How to use your Arbor dummy site & Fake Arbor Day

To prepare you for using the Arbor MIS, your school will upload data from your current MIS to us two times over the course of your onboarding. This will take the form of one dummy data run and your live data upload (final migration).

You may not have seen Arbor before, or may not be fully versed in checking your school's data. So the dummy data run provides a platform to thoroughly check your data, test, train, and build confidence on an Arbor site (using your own data) before you go live.

This article will guide you through how to use your dummy data site to ensure that you’re making the most of your ‘free hit’ at using Arbor!

Dummy Data Run 1

We’ll ask for your first cut of data ready to be uploaded into your dummy data site on week 3 of your onboarding journey. For this reason, it’s important that you begin your use of your dummy data site by checking that your key Arbor Champions are able to access the site - this means ensuring they have a username and a Business Role (your Arbor Customer Onboarding Manager will ensure this for your school’s Project Lead). 

Usernames are derived from a staff member's email address, which if recorded in your current MIS, should have migrated over into Arbor. Arbor is a permission-based system, and access to Arbor is derived from a user's Business Role. This article here explains how Business Roles are migrated from SIMS (please note, this may differ if migrating from an alternative MIS). As a priority, you’ll need to check the usernames and Business Roles of your key staff to ensure that they can get logged in.  

Once you’ve ensured that your key staff can get logged in, you can then start to check your data. Your Arbor Customer Onboarding Manager will give you access to your Onboarding Workbook, which includes a tab on Data Counts to be undertaken in your Arbor dummy site. This article here includes a number of embedded videos showing you how to check your data within Arbor. 

Once you’ve started to check your site, it’s important to make a note of any discrepancies that you spot, so that you can fix these in your current MIS ahead of your final migration.

Please note that we recommend only allowing key project staff to get logged into your Arbor dummy site until the data checks are complete.     

You should also try setting up different modules, scour Arbor for different reports you use regularly, and perhaps even enter data in order to better understand the Arbor workflows. Some schools will choose to have their Arbor dummy site open next to their current MIS, and essentially duplicate their day-to-day workload, for example, we call this "Fake Arbor Day" and it's a great opportunity for practice!


What happens to the data we set up and change on our dummy site?

Any changes made on your dummy site will be overwritten once we do the final migration. You can then set things up properly on your live site.

Because everything is wiped, it isn't possible to preserve any of the settings or things you've changed on your dummy site.

Fake Arbor Day

Towards the end of your dummy run, hosting your own 'Fake Arbor Day' is a great activity to consider to encourage and promote engagement with Arbor. 

In order to trial the use of Arbor with your wider team, including teachers, set a date towards the end of your pre-launch implementation to use your current system alongside Arbor for the day. 

This will allow you to explore lesson dashboards, take registers and generate attendance data for example. These tasks will provide you with further information on where extra training or support may need to be directed internally.  

Please feel free to consult the list below of suggested activities for your staff to undertake. Note that some of these tasks may require some initial setup in your dummy site to be actioned appropriately.

If you would like to discuss this activity further, do not hesitate to raise this with your Customer Onboarding manager. 

Note - Be aware of sending test communications from your dummy site. These will send to real and confused parents! You can view how to turn off communication sending here.

Suggested activities:

  • Take a class register
    • This may include recording absences or notes in line with school policy.
    • Note: Registers will be active up to an hour before their scheduled start time. 
    • Print a blank register. 
  • Attendance Team - Chase incomplete or unopened registers. 
    • You may want to look at creating reports based on your attendance data and explore the process of following up with absentees (without sending the communication)
  • Explore Lesson Dashboard
    • Explore previous Attendance and Behaviour records for the class. 
  • Record a behaviour incident or point award
    • Ensure example setup does not include a workflow that will notify parents, as this will send a communication out to real parents.
  • If using My Classroom, create a seating plan for your lesson
    • Use this seating plan to amend attendance or log behaviour. 
  • Download a ‘Class List’ from the Lesson dashboard with at least 4 columns of information. 
    • Consider the information that a teacher will need to access quickly about their class. 
  • Set an Assignment (Perform Schools)
    • Set basic details for an assignment for a class. 
  • Navigate to a student profile from your class. 
    • Explore information stored against the pupil, including their calendar and pastoral notes. 
  • Add a pastoral note to a student in your class
    • Consider adding an attachment and flag to this. 
  • Explore your own ‘My Items’ section. 
    • Check that the information stored is accurate. 
  • Test an Emergency Alert
    • Make sure this has been set up with key staff who are aware beforehand. 
  • Review Getting Started Guides
  • Cover
    • Set certain staff to 'phone in sick' and encourage office staff to set cover appropriately.


Was this article helpful?
3 out of 5 found this helpful
I'm still stuck!



Article is closed for comments.