Since February 2014, we’ve been creating opportunities for professional development across international school admissions offices through our conferences and our magazine.

These opportunities help us to better understand the needs of school admissions offices and give us an inside look into the day-to-day concerns and challenges.

We were inspired by Mona Stuart’s session on Optimal Admissions at our OpenApply Conference in Barcelona. Mona is the Admissions Director at Singapore American School, the largest single-campus international school in the world. Mona shared results from her work “to intentionally shape the future of SAS through admission – one cohort and one grade level at a time.”


Together, she and her colleagues developed a framework of optimal admissions at SAS:

They agreed to deliberately seek and track the composition of their incoming classes based on this framework, and developed a set of codes to make it easier:

  • Included (I)
  • Included with Monitoring at Entry (I-ME)
  • Supported with Organised Support (S-OS)
  • Championed for Challenge (C-CH)
  • Championed for Support (C-S)

Students in the last three categories would require sign-off and agreement from other departments in the school.




By  following this tracking system, Mona and her colleagues are able to easily identify how the cohorts break down—for example, which grade has space for students with emotional needs, and which grade has a large number of students requiring English support.


Our Inspiration

How could you use OpenApply to build your optimal learning community?

Once you’ve identified your categories and goals, you can use OpenApply to support your tracking efforts in a few ways.

First, you can create an office-use only field with a dropdown to capture the categories.

This field is hidden from families but otherwise works exactly like any other field in OpenApply—meaning you can export, sort, or edit it as needed.

Next, you can create saved filters that provide you with quick snapshots. For example, this screenshot shows the Optimal Learning Community breakdown for the current Grade 3.




Lastly, you can easily export this information, either from the saved filter or via saved export templates. If you create an additional office-use only field, you could even track applicants at entry vs graduation to see the impact your school has had on its students!




Interested in setting up a tracking system for your applicants?
Schedule a time with us here!

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