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Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School Case Study

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ShoreTel Mobility passes the test and enables cutting-edge high school to use iPads to improve communications

Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School

Hard-wired desk phones were too expensive

McCarthy High School is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school in Miami, Florida. Although students have iPads, classrooms don’t have desk phones. Estimates to hard-wire were too costly.

Lack of desk phones necessitates communication alternatives

To meet goals for pervasive communications, McCarthy High School initially considered hardwiring each classroom for a desk phone and extension number, but estimates proved to be extremely costly and time-prohibitive. In addition, the existing phone system and infrastructure were in need of upgrades, so McCarthy began assessing possible solutions.

“In these times, we needed to be more responsible with our costs, more cost-conscious. Catholic and private schools across the nation have lower enrollment due to charter and public school competition. Consequently, some schools tend to stay in their comfort zones and miss out on the advantages of new technology. We take the approach of going out there and finding the right partners to help us accomplish our goals,” says Richard Jean, principal at McCarthy High School.

McCarthy High School evaluated half a dozen potential phone solutions from various vendors. One of its calls was to ShoreTel Reseller TeleSwitch. “The team at TeleSwitch made us aware of ShoreTel Mobility and how we could use it on iPads in the classrooms instead of phones for phone calls and even instant messaging. We chose ShoreTel because it offered the best product, the best app for the iPad and fax server—and we saved a lot as well,” explains Joseph Morano, the school’s director of technology.

ShoreTel improves collaboration and productivity

The ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) system and ShoreTel Communicator support a well-rounded, affordable, and highly reliable framework for staying connected and productive. Based on an open platform, ShoreTel solutions are highly scalable and deliver feature-rich applications that can evolve with changing demands.

McCarthy High School teachers have iPad supported by ShoreTel Mobility and can use ShoreTel Communicator’s Softphone capabilities on their PCs or laptops. Communicator is integrated with the school’s Microsoft Outlook application, too. The result is a straightforward integration of these Apple iOS devices with the school’s applications and infrastructure.

ShoreTel Mobility is built on a scalable router and a Roam Anywhere Client for native integration with the user interface of all major mobile devices. Teachers can easily move among data, voice, and video communications on their iPads, because ShoreTel Mobility provides both UC and PBX functionality on the device.

“Teachers are using the iPad with ShoreTel Mobility as the desk phone alternative, for phone contact and for instant messaging. They can see all the phone messages in Outlook windows on the computer or the iPad. Teachers also have their own extensions, which offloads the responsibility of the front desk, and helps the parents reach the right person quicker,” says Morano.

Improved emergency processes make the grade

ShoreTel UC also helps create a safer, more secure campus. The ShoreTel Emergency Notification Advance Application is integrated with McCarthy High School’s overall communications system, to expand native 911 support with code-blue and code-red alerting, for non-emergency and emergency events, respectively.

The automated alerting and real-time internal notification aids the school in mobilizing internal resources and coordinating responses in emergency situations. Additionally, the school has 108 IP security cameras mounted across campus— stairwells, parking lots, and hallways. This surveillance system is tied into the wireless and network infrastructure, enabling images to be viewed on the iPads.

“THE TEAM AT TELESWITCH MADE US AWARE OF SHORETEL MOBILITY AND HOW WE COULD USE IT ON IPADS IN THE CLASSROOMS INSTEAD OF PHONES FOR PHONE CALLS AND EVEN INSTANT MESSAGING. WE CHOSE SHORETEL BECAUSE IT OFFERED THE BEST PRODUCT, THE BEST APP FOR THE IPAD AND FAX SERVER—AND WE SAVED A LOT AS WELL.”

Joseph Morano, Director of Technology
Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School

“We have really been able to go green since we no longer need to print books, agendas, handouts. I’m having meetings with the teachers without paper agendas—I just send the agenda via email to their iPads,” says Jean.

ShoreTel enables learning beyond the classroom

Students, parents, and staff have benefited from McCarthy’s active and open approach to learning and communicating beyond the confines of classroom walls. Since deploying the ShoreTel solution, the school has realized significant savings on everything from monthly telephone bills to cost avoidance of having to purchase desk phones and wire the buildings. Parents are happy with the improved communications with teachers and the ability to reach the right person in a timely way. And teachers are receiving messages faster and are able to effectively interact with one another and with parents.

“We’ve actually changed the way we work, with greater productivity and efficiency, and the ability to be reachable right away. Communication has improved substantially with our ShoreTel UC and ShoreTel Mobility technologies. I hardly ever see my desk anymore—I can check everything if I’m on the go—so we’re able to do more in a more cost-efficient manner. I see all of the pros and no cons,” says Morano.

“Before ShoreTel on the iPad, I had to be in the office to take phone calls or IM,” says Jean. “Now I can be anywhere on or off campus and still be reached. We are proud to be leading the way in incorporating technology into our curriculum. We are building the educational model that will offer our young men and women a chance to catch this wave of change, understand this evolving environment, and to unlock their full potential. Upon graduation, they will emerge prepared to excel in the 21st-century landscape that awaits them.”

“WE HAVE REALLY BEEN ABLE TO GO GREEN SINCE WE NO LONGER NEED TO PRINT BOOKS, AGENDAS, HANDOUTS. I’M HAVING MEETINGS WITH THE TEACHERS WITHOUT PAPER AGENDAS—I JUST SEND THE AGENDA VIA EMAIL TO THEIR IPADS.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Teachers lacked classroom desk phones and received paper messages from the front office. Installing phones was cost prohibitive, teachers needed to be more reachable, and the school wanted to create a green technology-savvy culture.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel solution included ShoreTel Mobility, ShoreTel Emergency Notification Advanced Application, ShoreTel IP Phones and ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel Collaboration Bridge, ShoreTel Communicator, and SIP Trunking support.

BENEFITS:

  • Monthly cost savings on phone bills
  • Avoided expense of purchasing a hard-wired system
  • Responsive communications work environment
  • Improved communications between parents and teachers