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By MATT DANIELS
Rantoul Press assistant editor
If you make a phone call to Rantoul Township High School later this week or next, Scott Amerio asks for patience.
Not because a call might get dropped or disconnected like it has in the past.
Simply because the school is adjusting to a new phone system that was installed throughout the building Friday.
Amerio, the RTHS superintendent, said he is glad the new system is in place.
“I was still doing phone calls (Friday) on the old phone system and apologizing to people after they cut out for about five seconds,” he said. “It will be nice to have a phone system where you don’t have to do that.”
The RTHS board approved a quote of $37,076 from Genesis Adaptive, Bloomington, to install a new system in the school at its September board meeting. Amerio was hopeful at the time the phone system would be in place by early October. The school had the new phones by early December, but the system was not fully installed and fully functional until Friday.
“We officially moved all of our stuff over (on Friday),” Amerio said. “When people call the main number, everything will be moved over. We had two parallel systems running for awhile, one that we could call out on. When people would call in to the (main number), they were still on the old system, but when we were making calls out, we were on the new system. Now we’re down to one phone system that is fully functional.”
The school’s main number is still 217-892-2151 but extensions to reach certain offices, teachers and staff no longer are in place.
“There are no extension numbers anymore,” Amerio said, “so people have direct lines to call.”
Amerio said the school plans to update its website to let people know new numbers for RTHS personnel.
“People will still call the same main number,” Amerio said. “The options from there will change. What we’re really trying to do is limit so that when you call, you only get that one auto attendant, and then from there it’s going to put you through to a live person.”
Amerio said the secretaries at the school were receiving training on the new phone systems Friday, and future training will be set up for other staff members.
“As the main people who use the phone system a lot, the secretaries are on the front line,” Amerio said. “It may take them a day or two to get used to it.”