Thermal readers bring comfort and safety to one North Dakota school

Back to School

Schools across the state are slowly reopening. Each one in charge of creating a plan that best fits their community needs.

Underwood is one of the school districts in North Dakota that has decided to fully go back to school, until further notice that is. They’ve decided to invest in thermal readers.

While it’s still early in the year they tell me they are happy with this investment.

Monday marks day three for Underwood Public Schools since they opened back up. Superintendent of UPS Brandt Dick says the planning that went into this year was like none other.

“The most stressful year that we have had. So many decisions we are trying to make sure it’s safe, trying to make sure we have a quality education,” says Dick.

So what is the best way to keep up with students as they walk up and down the halls every day? One thing they decided on was thermal reader, which measures students temperatures as soon as they set foot in the door.

Dick says, “We were originally going to look at the scanners but this is a lot better because it’s hands-free and it doesn’t take a person sitting there to do that, and it’s just a real quick check and in fact, we are going to be using them for games as well.”

There have been concerns when it comes to these readers. Some say they go against CDC guidelines, which recommend schools should not take students temperatures.

Starlight Business Developer Donnell Dennis says,”That’s a guideline– it’s not a rule. So I think a lot of people are looking at it as the CDC saying that the schools should not take on a parenting role. However– it is really nice to know that even if students are getting their temperatures taken at home there’s that double reinforcement.”

Another question parents are wanting to know is, what would happen if the reader were to register a high temperature?

“What we would do is we have our main office right next to it. So, we would pull the kid aside to our office,” says Dick. “So we would actually put the kid on our e-nursing and have them take a temperature for the second time and have that talk with the nurse. Again if the second reading would be similar to the first reading then we would call the parent.”

Dick says these machines will be used even after the pandemic ends to give everyone peace of mind.

“I have not had one negative comment,” adds Dick.

“Instead of saying we are thinking about doing this or doing that. You know this is a solution for a number of different issues they may need or may have at the schools,” says John Sayler with Starlight IT and Security Systems.

None of the kids have come in with temperatures so far. Dick tells KX News they have an increase in enrollment this year so the thermal readers are more beneficial than ever.

Some of the bigger school districts do fear it will take up too much time but more for more information, click here.

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