Phone problems at district headquarters and at Blythe Park School created some headaches the first week of school at Riverside Elementary School District 96.

As the district changed its phone provider from AT&T to Call One on Aug. 24, the main number at district headquarters was knocked out of commission for almost four days, and the Blythe Park School main number remained out as of Monday afternoon.

“Typically, this is a pretty routine process,” said Don Tufano, District 96’s director of technology.

The district has mostly digital phone lines with a few analog lines, known as POTS lines. POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service.

The main number at the district headquarters and Blythe Park School were POTS lines which, when working, just forwarded calls to the district’s digital lines. 

“For some reason, when the switch was made, it lost that call forward functionality,” Tufano said.

Tufano said the main district line was still physically connected to the old district headquarters at the former Mater Christi School in North Riverside. That has now been changed. The main number at district headquarters began operating again on Aug. 27, three days after it was knocked out.

The main number at Blythe Park School is expected to operational by end of the day on Sept. 2, Tufano said. In the meantime parents can reach Blythe Park by calling 708-447-7409.

Call One is a reseller and uses AT&T lines, so AT&T technicians have been trying to fix the problems.

“It has been a little frustrating, because it’s really out of our control,” Tufano said. “I’ve done this type of conversion probably half a dozen times and never have encountered anything like this. Typically your down time is in seconds or minutes to cut over.”

Phones at the district’s other schools did not experience any major problems.