Douglas County School District serves the communities of Gardnerville, Minden, and Zephyr Cove, Nevada in the beautiful Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe regions. Nestled among the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the high desert sagebrush, its seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools provide over 6,300 students with a high quality education based upon District Competency Objectives and Nevada Academic Performance Standards. The district also has multiple support facilities located around the county.
Douglas County School District's phone system was comprised of antiquated NEC and Nortel systems – some as many as 20 years old. An excess of advances in technology for business phone systems had rendered these systems essentially obsolete. Additionally, having disparate systems among its 14 different locations made communications between the various schools and offices within the district extremely inefficient. Simply put, the district's system – or systems – wasn't making the grade.
Eric Ristine, manager of information services for Douglas County School District, long had plans for upgrading the district to an assimilated VoIP system, but the excessive amount of options available meant an excessive amount of research was needed before choosing one. However, the process was quickly expedited when the phone system at the district's Pinon Hills Elementary School location went down and could not be revived.
"The phone system at Pinon Hills died and it was so old that the company that manufactured it didn't even make parts for it anymore," said Ristine. "We were faced with getting a system in there as soon as possible because the school was literally without phones."