Founded in 1996, Shanghai Singapore International School (SSIS) provides a continuous K-12 academic journey to children aged 2–18 years old. The school adopted the FariaOne core suite (ManageBac, OpenApply and SchoolsBuddy) schoolwide in 2021.
Bringing Everything Under One Roof
Prior to 2021, Shanghai Singapore International School’s Director of Technology, Viktor Datsiuk, was looking for a way to consolidate their tools and platforms – ideally bringing them together with a Single Sign On, having experienced issues with users managing multiple logins and challenges with data exchange between systems. In addition, some of the school’s legacy systems were more user-friendly than others, with differing upgrade frequencies and frustrations around support: “When issues occurred, we had to deal with different people, and their support quality and efficiency varied a lot,” explains Viktor.
They settled on FariaOne as a solution because it met their primary criteria – being “China-friendly” – and because the suite could meet many of their core needs. “For example, we used ManageBac first in our grade 11-12 for IB programme support,” says Viktor. “It proved helpful in teaching and learning. SchoolsBuddy also has great functions that could benefit schools like us with a lot of activities and transportation needs.”
System integration was also key: “I could see that the Faria team works very hard to make sure that these tools work smoothly in the backend, exchanging the student, family and curriculum data, so that we have to do very little to make this happen,” explains Viktor.
At Shanghai Singapore International School, FariaOne now works seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and other platforms and tools, along with an in-house central data storage system that feeds on FariaOne data via API. “We are able to build custom apps, analytical tools, dashboards and automate processes to empower and equip our faculty and staff so they can deliver best services to our students and families,” Viktor explains.
The reliability of the FariaOne core suite and level of support were other key attractions, with Viktor highlighting the “modern technology stack with continuous improvement, updating and evolving each month” and “the awesome support throughout all stages of our purchase and onboarding”.
The support has continued throughout the phased, strategic roll-out of the systems – with training and tutorials, regular feedback, and “champions” appointed to different areas, as well as ongoing guidance from the Faria team: “The FariaOne Customer Success and Support team are the best in class so far in my career”, he adds.
Managing the Curriculum
Previously, the school’s curriculum could be described as “all over the place”. “Documents of different divisions were stored in different ways and there was no consistency and transparency in terms of curriculum mapping”, says Viktor.
Enter ManageBac – which is now used by all 12 Grades at the school, from Pre-School and Primary through to Senior. For Viktor, this “not only helps build the curriculum culture at the school, but it also creates accountability by making the curriculum visible to both students and parents. It facilitates consistency throughout the whole school.”
FariaOne’s applications extend beyond the classroom too, with the school needing a way to organise its many extra-curricular activities, trips, competitions and events. In their previous system, “It was really easy to make errors when managing all the sign-ups, communications and announcements,” says Viktor.
Integrated with ManageBac, SchoolsBuddy now helps the school to streamline these activities – including making sure that its large fleet of buses runs smoothly every day, a process that has become “more efficient and convenient for everyone involved”, with much less scope for error.
SchoolsBuddy has also facilitated the efficient running of Parent Teacher Conferences, which had previously been organised in different ways by different departments. The platform now handles PTCs across the school, ensuring a consistency which is particularly useful for parents with children in different parts of the school, as they can now book their PTC slots in the same place as their children’s extra-curricular activities.
Admissions and Beyond
On the Admissions side, OpenApply has replaced a system that Viktor describes as having been characterised by “data that was scattered in different documents or in someone’s mind”.
OpenApply has “introduced transparency, consistency and automation,” he says, offering a digitized and centralized platform that can handle everything from “booking tours and displaying information to capturing parents’ information and syncing to our other systems”. The benefits are profound: “It saves our admissions team time on administrative tasks so that they can interact with people, and better support families”.
Shanghai Singapore International School has also adopted OpenApply as the school’s “core information system” – capturing student and family data and automatically pushing it to ManageBac and then to SchoolsBuddy. This means that any information that needs updating – from passport numbers to dietary requirements and medical notes – can be changed across the whole school via a single data entry point.
“OpenApply is key to a smooth family experience and improved journey at our school”, Viktor says. “Parents can only not use OpenApply for admissions, re-enrolment and updating information, but also for a smoother withdrawal from school”.
Looking to the Future
The implementation of FariaOne has been key to preparing for the future. “We pride ourselves on developing our students to be future-ready,” says Viktor. “As a school, we also continually look into ways to improve operations and provide a seamless experience for all our students, parents and staff”.
“With the modern technology stack of FariaOne and integration support, we are able to not only bring the whole school community into a single collaboration space, we are also confident about the future ability to better serve our students, parents and educators,” he concludes.