Locations in Apple School Manager allow educational institutions to logically divide up users, devices, classes, and app purchasing. Locations typically designates different physical locations, but it can also be used to logically group programmatic groups, such as Special Education.
When a Student Information System (SIS) is integrated into Apple School Manager, locations will automatically be created during the synchronization process. Each school or building that exists in the SIS will show up as a different location inside of Apple School Manager. In larger deployments, having separate locations is critical since they subdivide your organization into buildings or logical units that exist in your SIS, which makes it easier to locate and organize individuals.
Synchronization Between Jamf School and Apple School Manager
The tight integration of Jamf School and Apple School Manager means that all locations, students, classes, and instructors that exist in Apple School Manager will be created automatically within Jamf School by simply synchronizing Jamf School and Apple School Manager.
The most important thing in keeping your deployment organized is to make sure there is only one “source of truth” for your user accounts, classes, and locations. The source of truth will be the one source that is kept current and is used to populate data out to all other systems. Typically, that source of truth will be your SIS. Since your SIS populates all the information into your Apple School Manager instance and then in turn populates your Jamf School Management System instance, it is critical to correctly set up your synchronization between Jamf School and Apple School Manager.
Connecting a Student Information System to Apple School Manager
If supported, the preferred way to sync the SIS/Apple School Manager is to directly integrate the SIS into Apple School Manager. This way any updates done in the SIS will update automatically (i.e. student schedule changes, students changing schools, etc.). Alternatively, if your SIS is not supported with direct integration, you can export the information and import it into your Apple School Manager instance via SFTP. In this case, it is important to set a schedule for updating Apple School Manager so that all interested parties know when updates should be expected.
Once you choose a method, remain consistent with that method. Changing the method can have significant impacts on the data remaining consistent. See the following Apple documentation for information: Connect your Student Information System to Apple School Manager.
Apple School Manager Sync Settings in Jamf School
Since Jamf School gets all of its information about locations from the SIS via Apple School Manager, it is important to understand the Apple School Manager sync settings inside of Jamf School. These settings can be found in Jamf School under Organization > Settings > Apple School Manager. The sync settings found in Jamf School Management System will dictate how locations are mapped from Apple School Manager to Jamf School Management System.
Keep in mind that location information is only mapped from Apple School Manager to Jamf School Management System with relation to classes. In order to have students, instructors, and classes map correctly from Apple School Manager to Jamf School, you will need to make sure every student and instructor that you want to show up in Jamf School is in a class in Apple School Manager.
Synchronizing All Locations
If you would like to replicate all the location mappings inside of Jamf School exactly as they appear in Apple School Manager, make sure to select the “Synchronize all locations” options.
Synchronizing Some Locations
By deselecting the "Synchronize all locations" option, you will be able to change the way locations are mapped from Apple School Manager into Jamf School. For example, if you have integrated your SIS into Apple School Manager but only need to deploy Apple devices to a subset of locations, you can choose not to map locations from Apple School Manager into Jamf School. This can be accomplished by going to the location that you want to exclude and choosing "Do not synchronize" from the pop-up menu beside that location’s name. This will cause any instructors, classes, or students associated with this location to not be synchronized with Jamf School.
In addition to excluding locations from being mapped, you can also map any or all Apple School Manager locations to one location in Jamf School. Simply choose the same location from each location's pop-up menu.
Mapping non-teaching staff to a location
If there are individuals that are not directly associated with a class that you would like to synchronize to Jamf School, you can synchronize all those accounts at one time by picking a location from the pop-up menu labeled "Location to use for syncing staff personnel." Most of the time these accounts will be associated to the top level location since that is typically the administration building.
Keep in mind that any account not associated with a class in Apple School Manager will be considered staff personnel within Jamf School.