School districts across the country are facing serious financial hurdles in the months and years ahead. Declining enrollment rates, mounting staff retirement costs, and widespread teacher shortages have added a whole new (and wholly unwelcome) meaning to the phrase “doing more with less”. Fortunately, there is a proven and cost-effective way for school districts to unify school district communications: upgrade from a conventional landline phone system to a VoIP phone system.
Here are four key reasons why an all-in-one VoIP phone system enables school districts to tie their school communications together:
A VoIP Phone System Connects All Staff Members and Locations Throughout the School District
With a VoIP phone system, school districts can easily and affordably give all staff their own phone number and voicemail box, so they can always be reachable.
For many school districts, this is not feasible with a conventional landline phone system. This is because giving each staff member their own phone number and connecting all rooms and buildings means installing cables and wires, as well as upgrading on-site private branch exchange (PBX) equipment. This is VERY expensive. Plus, installing cables and wires can be disruptive for day-to-day operations.
However, with a VoIP phone system there are no cables or wires for a school district to worry about, as everything runs on the existing data network. What’s more, the PBX is housed and maintained by the VoIP Solutions Provider, which means there are no costly upgrades/replacements to deal with.
A VoIP Phone System Enables Total Mobility for Traveling Within or Beyond the School District
Schools are not static work environments. They are busy hubs of activity, with staff regularly moving from one room, building, or location to the next. What’s more, Superintendents and other leaders are typically required to travel outside the school district to attend conferences, etc.
A VoIP phone system enables staff to simply add an app to their smartphone. This keeps communications at their fingertips, whether they are traveling within or beyond the school district. Plus, when a staff member makes an outgoing call using the app, their school’s (or school district’s) name/number displays on Caller ID. This works even if they are using their personally-owned device. This is important for privacy and security.
A VoIP Phone System Creates a Unified SMS/MMS Messaging Platform
With a VoIP phone system, a school district can bring all staff together on a unified chat and SMS (a.k.a. Instant Messaging) platform. There are many practical applications of this communication channel, such as:
- Keeping staff, parents, and students informed during emergencies (e.g. inclement weather).
- Reminding parents of upcoming interviews or appointments.
- Promoting school events and fundraising activities.
- Keeping field trip groups organized and safe.
- Enhancing internal communication among staff.
Instead of having various staff members using different chat and SMS tools — e.g. Slack, Teams, Facebook Messenger, etc. — everyone will be on the same, standardized platform.
These Systems Feature Browser-Based Video Conferencing
The pandemic triggered an unprecedented surge in video conferencing — much to the chagrin of school district IT staff. Why? Because in order to use various video conferencing platforms (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Teams, etc.), teachers and other staff had to download and install apps. Not only did this create enormous configuration issues, but it made devices and networks vulnerable to malware — especially ransomware, which since COVID-19 began is increasingly being used by hackers to attack schools across the country.
The good news is that with a VoIP phone system, there is nothing for school district staff to download and install. They simply point their browser to a designated website and start participating in the video conference. It is remarkably easy, fast, and most importantly: SAFE.
The Bottom Line
At Carolina Digital Phone, our all-in-one VoIP phone system is the smart, proven, and affordable way to unify school district communications. We have over two decades of experience serving the needs of school districts and private academies. We work with schools throughout North Carolina and across the Southeast. These include Bertie County Schools, Graham County Schools, Moore County Schools, Yadkin County Schools, Tandem Friends Schools, Noble Academy, and more.
Schedule your free consultation and in-depth demo now. We can connect with you in-person at your school/school district headquarters, or over-the-web. Call us now at (336) 544-4000.