Did you know: Setting Up ZuluDesk Parent

Did you know

Jamf School Informational Series:

General Knowledge - Setting Up ZuluDesk Parent



The purpose of this informational series is to highlight features of the Jamf School Management System that the Jamf School community may not yet know about. This article is about setting up ZuluDesk Parent in Jamf School, which allows caretakers to have control over iOS devices that are assigned to the students in their care. For more information about how caretakers can use ZuluDesk Parent, please refer to https://support.jamfschool.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004200194-ZuluDesk-Parent-App-Overview.


As the popularity of the 1 to 1 iOS device model has increased, especially in K-12 environments, so has the tendency for students to take those devices home with them. The caretakers of those students often have different management needs and criteria for the devices than the criteria used in school. Before ZuluDesk Parent, this often meant that the student had to be closely monitored at home with the device or they did not have the ability to complete assignments at home. Additionally, caretakers sometimes did not feel that they had a voice in what technology their student had access to when at home. ZuluDesk Parent overcomes these issues since caretakers can set up the management of the device so that it more closely matches the needs of the home environment. 

ZuluDesk Parent is a time-based management tool that allows the school to associate a caretaker account to their student, and in turn the devices that are assigned to that student. Caretakers are then allowed to have management capabilities over the device during out-of-school hours. The management privileges that the caretaker is allowed are additive to the restrictions that the school has already imposed on the device itself. This means that the caretaker can only further restrict the device, not loosen restrictions that the school has already imposed. 

This article discusses how to set up ZuluDesk Parent and presents ideas about how to associate caretakers and their student(s). 

How To: Setting Up ZuluDesk Parent

ZuluDesk Parent has two critical links: the caretaker account associated with the relevant student account(s) and the student being set as the owner of the device itself inside of the Jamf School Management System. Since ZuluDesk Parent takes advantage of the Jamf School backend, there is only minor setup that is needed other than setting up the two critical links described above.

Setting up ZuluDesk Parent in Jamf School: The setup of ZuluDesk Parent is minimal but offers many customizable features for caretakers to use. Below are the steps that need to be completed in order to give caretakers the ability to take complete advantage of ZuluDesk Parent. 

  • Enable ZuluDesk Parent and set when it is active in Jamf School: This can be done by going to Organization → Settings → ZuluDesk Parent. Here you will see the ZuluDesk Parent Management screen.


The following options are available:  

      • Enable: If this box is checked, it enables the use of ZuluDesk Parent for the Jamf School instance. 
      • Time Restrictions: This sets the range of time during which ZuluDesk Parent is active and the restrictions set by the caretaker are in effect. By checking “Allow unlimited use in the weekends,” ZuluDesk Parent is active and the restrictions set by a caretaker are in effect around the clock on Saturday and Sunday (rather than being active/in effect on weekend days only during the selected range of time). Outside of that range of time, the restrictions set by the institution are the only ones in effect.  
      • Location enforcement drop down menu: This dictates whether or not the ZuluDesk Parent settings set in the top-level location will be forced down to the other locations. By choosing from the options in this menu, a top-level administrator can choose to centrally manage ZuluDesk Parent settings for the whole instance or to allow individual location admins to implement their own ZuluDesk Parent settings. 
  • Select the apps that will be shown to caretaker accounts: One of the features of ZuluDesk Parent is to allow caretakers to lock a device into a specific app. In order for this to be accomplished, two things must occur: 
      • The student’s device must be in the scope of that app and the installation of that app must be completed. 
      • The app must be listed in ZuluDesk Parent by enabling ZuluDesk Parent for that app in Jamf School. To do this:
        • Go to Apps → Apps and click the application’s name in the Name column. The information screen for that specific app will open.


        • Under Options, click the “Show this app in ZuluDesk Parent” checkbox. 


Creating a parent user group: Now that ZuluDesk Parent is set up and the relevant applications are enabled, you can create accounts for caretakers and associate them with the students they care for. But first, a user group must be created so that caretaker accounts can be granted access to ZuluDesk Parent. Below are the steps for doing this. 

    1. Create the user group: This can be done by going to Users & Groups → Groups and clicking Add Group.


In the Add Group window that opens:  

  • Group Name: Choose a descriptive name, such as Parents.
  • Description: This field is optional.
  • Click Add to save the group. The Details screen for your newly-created group will open.
    1. Grant access to ZuluDesk Parent: To do this:
  • Click Edit on the Details screen.
  • Under Features, choose Allow from the ZuluDesk Parent drop down menu. This will allow any member of this group to gain access to ZuluDesk Parent. 


  • Click Save.

Creating a caretaker’s account and associating it with student account(s): There are two ways to create an individual caretaker account and associate student account(s) to it: a manual method, and a bulk method using a CSV file. 

To complete the process using the manual method:

    1. Create the caretaker’s account. To do this:  
  • Log in to Jamf School with an administrator account. 
  • Go to Users & Groups → Overview and click Add User.


  • In the Add User window that opens, fill out the requested information. The email address you enter will be the caretaker’s username for logging into ZuluDesk Parent. 
  • Make sure to add the user to the Parent group (created in an earlier step). Then click Add. 


    1. Associate the student account(s) with the caretaker’s account. To do this:  
  • Search for the newly-created caretaker’s account and click the user’s name (NOT the email address) in the Full Name Column. 


  • In the User Profile screen that opens, click Edit Details. 


  • Scroll down to ZuluDesk Parent. In the field labeled Children, begin to type the student’s full name as listed in Jamf School. Once the student’s name appears, click to select it. Repeat the process for all relevant student names. 


  • Once all relevant student names are listed in the Children field, click Save.
  • Make sure that all of the relevant student accounts are associated with the caretaker’s account by verifying the student accounts that are listed under the ZuluDesk Parent section of the caretaker’s parent account profile page. 


Once the caretaker’s account is associated with student account(s), the caretaker will be able to login to ZuluDesk Parent and see their associated student(s) listed along with the device(s) that the student(s) are the owner of in Jamf School. Caretakers can find out more about managing their students’ devices by visiting the Jamf School support page for the Parent App, found here: https://support.jamfschool.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004200194-ZuluDesk-Parent-App-Overview.

Bulk Import:

To complete the process using the bulk method using a CSV file, download the CSV file. To do this: 

  • Log in to Jamf School with an administrator account. 
  • Go to Organization → Import/Synchronize and select Import Parents From CSV. 



  • On the Import Parent CSV page, click Download Template CSV under the Help section on the right side of the screen. 



2. Open the CSV file and populate it. The CSV file needs information in the following fields:  


      • Email: This is the email address used by the caretaker. It will be used to send out the initial invite as well as responses to any reset password requests. It will also be used as the caretaker’s user name. 
      • FirstName and LastName: These are the caretaker’s first and last names.
      • Children: This is used to the list all the user names for the student(s) participating in the 1 to 1 program that the caretaker cares for. If multiple student accounts need to be associated with the caretaker’s account, separate the user names with semicolons. If there is more than one caretaker caring for the same student(s), those caretakers need to be listed on separate rows with the student account information repeated in the additional caretaker row(s).
    1. Import the CSV file into Jamf School. On the Import Parent CSV page on the left side of the screen, make the following selections: 


      • CSV File: Click Choose File. Select the file from the dialog box that opens.
      • Delimiter: Choose Auto Detect from the drop down menu. The delimiter is the character used to mark the beginning and end of fields in the CSV file. It is advisable to let Jamf School auto detect the delimiter.
      • Parent Group: In the search box, begin to type the name of the parent user group created for caretakers. Once the name of the parent user group appears, click to select it. (If you have not yet created a parent user group, see Creating a parent user group, above.)
      • Import Options: Check the box next to “Automatically create login details and send them by email.” This will cause all owners of parent accounts to be sent an email informing them that an account has been created for them and describing how to log in. The email address included in the CSV file will be the one used. 
    1. Click the Start Import button.  


Gathering information for ZuluDesk Parent: The biggest task with setting up ZuluDesk Parent is gathering information from caretakers and associating the proper student accounts to them. There are a few strategies that can be used to gather this information. Since Google Apps for Education is prevalent inside of most schools, one of the most effective ways is to create a Google sheet that parents can go to and fill out the information necessary for populating the CSV file. Since student user names in Jamf School are often based on known data, such as email addresses, you would simply ask the caretaker for their first and last name, email address, and their student’s email address. An administrator can then use this to construct a complete CSV file to import. 

Another way to gather the information is in person. If your institution plans on having an informational night or a gathering where parents are invited to pick up their students’ devices,  school personnel could be logged into Jamf School, create caretaker accounts, and manually associate the proper students to them in the moment.

Either way once ZuluDesk Parent is set up, caretaker accounts are set up, and students are associated to caretaker accounts, there is little to no maintenance of the system necessary. 

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