The grant provided funding for a new phone system, sound systems, two way radios and electronic tablets.
“Our grant focus is communications, and so with our case management that allows us to communicate internally with our staff,” Executive Director Shannon Clark said.
The phone system will give staff a quicker response to outside calls to the school.
“When we did our renovation two years ago, we kind of made do with the phone system we had originally,” Clark said.
She said the system was designed for a much smaller space.
“This [grant] will allow us to have a regular phone system over into the gym building as well,” Clark said.
Lisa Mantooth, vice president for United Way partner relations, said the grant was designed to build capacity for Trousdale.
“For us, we were really excited to have the opportunity to partner with them,” Mantooth said.
Two years ago, Trousdale bought the building and property of St. Asbury United Methodist Church, from which it had been renting the gymnasium.
Even with the expansion, the school only had three phones.
“Whoever happened to be in the other part of the building, if the phone rang, it was a mad dash to try to get to it,” Clark said.
With the grant, Clark was able to purchase eight phones. She said the staff uses their cell phones a lot, but they have seen a need for having a business line. The school kept the cost low by not getting enough phones, so everyone needs a voicemail.
Clark said the grant will help the school as it plans to serve more students in the coming year.
She also said the school would be purchasing a sound system for the little theater and one for the gymnasium.
“We are currently excited about the opportunity and what it allows us to do to strengthen our organization,” Clark said.
The school also purchased 10 iPads.
Four of those have cellular connection capabilities, and the rest have traditional wireless.
Clark said the cellular-enabled tablets will allow staff picking up or dropping off students and the job coach to access the school’s case management system.
One iPad will serve as an electronic sign-in for visitors, and the rest will be used for instruction.
Clark said the iPads would also be helpful when preparing for the school’s annual musical. The camera on the device could be used to take pictures of stage setup during practice to know exactly where to put things the next time.
The two-way radios are placed throughout the building to be accessible during emergencies.
Clark said this was the organization’s first time applying for a United Way grant. She said she hopes to further partner with the United Way in the future.