Saturday, December 23, 2006


Reach Out, Reach Out And Secure Your Phone From Being Stolen . . .

At Inner City High, I must admit that most classrooms have an intercom that can be used to reach the office if necessary. Several don't, but most do. Of course, an indivudual teacher may use a personal cell phone to call the office. Heck, on a good day, someone might even answer. Apparently, with the help of some grant money, the district decided to do something about this problem. Unfortunately, they did it in the typical district way, by imposing something that had no input from the people who are involved with the end product. This email came late in the first week of installation:


We all arrived on Monday to find that emergency cell phones had been installed in the classrooms. Over the last few days I have tried to get specifics on the action plan for these phones. Here is what I have been able to find out:

1. The phones were purchased for every classroom in the district through the district funds allocated from the XYZ grant (we submitted a proposal as a school also).

2. Physical plant informed schools two weeks ago that they had purchased the phones and were starting to install at schools. I assumed that they would let us know when they were doing specific schools.

3. Physical plant staff came to Inner City High last weekend and installed the phones. We didn't know they would be here.

4. Checking with Physical plant Monday morning I got the information on the phones which I shared in an e-mail*. They are for emergency use and are programmed to call only the emergency services.
Inner City High Staff:
Many of you should notice the installation of emergency (911) telephones in your classrooms. This is the information that we received from the district. The XYZ grant has provided funding for the purchase of emergency telephones for ~2,000 district classrooms. (Please note that E-911 emergency (cellular) telephones will not be installed in classrooms equipped with a standard telephone or VoIP unit.) The
emergency cellular telephones are programmed to only make contact with 911 operators with all other calls blocked.
(See #7 below--HP) The E-911 telephones will
be contained within a small black box that has been labeled as follows:
"Emergency Telephone"
911 Only
The E-911 telephones will be installed near or behind the classroom instructor’s work station and near an electric receptacle for charging purposes. Additionally, the cellular telephone installation will include a 30 minute timer which will ensure daily battery charging. Finally, the E-911 telephone and timer must remain plugged into the electrical receptacle at all times (unless in use) to ensure that the battery is
fully charged. Mrs. ABC, Telephone/Energy Conservation Technician, will be visiting each site as the E-911 telephones are installed so to address any questions with the deployment and/or operation of these emergency devices. The installation of the E-911 telephones is anticipated to conclude in early 2007.

5. The phones are not secured and began disappearing from rooms immediately.

6. Physical plant cannot tell staff to remove the phones from the room. In case there is an emergency it would be a liability if they told teachers to remove the phones. However, I can tell you to secure the phone for the next two days.

7. After vacation, the phones will be individually modified to make it impossible for them to be activated for any other numbers. Even if the phone is stolen it will be useless and physical plant can remotely put it out of use. They hope this will no longer be an incentive for anyone to take the phones.

8. If you phone has been stolen please e-mail both of these individuals: Mr. 123 and Mrs. ABC. In your subject and message state "Emergency Phone stolen - Room ____, Inner City High School." (Make sure you insert your room number)

If there is not already a specific code for each phone there will be one after vacation and Mrs. ABC will be able to make sure that the phone is inactive immediately. They hope this will mean there is no reason to take the phone.

So for today and tomorrow - do whatever you can to secure your phone. Also, continue to be vigilant about the phone - it can be useful so you don't want it to be missing from your room.

I'll keep us posted on any changes after Winter Break.

So now they have two whole weeks to screw things up! Can't wait to get back!
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