SHERMAN, Texas - Students, teachers and parents in the Sherman Independent School District (ISD) in North Texas are leveraging the power of advanced communications in and out of the classroom, using new services from Verizon Business.
The services will be provided under a new agreement that expands the company's decade-long relationship with the district, which is located about 60 miles north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, near the Oklahoma border. The Sherman ISD serves about 6,100 students at 12 locations.
Verizon Business is currently completing the installation of a new voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) platform and is deploying wireless local area networks (LANS) for each school campus to expand the district's communications capability and reach. The new services are provided via the district's existing high-capacity Ethernet network, which also carries the district's Internet, data and voice services.
"The district is converting all locations to voice over IP and it has been very successful," said Mignon Plyer, the Sherman school district's director of technology. "As part of this new system, we can deliver voice mail to teachers - a feature that parents really like. What began as a vendor relationship has developed into a real partnership. Verizon's professional consultants helped us find solutions to deliver content to students while fully leveraging our investments."
In addition to the new VoIP and wireless capabilities, Verizon Business expanded the district's existing Ethernet capabilities, enabling it to use its data network for a wide range of administrative and educational functions including processing cafeteria transactions, tracking library books, and distance-learning activities in the classroom. The wireless-access points being installed provide students and teachers with greater flexibility by enabling them to access the network, using laptops on district campuses.
"Sherman ISD has been a leader in the use of technology to make sure students have access to the necessary resources, both on and off campus," said Alex Coleman, group president for Verizon Business government and education markets. "Sherman school district students and teachers will have state-of-the-art IP technology with wireless access - tools to help expand the educational experience for the entire district."
Some of the new services and network expansion are made possible through the federal E-rate program. The program, created as part of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and managed through the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company, provides assistance for eligible schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications services and Internet access. Verizon Business is one of the nation's leading participants in the program, with more than 10 years of E-rate experience in working with K-12 clients nationwide.
(To listen to a podcast on how the Sherman ISD is deploying advanced services using E-rate to deliver the latest technology to the district's students, parents and teachers, visit: http://www.verizonbusiness.com/resources/media/index.xml?urlid=129597.)
Verizon Business' government and education organization offers state and local agencies and institutions of primary and higher education one-stop shopping for their communications or connectivity needs. The company has built the next-generation services - including IT, security, communications, network and professional services - that are helping to transform the way government customers - and their constituents - do business.
About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.