Nextel Communications, as part of a partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools, has completed a successful two-year pilot project with Walter Johnson High School. Nextel provided 70 key staff members with cell phones to help them communicate with parents and each other.
The cell phones have contributed greatly to communication among staff members, particularly during recent construction of additional classrooms when many classes have been held in portable facilities separate from the main building. Teachers and parents have been able to communicate more easily, facilitating a greater sense of shared accountability for students. The phones also have helped coaches contact concerned parents when athletic events are running late.
Comments from staff and administrators at Walter Johnson High School reflect their enthusiasm.
“These phones are much better than walkie-talkies. They give us many more options in communicating and very clear lines,” says John Brooks, building service manager.
The phones also have “been a great tool for time management,” according to school business manager Tom Stup.
“Our Nextel cell phones have been invaluable,” says principal Kevin Maxwell. “We’ve really enhanced communication among staff and with parents, and we’ve addressed emergencies quickly.”
For more information, contact Sandra Shmookler, MCPS special assistant, at 301-279-3432.