There's a small utility included with Windows called mklink. It's a command-line utility that requires admin privileges to run, and it makes a symbolic link to the target. Usage is about what you'd expect, but it defaults to making file links so to make a directory link you have to use the /D switch. I used it to make my local user content folders (Pictures, Videos, Music) symlinks to my personal NAS share. I know that if the network goes down, I lose access to my media, and I'm okay with that. I was tearing my hair out because it was refusing to let me add the network share to my libraries, as it wouldn't let me index it. There wasn't anything in the local content directories anymore anyway. I have yet to see if Windows keeps them as symlinks on a reboot, but when I finally get around to doing it (I've just been hibernating it lately rather than shutting it down, I have tabs open in Firefox and for some reason restoring my sessions doesn't always work) I'll let you guys know how it does.
For as useful as it is, you'd expect the IT people at schools and such to make that default. Eliminate any and all problems with saving on the local computer vs. on their network share. Don't know specifically what versions it's included with, but I can say for certain that it's included with 7 and 8.x.