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Degraded Network Incident January 9-10, 2017

January 12, 2017

What happened?

ManageBac experienced a severe performance degradation between 05:40am UTC on January 9th and 11:17am UTC on January 10th. During this period, ManageBac responded to requests much slower than normal and a percentage of requests would intermittently time-out and fail. As soon as we detected the issue, our operations and product development teams began investigating the cause. We identified the issue was being caused by abnormally high network request times between ManageBac and third party web services that ManageBac depends on. We followed up with our data-centre provider and escalated the issue to their priority support. We also implemented workarounds where possible to alleviate some of the pressure on the system with the goal of keeping critical customer processes running.

After an extended analysis, the root problem was determined to be upstream of our data-centre. Specifically, the fault laid with a network provider called Level3 between our data-centre in Montreal and Amazon Web Services. Our data-centre provider eventually isolated their network from Level3 and re-routed our connections via alternative network providers. We verified that full functionality was immediately restored at 11:17am UTC on January 10.




Why did this occur?

At this point in time, Level 3’s network problems are continuing and our data-centre provider has not received a root cause explanation. Our data-centre assures us that our network will remain isolated from Level3 using alternative network providers until such time as the fault has been reliably and demonstrably rectified.

What are we doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

We have set up additional monitoring tools to specifically watch for and alert us of any similar network problems which could adversely affect ManageBac performance.

In addition, we are implementing a second, completely isolated, redundant data-centre with a different data-centre provider. This will give us many more options in the event of a future network outage and will allow us to recover from similar events in a significantly faster time frame.

We thank everyone for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused. Providing our schools with reliable access to their ManageBac accounts is a top priority so downtime and network performance issues are not taken lightly.  For more information on our commitment to users, you can review our service level agreement here.

If you have further questions about this incident, please feel free to reach out to our support team at

Happy New Year From ManageBac!

January 5, 2017

It was a privilege to serve your school in 2016. Thank you for the support, ideas, and suggestions! We are thrilled to start the new year with 2,196 schools in our community.



2016 by the numbers

Support Tickets
Answered within 4 hours
Phone Calls
Schools Visited



Released in 2016


Record incidents, notify parents and teachers, and track whole-school patterns. Read more


To better support teaching & learning in the DP. Read more


Updates to account security launched together with our Single sign-on Launchpad feature. Read more


We announced our integration partnership with Pamoja, the world’s only provider of online DP courses. Read more


Schools can now specify attendance settings by programme. Read more


We deployed a smooth new interface for parents with a responsive layout and faster performance. Read more


The interface for students was similarly updated over the winter holiday break! Read more


Launchpad Single Sign-On Update

December 8, 2016


Today we are launching Single Sign-On (SSO) between OpenApply and ManageBac!

Our Launchpad allows parents and staff to login seamlessly to either OpenApply or ManageBac. The feature is available to all parents or staff who have an existing user account with both OpenApply and ManageBac.

Click here to get started!

This new SSO between OpenApply and ManageBac marks the start of our planned LaunchPad integrations. Stay tuned to our blog as we plan to extend SSO to other platforms in the coming months.

Join us for a Complimentary Reporting Workshop in Hong Kong!

October 11, 2016

We are hosting a complimentary one-day intensive reporting workshop at Hong Kong Academy on November 11, 2016.

Come explore the infinite possibilities of ManageBac reporting, from progress reports to customised rubrics to one-off tips & tricks. This workshop is open to anyone from an IB World School who is keen to create stunning report cards.

View the programme.

What is required?

  • A laptop
  • Samples of your ideal report card(s)

This event is free of charge.

Lunch, light refreshments are all included. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation.

Hong Kong Academy
33 Wai Man Road
Sai Kung New Territories
Hong Kong

*See what happened at our previous reporting workshop in The Netherlands here.

The event is capped at 30 participants.

Registration is Open! ManageBac User Group Conference Berlin

September 2, 2016


Registration for the third annual ManageBac User Group Conference in Europe is now open!

After welcoming over 150 participants from 80 IB World Schools to our ManageBac User Group Conference in The Hague, we are honoured to work with Berlin Brandenburg International School for our third conference on March 24-25, 2017.

Register Now

Based on feedback from our recent User Group Conference in Hong Kong, we will provide differentiation based on users’ existing ManageBac knowledge. The breakout sessions will indicate the ideal level of existing system knowledge. (e.g. a Level 1 breakout session would be geared for beginners, Level 2 for intermediate users, etc.)

We’re also excited to welcome our development team to the user group conference, so they can hear feature requests directly from our users.

If you are interested in speaking or facilitating at the conference, please send a brief proposal to Kevin Piersialla at before October 31, 2016.

What happened at the last conference in The Hague?

Click here.

Coming Soon: New Parent User Interface

September 2, 2016

New Parent UI

Early next week, we will release a new user interface for parents.

This is part of our on-going work to refresh and improve the ManageBac interface for all users, which began with the update to ManageBac Settings back in September 2015.

The new user interface was designed to:

  • simplify navigation (so you can get more done with fewer clicks)
  • improve usability for existing and first time users
  • move ManageBac towards a responsive layout that will support tablet (iPad + Android) and mobile usage

All functionality for parents on the new interface will remain unchanged.

Thank you for your patience with this new update. Our support team is standing by 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, in case you would like to send us feedback or request assistance.

We hope you find the new interface an improvement over the previous design, and look forward to rolling it out to additional user types over the coming months!

UPDATE: The new parent interface deployed on September 6, 2016. Our tutorials have been updated. We especially recommend this one helping parents navigate ManageBac.

IB Americas: Toronto Breakfast Recap

July 19, 2016


This year we welcomed over 120 educators at our annual IB Americas breakfast, as well as several of our new integration partners! We shared several exciting updates, including:

  • A new tablet-friendly user interface, coming late Fall 2016 for students and parents, and early Spring 2017 for teachers and administrators.
  • New integrations to come with Pamoja & AssessPrep
  • An update on our upcoming Bookstore

We were also grateful to our three panel speakers, who shared their ManageBac implementation processes and experiences at their schools. A big thank you to:

Thank you to all who attended! If you missed it, we’ve linked our presentation document below. We hope to see you next year!

ManageBac Breakfast Presentation — Toronto 2016

We’re delighted to announce an integration partnership with Pamoja!

July 4, 2016


We are pleased to announce our new integration partnership with Pamoja, the sole provider of online International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) courses.

Benefits include:

  • Showcase Pamoja Online Courses: Display Pamoja courses alongside your face-to-face IB Diploma courses. Provide students & parents and Site-based Coordinators with one-click inquiry to register interest in Pamoja Online Courses.
  • Single-Sign-On to Pamoja: One-click access to Pamoja’s learning environment via Plan Worksheet or from the LaunchPad for Site-based Coordinators, Students and Parents.
  • One-click Inquiry: Register your interest in Pamoja online courses directly from within ManageBac’s plan registration worksheets.
  • Data Synchronisation: Final term grades and comments will be synced from Pamoja back to ManageBac, eliminating report card headaches.
  • Term Grades & Reporting: Streamline term reporting workflows for your Registrar & Academic team. Seamlessly roll-up and consolidate Pamoja Online Course grades into your report cards, while preserving your look & feel and subject group order.
  • IB Diploma Plan Worksheet: Rising MYP5 and DP1 students & parents can make better subject choices with easy access to DP subject details including the syllabus, aims & objectives, exam details, key deadlines & calendar. Responsive design allows for easy Plan completion on iPad and tablets.
  • IBIS Exam Registration: We will support registration for Pamoja online courses directly from within the ManageBac plan worksheet, so coordinators can complete their IBIS exam registrations seamlessly.

Get started for the 2016-2017 Academic Year!

Learn more.

Save the Date: ManageBac User Group Conference Berlin!

June 8, 2016


After welcoming over 150 participants from 80 International Schools to our second User Group Conference in Europe at The International School of The Hague in The Netherlands, we are honoured to announce our third annual User Group Conference in Europe!

We are delighted to be working with Berlin Brandenburg International School to organise the conference on March 24 – 25, 2017.

Sessions will be tightly focused on practical, actionable tips and strategies for implementing ManageBac and improving International Baccalaureate programme management, let by experienced school administrators.

Based on feedback from our recent User Group Conference in Hong Kong, we will provide differentiation based on users’ existing ManageBac knowledge. The breakout sessions will indicate the ideal level of existing system knowledge. (e.g. a Level 1 breakout session would be geared for beginners, Level 2 for intermediate users, etc.)

We will also offer a fifth track (“Achieving buy-in”) that focuses exclusively on building stakeholder support for ManageBac implementation.

We’re also excited this year to welcome our development team to the user group conference, so they can hear feature requests directly from our users.

If you are interested in speaking or facilitating at the conference, please send a brief proposal to Kevin Piersialla at before September 9, 2016.

*Registration will open on August 22, 2016.


What happened at the last conference in The Hague?

Click here.

ManageBac Reporting Workshop in The Netherlands: Recap

June 1, 2016


On May 27, we held our inaugural ManageBac Reporting Workshop at The International School Het Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest. We were thrilled to welcome nearly 30 participants from International Schools across the European Region to the School. Thank you to The International School Het Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest for hosting a great day!

Our Reporting Workshop was targeted at the intermediate to the advanced ManageBac user who wanted to learn more about creating stunning report cards.

We started with a company update from ManageBac staff, followed by a ManageBac report cards (HTML-intensive) session led by Eddie Zevallos from Copenhagen International School. We then moved into programme-specific workshops which included demonstrations, school scenarios, tips and discussions on PYP, MYP and DP reporting.

One of the most popular sessions to close out the day was the “Reporting tips, techniques and curveballs” session where everyone brought their toughest reporting questions to the table in an open forum. During this session, one of our most experienced users discovered how to generate report cards for his Diploma Certificate students separately from the report cards for full IB Diploma students.

Participants in the final Jobs-alike session were able to dive deeper into relevant reporting topics and share best practises from their own experiences.

Katie Najafabady from Ecole Internationale Montgomery said, “I just wanted to write to say a big “Thank you!!” for offering the Reporting Workshop on Friday. I learned a lot and made some wonderful connections.”

We had a great day and are planning to host Reporting Workshops in Europe and other regions again in the near future. Please let us know if your school is willing to host!

Here are some photos from the Workshop:


View the programme and download the presentations here.

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