Making templates available to our research students, in the most secure and time efficient way, has been something Karen Kliegman and I have been playing with this year in research. We've tried creating collections for each teacher (like making a folder) and sharing the collection with the students in that class. When anything is place inside that collection, it is automatically shared with all the students that the collection was shared with. Students then have to "make a copy" of the document and rename it. They can then share that document with their partners, as well as Karen and me.
What we discovered this morning was how to "submit to template gallery." If it is a document template, you have to click "Create, from template." They can then navigate to templates saved into our domain. Students still need to rename and share, but it makes accessing the document easier.