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Digital Workspace Unified Communications

Fort Zumwalt School District Uses Technology to Transform Learning Experience for Students and Staff

The school district partnered with WWT to design and implement a robust collaboration technology solution that provides increased flexibility for staff and improved student-teacher collaboration.

In This Case Study

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About Fort Zumwalt School District

Headquartered in O’Fallon, MO, the Fort Zumwalt School District (FZSD) is the largest school district in St. Charles County, with more than 25 K-12 schools and learning centers. The school district serves more than 17,500 students and employs more than 3,000 educators, faculty and staff members. FZSD is dedicated to delivering quality education to all students, regardless of ability or economic level, and providing a safe and positive learning environment. 

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Challenge

FZSD was operating with a legacy Mitel PBX phone system that was becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain. They had been impressed with the stability and reliability of Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) — an IP-based branch solution for voice and video calling, messaging, and mobility — that was previously installed at one of their high schools and wanted to migrate the entire district phone system to Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM).

Additionally, as an innovative school district, FZSD wanted to explore collaboration technologies that could help future-proof its schools for remote learning, improve the employee experience for teachers and staff, and provide a better learning experience for students so it could maintain its perfect score on the state’s Annual Performance Report. 

To achieve these goals, the district needed a partner that could provide both strategic direction and technical expertise. FZSD turned to WWT for help. 

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Solution

WWT was able to utilize the Cisco State of Missouri contract as a procurement vehicle, which helped accelerate time to implementation. 

Leveraging our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), we hosted multiple workshops and demos for FZSD’s superintendent, executive director of technology, IT staff and teachers both onsite in our mock classroom and at one of the district’s schools. These workshops allowed FZSD to experience firsthand how Cisco collaboration solutions could enable remote learning and virtual events, such as office hours, parent-teacher conferences and board meetings.

In addition to upgrading its phone system to CUCM, the district decided to implement the following collaboration products: 

  • Cisco Unity Connection: Allows teachers and faculty members to access messages across multiple platforms, including Cisco Unified IP Phones and email inboxes
  • Cisco Emergency Responder: Enables CUCM to send emergency calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and identifies the location of emergency callers
  • WebEx: Enables students, teachers and staff to collaborate through video conferencing, online meetings, screen share and webinars
  • WebEx Assistant: Includes closed captioning and real-time translation capabilities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing or speak English as a second language (ESL)
  • Room Kits and Room Kits Plus: Video display screens and audio capabilities in conference rooms provide the flexibility for remote staff meetings
  • Donoma OneVoice: Delivers voicemail audio along with a high-quality transcription to a teacher or staff member’s email inbox
  • Imagicle Digital Fax: Sends and receives faxes across multiple platforms, including email, web and mobile

After implementing the solution, our Adoption Services team hosted virtual training sessions and provided detailed how-to guides for FZSD’s teachers, staff and students to get them up to speed quickly on their new technology. 

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Outcomes

When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, FZSD was able to seamlessly shift 17,500 students and 3,000 staff members to remote learning overnight due to its robust collaboration solution and prior training. 

WebEx and WebEx Assistant allowed students to continue learning from home; teachers to safely host virtual lessons, office hours and parent-teacher conferences; and the district to stream board meetings to YouTube. On average, FZSD hosted 800 WebEx meetings — roughly 40,000 total minutes — per day throughout the pandemic. 

The collaboration solution also supports the district’s goal to improve the employee experience by providing increased flexibility for teachers, faculty and staff. Departments can host virtual team meetings, staff development workshops and other events using Cisco Room Kits and WebEx instead of requiring staff to attend in person.

Moving forward, FZSD is poised to continue innovating inside and outside of the classroom due to its strong collaboration foundation, furthering the district’s mission to provide a quality learning experience to all students.