I’m probably saying something really unpopular now, but what we (as LibreSchool project) are aiming for is a didactic environment, not a educational one (at least, for the moment). This is the same difference as designing the Facebook web interface and designing the IT infrastructure behind the big F. What I am saying is that we are now trying to polish the client side, which unfortunately is minimally, if at all, dependent on the server architecture.
I see a lot of thoughtful and good inputs here (and I really love the goals you are setting; loving a lot the Cockpit/Ansible thing in particular), but they are definitely out of scope with the regards of what we expect to implement/work on in the next 5 years or so.
I would love to say I would “adopt and maintain” one or more of the software you mentioned and integrating it in NS, but I would not have time to do it. If you think I can provide some support/experiences for some of them (I don’t, but still…), please feel free to ping me, I would love to help you as much as I can (I was following the thread for some time, unfortunately not having anything smart to say).