Jamf Blog
March 23, 2021 by John Hathcock

Jamf Heroes: Providing exceptional service in uncertain times

A Jamf Hero from Riverdale Baptist School shares his school's success story, even when coping with a global pandemic.

John Hathcock, Cloud and Media Specialist at Riverdale Baptist School, wanted to share his favorite parts about using Jamf in their ecosystem and how Jamf has helped them continue on their journey of excellence, even through the COVID-19 pandemic:

Riverdale Baptist School, a private, Christian school in Maryland serving students from pre-K through high school, has been using Jamf Pro since its “Casper Suite” days, when it was only available on site, so we’ve been delighted to see how Jamf has grown. For the past three years, we’ve also been Jamf Cloud customers and we love the power and stability of the platform.

Set up to succeed

We’re currently able to offer students a 1-to-1 Apple technology program with school-owned devices. High school students all receive a MacBook Air, while middle school and elementary students receive iPad Air devices. Jamf Pro has been foundational in our program’s success — in less than a week’s time, we were able to transfer over 500 devices from the on-site server to the cloud, set up new and better enrollment and configuration profiles in addition to providing our faculty and students with self-service tools that empower them to discover what their devices are capable of.

Making use of Static Groups

So how does Jamf help us with this? Using a combination of Static Groups, we can assign security controls, Wi-Fi access, default configuration and app restrictions to our fleet of devices in a snap. Being able to remotely install software using applications’ controls or Jamf Self Service has also allowed us to deploy software exactly where and when it's needed. The device maintenance page makes it simple to track software errors or to make configuration changes quickly, too. On top of that, integrations with both our Microsoft Office 365 cloud and FACTS Student Information System (SIS) make assigning devices to students a breeze and also allows us to control which grade levels can access which content.

Leveraging the power of Smart Groups

With Jamf Smart Groups, we love that we can monitor battery level, storage space and software updates remotely, while using Jamf Pro to send messages reminding users to charge a device or to let a user know that an OS update is due. Tracking device location in combination with our campus Wi-Fi network is simple and the ability to remotely lock devices has been extremely helpful in not only preventing devices from relocating themselves (wink, wink), but also in allowing us to empower our students to be responsible for their own device’s well-being. It’s gratifying to see some of our younger students being the most careful in keeping their devices clean and charged while making sure their software is up to date.

Providing excellence in uncertainty

However, the most important thing Jamf gave us was the ability to rapidly adapt when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown of on-campus learning. In less than one day of instruction time, our entire student body was up and running with remote learning, facilitated by our 1-to-1 program and made secure and safe by Jamf. It allowed our students to continue learning with basically no down time. From an educational standpoint, they were able finish out the school year as if the lockdown had never occurred. Knowing that we could confidently allow students to use school devices at home without fear of inappropriate content or installing games and media that would distract from their education was one less thing we had to worry about. In the end, Jamf Pro empowered Riverdale Baptist School to provide exceptional service in the middle of a pandemic and we are extremely grateful for the partnership and commitment to excellence Jamf has shown.

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Riverdale Baptist School
Cloud and Media Specialist at Riverdale Baptist School, a private, Christian school serving students from pre-K through high school and a Jamf customer for over five years.
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