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Coupeville schools get new phone numbers

Thanks to a technology levy, Central Whidbey parents will have a chance to contact their children’s teachers directly without having to go through a switchboard.

The Coupeville School District recently spent approximately $25,000 to install a new phone system. The new system will tie into the one being used by the Oak Harbor School District and the City of Oak Harbor.

With the new phone system comes new phone numbers, which are posted on the school district’s website at www.coupeville.k12.wa.us while the old numbers will work for about a year.

Bruce Roberts, information services director for the Oak Harbor School District, said plans were originally put forward to replace the phone system at the elementary school, which was old and the district had trouble getting parts to maintain it. The Coupeville School District contracts with the Oak Harbor School District for information services.

In coming up with options, staff discovered that there were also complaints concerning the phone systems operated at the middle and high school as well as the district office.

“We also found frustration with the district office having its own phone system and the middle and high school having its own phone system,” Roberts said. He added that staff phone calls couldn’t be transferred between buildings caused dissatisfaction among staff. They would have to dial out to call someone else in the district.

Although the high school’s phone system was installed when the building was constructed several years ago, staff complained about the voice mail issues along with several other problems, prompting officials to purchase the new system district-wide.

The school district budgeted between $30,000 and $35,000 for the phone system. Roberts was quick to point out some of the features of the new phones.

The new system is funded by the technology levy voters first approved four years ago. Voters will again re-consider that levy in a special election scheduled in February. If voters sign off on the technology levy, it will bring in $300,000 a year for four years that district leaders would use to pay for computer and equipment upgrades.

Along with the individual phone numbers and the better voice mail system, the new phones have enhanced 911. If a call is placed from a Coupeville School District phone, operators will see the address and room number where a call originates.

The Oak Harbor School District information services staff is also familiar with the new system, which makes it easier to maintain.

With the new system in place, Roberts said attempts are underway to sell the components of the old system.

The phone numbers to all of the schools and administration page are posted on the school district’s website. The administration number is 360-678-2400; Coupeville Elementary School is 678-2470; Coupeville Middle and High School is 360-678-2310; and transportation is 360-678-2409.

 

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