Independent School Educators network

As my school considers switching our email program to google apps for education, I have been asked to find out what other schools use gmail.


To this end, I've created this public spreadsheet, and would appreciate your adding your school's name to it, if you use gmail as your school's email platform. (I am aware of a similar effort from 2009, but am looking for current info specific to independent schools.) update 1/12: Beth Holland also has an anonymous one-question poll running. You can submit your email platform here and see the results of the poll here.


I started this conversation on the ning home page rather than in our google apps group with the intention of broader visibility. If you know of any other resources that might help me with this question, please do let me know below. (I do follow and recommend the discussions on Google's k12 Apps Technical Group and regional user groups.)




Tags: gmail, google apps

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Hi Demetri,

I think you can easily extend the scope of this survey by asking if they are using Gmail in Google Apps suite or not or perhaps what they are using currently. That will actually give you an idea of not just which schools are using Gmail, but also what fraction of participants are using Gmail which could help you better project Gmail as an alternative to your existing system.

Of course you can ask them "Why" about their choice of existing email platform.




Here in the UK I am leading an initiative wihtin a 300 Independent Schools group called the ISANet - and are going Google - 8 schools are in and in addition we have built a hub front end, which unites the whole set of Google Apps together.

Our students are using Google Apps for Education.  Our faculty still use Exchange for email and calendar.  We are also a Whipple Hill school and set up single sign on for students and teachers to use Google Apps.  If you have any questions about this setup, hit me up.  




Paul - Are you saying that students use gmail while faculty does uses Exchange and these are probably chosen so for some specific reasons perhaps based on need?

We too are a Whipple Hill school (SMS, CMS, etc) and we enjoy the SSO functionality of with Google Apps. I don't have to create/delete accounts each year! As with Paul, our faculty uses Exchange for email and calendar. We like keeping the students on a different system.


Thank you for starting this discussion. We are looking into becoming a Google Apps School but are asking the same questions whether or not we should adopt Gmail as our email client; we currently use First Class.



We're considering it, but we're not in a rush.  Zimbra is running fine for us, and we're monitoring the growth in Google Docs use. 

I'd be interested to see two things from your survey:

1) Are most schools investing in a third party archive or backup system for their Gmail, to keep some sort of copies our useable system outside of the Gmail system? 

2) Have many schools had less-than-great experiences with Gmail.  I know that most really like it, but I believe that some have had rough times, perhaps due to a luck-of-the-draw situation with what Google servers they were set up on.

Jim Heynderickx

I would like to know what Google Apps schools are using for archiving...

Thanks everyone for your responses. I've attempted to update the google spreadsheet with additional respondants from ISED-L parallel discussion.

I noticed that Petra Hall posted this on the spreadsheet:

"Canada's National Ballet School ON, Canada --  Unfortunately, due to section 11 of the Google terms of service (here:, we generally avoid Google for passing business information. 11.1 states "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services. 11.2 states "You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals..."

I removed this from the spreadsheet because it is more pertinent here. I don't have a lot of concern about this, because as I read it they need that license in order to "display" the service (i.e. allow it to function for users), but it is an interesting point. I could not find additional language in the TOS to support my belief that Google stores email data with integrity, but I have not heard anything to the contrary in the news, and they do have Safe Harbor certification which implies this.

It was also interesting to note that Yale negotiated its own contract with Google (see: to address some privacy concerns they had.

Do any of you share these concerns or read the TOS differently?

This thread is still incredibly helpful as we explore the transition as well, thank you.

Hi Demetri.

I put out a quick Poll on the ISED list a few weeks ago with the same question. Here's what I found.



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