Last year I asked the same question and was told yes by a gaggle representative. They were working on it, they may have come up with something by now. They took too long for me so I made generic google accts for my different classes. Pd2, Pd4, Pd5 and so on, so that whenever they needed to log in to complete google docs assignments they could just use the generic sign in accounts.
I know this doesn't really answer your question (I don't know is never a good answer) but I hope my generic class accounts helps. Why do you want to get away from gmail?
I knew about the gaggle accounts. My understanding is that there is a paid option in which gaggle will filter the email accounts while the students can use google. I thought about the class accts but I want individuals to collaborate on word documents and presentations while keeping track of the edits and contributions.
My school uses first class for student emails; I even got some resistance for trying to set up gaggle email accounts so I can imagine what would happen if I try to set up gmail accounts. But I love the docs app for collaboration. I don't want to use a wiki for the small assignments. Maybe you may know of another free way for students to collaborate "wiki style" without an email account.
If you are just wanting a word document page etherpad.com might be what you are looking for. It is free and needs no email to sign up. Just establish an etherpad page, share that URL, and people can start collaborating, side chatting, edit, etc. They can do this simultaneously or at different times. It is pretty cool.
Actually, a Google account comes with docs but doesn't include gmail. (You would have to register with an email address of some other kind, though.) Now, if you register for a gmail account, that comes with mail, of course, but docs as well. The best solution, which we have at our school, is a Google Education account, which allows you to disable any of the google tools system-wide.
But I think even if you register with another email account, you still have the option of adding a gmail account later. I would love a way to disable the future option or to set up a teacher account with several user aliases or ids to access docs but not gmail. I would love to be able to control the entire accounts. Can one teacher set up a google education account or does your school have to be on board?
This sounds great, I will have to check it out. I ran into an issue last fall wanting to use Google Docs for a collaborative writing project but couldn't set it up for lack of student email. Google Apps for Ed isn't a possibility since it would need approval and set up from the powers that be.