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School system switches phone numbers

McDuffie County schools have a new phone system, including new phone numbers, effective immediately.

Bob Weems, technology director for McDuffie BOE, said the old telephone numbers will still work for six months during the transition phase.

According to Mr. Weems, the new exchange will be 986, and all numbers will be in the 4000 range. Each department will have its own number

"We'll have our own direct inward dialing to call individual stations, which will relieve the operator," Mr. Weems said. "We don't have operators in every school, we have secretaries who do many things including answering the telephone. So this should relieve the transferring of calls business."

Mr. Weems said the new system from BellSouth gives them more service for $2000 less than they are currently paying each month. They are simply taking advantage of the data network already in place in the schools, using voice-over IP.

Although the Associated Press recently reported a series of incidents in which voice-over IP users were unable to connect with a live emergency dispatch operator when calling 911, Mr. Weems said McDuffie's schools are not affected by this problem. Mr. Weems said the school system's VoIP utilizes the school's computer network system, but is "connected to the outside world via BellSouth lines, and the phones themselves are not connected to the internet system."

Most of McDuffie County Schools have a new telephone number. Not affected are Crossroads Learning Center, Maintenance, and the Transportation Department.

By the numbers
  Main # Fax #
Board of Education 986-4000 986-4001
Special Education 986-4100 986-4101
Thomson High 986-4200 986-4201
Thomson Middle 986-4400 986-4401
Norris Elementary 986-4600 986-4601
Thomson Elementary 986-4700 986-4701
Maxwell Elementary 986-4800 986-4801
Dearing Elementary 986-4900 986-4901


Web posted on Thursday, September 1, 2005











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