Washington Central Unified Union School District (WCUUSD) plans to launch advanced technology to assist with the coronavirus screening process. It will screen staff, students, and visitors for elevated temperatures.
On Wednesday, WCUUSD stated that that they have deployed thermal imaging technology in four of the six district facilities. These machines will assist them in monitoring the body temperatures of their staff, students, and visitors.
Bryan Olkowski, Superintendent of WCUUSD, made an announcement. He stated that from September 8, 2020, any person entering a WCUUSD facility would be required to follow new protocols to enter the buildings. The deployment of this technology will help WCUUSD simplify the process of checking temperatures at U-32, East Montpelier, Berlin, and Rumney Memorial Elementary Schools.
WCUUSD will also use standard, no-contact digital thermometers at the two other district elementary schools, Doty and Calais. They have already appointed a full-time nurse to assist in providing daily screenings and temperature checks.
District Administrators explored different solutions throughout the summer to ensure the students’ and staff’s safety from Covid-19. In addition, they will ensure the least invasive experience during the semester.
The Director of Student Affairs at U-32 High School stated that the WCUUSD protocols include an online health screening questionnaire. They will also have temperature checks upon arrival at all schools. However, at the four largest schools, they will use thermal imaging technology to decrease the time it takes for students and staff to enter the buildings.
It also eliminates the need for the removal of facial coverings. Furthermore, technology decreases the need for staff and students to be in close proximity to one another. This keeps everyone safer.
Why did WCUUSD decide to employ these measures?
According to Olkowki, WCUUSD’s mission was to find solutions for each of their schools. One that would allow them to get their students in the door effectively and efficiently. It was especially important considering the colder months of the year are nearing. Most methods of temperature checks and health screening are time-consuming, uncomfortable, or invasive. But they think this solution will prevent lines out their doors at the larger schools, thus providing students and staff with an as near-normal return to school experience as possible.
That’s not all, though. The school district retained the services of Elizabeth Wirth, a COVID-19 Response Coordinator, to ensure appropriate collaboration among all of the WCUUSD facilities.
The technology we are deploying will improve the experience and increase the efficacy of the screening process – noted Wirth. It also provides parents with an additional level of confidence that WCUUSD is doing everything in its power to provide its students and staff with a safe, educational environment.
All of the WCUUSD schools have partnered with Base Camp Health. They will utilize their Ascend health screening platform, which provides an important and reliable tool. This tool helps to give both parents and staff guidelines regarding when to come to school and when to stay home due to illness.
Vermont Security recommended the thermal temperature screening system after their leadership team showed interest in finding the most efficient and accurate solution for checking temperatures. Vermont is a Montpelier-based systems integrator.
This non-contact solution not only automates the temperature screening process but it also significantly reduces human resource costs. Furthermore, it improves safety and enhances the experience for people entering public buildings.