Best known for its artesian mineral water, Martinsville, Indiana is located 30 miles south of Indianapolis. The Martinsville School District has eight elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school with a total enrollment of approximately 5,500 students. Starting this year at the high school, they have something they haven’t experienced in quite awhile—synchronized time. Or what Assistant Principal, Rick Heacock fondly refers to as 'real' time.
“When I announced to our staff that we had a new clock system in place with better, more accurate clocks, and that we were on real time, I received a standing ovation. I didn’t realize how much of a sore spot this was with them. The head of Transportation received a similar response from his bus drivers when they learned the high school was on the correct time.
Over the years, the high school time was adjusted to be 4 minutes slow to allow time for the buses to get from the middle school to the high school. "We couldn't have the bells dismiss the high school before the buses pulled up to the sidewalk. That was a safety concern for us so we slowed down the clocks."
In the past few years, the high school’s wired clock system from 1977 started to falter. “More than 1/3 of our original system clocks had been removed and replaced with battery operated clocks. We’ve had to make budget cuts in areas considered ‘non-critical’ and clocks took a back seat for a couple of years”, according to Rick Heacock.
"Battery clocks are a short-term fix I hear from customers all the time. And it’s completely understandable that you make do with what you have in your budget. But long term, it creates a nightmare of adjusting the battery clocks for Daylight Saving Time and replacing batteries. Not to mention that you can’t count on the clocks showing the correct time” said Tony DeLadi, wireless clock expert at American Time
DeLadi, Heacock and the MSD Maintenance and Technical team worked together to configure a hybrid system using a SiteSync IQ System Controller, SiteSync IQ Wireless Clocks and AllSync Plus Wired Clocks throughout the high school.
“The hybrid idea was perfect for us. After some investigation, I realized we could keep our present clock system running and simply trade out the old system clocks gradually. Our hope is to replace every wired clock in the building (approximately 150) over the next two years, As we replace more clocks, the time and energy spent in the past with clock adjustments, replacing batteries, etc. will evaporate. With this new system, I can make schedules at my computer and the controller automatically makes the adjustment for DST", Heacock explains.
Martinsville High School purchased SiteSync IQ wireless clocks with the battery booster pack to extend the life of the AA lithium batteries up to 5 years. "Our objective is to keep our hands off the clocks as much as possible. The AllSync Plus wired clocks are completely maintenance-free because we re-used the wiring from our previous clock system. We purchased a new master controller for the wired part of the system which in turn is controlled by the wireless part of the system. Now all the clocks re-set automatically to the exact same time after power outages and at the Daylight Saving Time change."
The IT Department confirmed compatibility with the intercom system and entered the original bell schedule. Heacock then added a 2-hour delay and the open house schedule using a web browser user interface. "Once a year, we have an open house for parents. They spend 10 minutes in each classroom. When the bell rings, the parents move to the next class. They experience a complete day of their student within a little over an hour. Before our new system, a secretary had to keep track of the schedule and manually ring the bells every 10 minutes. This year, I added the open house schedule to Remote Connect and the bells will ring automatically. It's a small benefit, but every way we can save time and money helps make life easier."
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