Using a Standalone Contact Manager
Some schools may not wish to participate in Apps Mail, but they may want to use the Google standalone contact manager. Standalone means that this is an independent Google Application and is not integrated with mail. You can still create groups, record contact information, use phone numbers, and even chat information with all of the contacts.
You'll access the standalone contact manager through the URL http://www.google.com/contacts/a/yourschool.org, where yourschool.org is your actual school domain name. Before you can actually use the standalone contact manager, the Google Apps Administrator will have to enable this service through your domain's Google control panel.