The Omaha Public Schools adopted FirstClass from Open Text as its communication system in March of 2003. FirstClass provides all staff and many students access to e-mail, conferencing and calendaring. It is best accessed through the free, cross-platform client, but can also be accessed via a web interface.
Why We Selected FirstClass:
In February, 2002 a committee was formed to evaluate email systems and recommend one standard system for the Omaha Public Schools. In September, 2002 the committee recommended FirstClass. This recommendation was approved by the Board in December, 2002. Funds to purchase the system were allocated from grant dollars in January, 2003. The server was installed during February and all district staff were trained in the use of the system between mid-March and the beginning of May.
FirstClass is a very powerful yet easy to use communications and calendaring system that provides equal access to email for everyone in the district, has enhanced communications and collaboration, is secure and reliable and is very cost effective.
Probably the biggest advantage of FirstClass is that it works for everybody in the district. It doesn't matter if someone is using Windows or Macintosh, a new computer or an old one or a shared computer or a private computer. In addition, access inside the district and outside the district is the same.
FirstClass has enhances collaboration. Students and staff are able to share information easily within a class, a school or between schools. Teachers are able to create intra-school and inter-school projects in which students share communications, documents and schedules. District staff are able to share calendars, messages and resources.
FirstClass is secure, reliable, and cost effective. Due to its design, FirstClass is less susceptible to the spread of email viruses than most other systems. The district has saved money on support and hardware because our current desktop computers could be used to access FirstClass and the entire district can be supported with a single server.