Anaheim Union High School District Case Study
Managing communications for one of the largest school districts in California is no easy task, particularly when it involves over 20 disparate, antiquated phone systems. Now, with Mitel Connect ONSITE, Anaheim Union High School District is ready for the 21st century.
Since being founded in 1898, Anaheim Union High School District has grown to a student population of nearly 31,000 with 20 campuses across 46 square miles. The district is one of the largest in the state of California.
A top California school district, Anaheim Union High School District, stretches across five cities and employs nearly 3,000 people, making it the third-largest employer in the city of Anaheim. Their vision statement includes that their students, who speak 49 different languages in their homes, will graduate socially-aware, civic-minded and college or career ready for the 21st century.
Anaheim Union High School District’s students, teachers and campuses have earned many local and national distinctions, including four campuses recognized as Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education, one National Blue Ribbon from the U.S. Department of Education and one designation as a National P-21 Exemplar School. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report, which ranks 22,000 public schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia based on state assessment performance and college preparation, ranked AUHSD’s Oxford Academy number 16 nationally. Six additional schools have earned silver medals.
Yet, through their growth and impressive achievements, Anaheim Union High School District’s communications infrastructure became outdated and obsolete. They found themselves with 20 disparate and antiquated phone systems throughout the district. Principal Robert Saldivar stated, “We needed a way to work smarter, not harder. There’s a lot of activity at the counter and via the phone in each of the school offices. We expect a lot from our students and they, rightfully so, expect a lot from us in return. Our phone system was preventing us from being as productive as we need and want to be, and something had to change.”
Chief Technology Officer Erik Greenwood and his team were also feeling the pain of the antiquated system. With so many different systems and the need to dispatch a technician to troubleshoot each location, managing the phones was a time-consuming, expensive and inefficient task. As a progressive leader, Greenwood saw the proverbial writing on the blackboard and committed to bringing the school district modern technology that would more efficiently serve their staff, students and parents.
After a RFP process, the school district invited several vendors to conduct in-person demonstrations. Mitel rose to the top of the class with a secure, reliable and easy-to-use solution that offered a complete managed experience, allowing the school district to deliver a rich unified communications feature set to all users.
Mitel Connect ONSITE satisfies our need for a centralized, integrated, and unified system. And, simplicity did not mean we would sacrifice functionality. Mitel has it all – and it’s easy-to-use.
Erik Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer
Anaheim Union High School District
Anaheim Union High School District selected Mitel Connect ONSITE. They also elected to roll out Emergency Gateway E911, call recording, and integrations with Google G Suite, Microsoft Active Directory and Aeries, a student information system.
“Mitel Connect ONSITE satisfies our need for a centralized, integrated, and unified system. And, simplicity did not mean we would sacrifice functionality. Mitel has it all – and it’s easy-to-use,” said Greenwood.
The importance of providing a true solution was
further enhanced by the involvement of Mitel’s partner.
From the first meeting, they demonstrated in-depth
experience with K-12 deployments and a commitment
to exceptional customer service.
“They were a true partner to the school district throughout the process, guiding us with the utmost integrity and due diligence, and they continue to provide the highest level of support and service. It’s not just a product, it’s a long-term relationship. And, besides coming in under budget, we’re extremely excited that the Mitel solution was implemented in nine months -- well ahead of the 24 month process we thought this would be. We couldn’t be happier!” said Minami.
Brad Minami, director of purchasing and central services, added, “As a public agency we have certain requirements, which include a very competitive evaluation and intensive selection process. Even with the comprehensive features and functionality, the system still came in under budget. We were thrilled to learn that Mitel is designed to fit within a government budget.”
With over 2,200 phones across 20 campuses, the seamless, integrated Mitel Connect ONSITE solution made the grades. The integration with Aeries allows staff to use the click-to-dial feature to quickly connect with students and families. Additionally, the districtwide system directory and integration with G Suite means staff members can now find and connect with other staff more efficiently. With the centralized dialing plan and ability to easily set up lists, users can more intuitively organize and understand the directory. School extensions used to be random and time-consuming to find. Now, they’re logically based on school number and staff position, becoming intuitive and helping make staff more productive.
Mitel has enabled our campuses to be more secure for our students and staff, while still being cost-effective.
Robert Saldivar, Principal
Anaheim Union High School District
“The district’s key customers – the parents – have also realized benefits. Notifications are now more consistent and timely, and get connected to the right person within the school. The simple, all-in-one solution has allowed the district to be more responsive and provide better service,” explained Greenwood.
This has all helped the district to improve the way they operate and communicate. Staying true to their mission statement to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment, the district focused on another important part of their communication plan – their emergency notification system.
“With the Emergency Gateway features such as the one-button medical help and lockdown, we’ve been able to simplify and automate how we manage, route and report emergencies. Mitel has enabled our campuses to be more secure for our students and staff, while still being cost-effective,” said Saldivar.
With Mitel Connect ONSITE and a dedicated partner, Anaheim Union High School District has graduated their communication system to the 21st century, earning a varsity letter in efficiency, customer experience and total cost of operations.
- Antiquated, disparate phone systems made system management expensive and cumbersome.
- Lack of redundancy and scalability.
- Lack of emergency notification solution needed to be addressed to ensure the safety of students and staff.
- Mitel Connect ONSITE unified communications with Emergency Gateway E911, call reporting, DND scheduler and Google Chrome™ browser extension.
- Microsoft Active Directory integration.
- Aeries (Student Information System) integration.
- Reduced total cost of ownership
- Improved student safety
- Enhanced ease-of-use and management