Evergreen Charter School Quick Facts
American Time solution: Wi-Fi Network Clocks
Enrollment: 450 and growing
Evergreen Charter School serves grades K-8 in Hempstead, Long Island. The school aims to meet the needs of all children and their families with a strong academic program and a curriculum that emphasizes care for the environment and learning of the Spanish language. The school’s philosophy is to prepare children to live in a global community, one that respects and values the dignity of all.
Evergreen also puts a high value on giving children the most nutritious and healthy meals possible, and believes that a child who is not well-nourished, does not learn.
Lunch is a much needed break in a child’s school day, allowing them to relax, visit with friends, and get a healthy school meal.
Unfortunately, lunchtime was anything but relaxing for the students, teachers, and staff at Evergreen Charter School. With grades K-8 spread out over two buildings and neither of the buildings equipped with synchronized clocks, lunchtime could be chaotic. One of the buildings is a temporary location for classrooms, as a new building will soon open to serve Evergreen’s growing enrollment.
“None of our clocks showed the same time, so teachers were bringing down students early or late,” explains Joshua Poveda, chef and food service director at Evergreen. “We have one large room where the kids eat, but if they were late arriving and then had to wait in a long line, sometimes they would only have 10 minutes to eat, which was not fair to the students.”
Furthermore, Poveda makes all of the children’s lunches from scratch – nothing frozen or even canned – and occasionally serves the food on plates, which get cold when the students don’t arrive on time. The kitchen staff were frustrated with the time problems too, as they tried to balance kitchen operations with the unpredictable class arrivals. “We’d try synchronizing the clocks on our own, but within a few days they’d be five minutes apart. It was a frustration for the whole team.”
Despite many conversations around how to better time the arrivals and departures, the school continued to struggle with classes that showed up or were dismissed too early or too late, and children who were faced with lunch and recess times that were too short.
“I finally decided to search for a clock system that would fix this problem,” said Poveda.
Poveda searched for a solution the way most people do: He Googled it.
“I found American Time and two other clock companies, and I chose American Time because they were so fast in responding and getting me quotes,” he explained. “The other two companies took forever. By the time I got the quote from American Time, I was waiting to get my initial questions answered from the other companies. The pricing and products were great too, but the great customer service was the main reason.”
Equipped with the quote, Poveda presented a detailed proposal to the Evergreen school board that explained the lunchtime problems and the need for synchronized clocks that would display the same time throughout both buildings. The board immediately approved the purchase.
Poveda chose 35 12” Wi-Fi battery clocks. Each clock can be pre-configured to automatically join the existing Wi-Fi network as soon as it is hung on the wall. There is minimal capital investment, as Wi-Fi clocks don’t require a master controller, wires, license fees or cables. Just a wireless router will keep all of the clocks on the same, precise time and automatically update for daylight saving time. Each clock was customized with the school’s logo (a complimentary service), and can simply be removed from the wall and hung in the new building that will be completed in the near future.
“The clocks were so easy to install,” said Poveda. “American Time worked with our IT person to get our Wi-Fi network information, so the clocks arrived ready to go. We just took them out of the box, pulled the tag and they all synchronized to the same time. It was very easy and very straightforward.”
Lunchtime efficiency has improved tremendously with the school’s clocks now showing the same, precise time. With a five-year battery life, no one at Evergreen should have to touch or adjust the clocks for several years.
“They’ve made life easier for my staff and for the teachers. Even the children notice it because they don’t have to rush through lunch anymore,” noted Poveda. “The clocks just do their job, and we shouldn’t have to worry about it.”
For other schools considering synchronized Wi-Fi network clocks, Poveda explained that it doesn’t have to be a long, laborious process. “I didn’t spend days and days researching clocks. I just did a search and got it done. If a school is thinking about adding synchronized time, they should understand that it really helps everyone and I’d recommend it for any school or any organization.”