.
2. Archived as Graduated increases the total of Alumni by one. This function is intended for students who have graduated from the school, and are to be archived in ManageBac.
3. Archived as Withdrawn increases the total number of Alumni by one. a student in OpenApply. This function is intended for students who have left the school before graduating from the program, and are to be archived in ManageBac.

Please also note:

  • Archived applicant data is still retained in the system.
  • Archived applicants can no longer log into OpenApply.
  • Enrollment status does not change upon unarchiving the applicant.
  • If your ManageBac and OpenApply accounts are synced, archiving an enrolled student in ManageBac will archive the student in OpenApply.

Upcoming Changes:

  • Files: files can be attached in the form of Messages, Notes, or Checklist Items.
  • Google Maps: the toggle to enable/disable the front page map will be moved to Settings > Admissions > Campuses.
  • Overview Tab: a toggle will be available in Settings > General to either:
  1. Disable the tab for all students
  2. Enable the tab for students without any forms
  3. Enable the tab for all students.

Feature Friday

November 7, 2014

We’ve made improvements to the system this week:


  • Grade 11 students can now have access to Page 1 and 2 of the ToK PPD form. This will help students preview how their presentation planning text will appear on the ToK PPD. Page 3 remains only available to teachers and administrators. 

Middle Years:

  • Community Projects are now available in MYP Reports
  • Corrections have been made to both the unit planner and the PDF export.

1. Backward Planning > Content

MYP Objectives from the Assessment page are no longer linked with Knowledge and/or Skills. Knowledge & Skills and Standards now independently appear on the unit plan, within the Content box.


2. Backward Planning > ATL

  • More than one ATL Skills Connection can be added; each can cover different MYP Objectives and ATL Skills.
  • Multiple MYP Objectives can now be selected and covered in ATL Skills. MYP Objectives that have been covered in another ATL Skills Connection are automatically bolded in green.
  • In addition to the Learning process box, Learning Experiences are now also tied to each ATL Skill.


3. PDF Planner

  • Inquiry Questions types are now separated by columns rather than lists.
  • Summative Assessment and Formative Assessment now show the task due date & time.
  • The ATL section has reverted to columns. The MYP Objectives serves as a header to the selected ATL Skill. Learning Experiences are tied to each ATL Skill.
  • Learning Experiences and Teaching Strategies are once again included in the Learning Process box.

Early-Bird Registration for User Group Conference in Dubai Extended

November 4, 2014

ManageBac conference dubai

Join us in Dubai for an exciting two-day conference on best practices for IB school management, programme-specific curriculum development sessions, and presentations from leading ManageBac schools.

We’ve extended the early-bird registration period for the ManageBac User Group Conference in Dubai to November 7, 2014. Learn more about the conference here.

Early-bird registration fee: $349 USD
Regular registration fee: $499 USD

Feature Friday

October 30, 2014

We’ve made improvements to the system this week:

Middle Years:

ATLs have been updated in the the unit planner to better reflect the relationship between knowledge and skills, objectives and learning experiences.


In order for ATLs to populate:

1. At least one specific MYP Objective must be addressed in this unit. Select MYP Objects in the Assessment page.
2. At least one Knowledge or Skill must be addressed. Add Knowledge or Skills in the Backward Planning > Content page.

The MYP Unit Plan tutorial has been updated to reflect these changes and can be referenced here.

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