Texas School District Adds Temperature Reading Cameras, UV Lighting as Part of COVID-19 Protocols

VAN VLECK, Texas — As districts gear up to prepare their campuses for coronavirus, one district in Matagorda County seems to be on the cutting edge of safety.  

When students at Van Vleck ISD went back to school Monday for both in-person and at-home learning, they quickly found a lot had changed.   

“We’ve gone above and beyond what TEA has put forth to schools," Van Vleck ISD Superintendent John O’Brien said. 

With district funds and CARES Act money, the district’s spent about $100,000 on new protocols for their three campuses.

O’Brien says with district funds and CARES Act money, the district’s spent about $100,000 on new protocols for their three campuses, purchasing sanitizing stations and 1,300 plastic shields fitted for each desk.  

“They’re actually portable. They can be moved around and moved to other desks in the room if they want to go sit somewhere else," O’Brien said.  

And talk about technology.

For virtual learning, they have smart cameras in every classroom. 

“That follow the teacher around the classroom, so as the teacher is teaching, they don’t necessarily have to stand behind the camera to teach," O’Brien said.  

They have a QR code for screenings at each entrance.  “And it’s a short document, takes about 30 seconds to fill out," O’Brien said.  

And soon they’ll have temperature reading cameras called FEEVR. 

“Anybody who comes in the door, it’s actually looking for a temperature spike. Then we can do a secondary check of that student or adult that comes in the door," O’Brien said.  

On top of that, the district will be adding UV lighting to their HVAC system. 

“That will actually help us with air quality too," O’Brien said.  

In fact, the district’s preparations are so extensive, O’Brien says some students who started virtual learning on Monday have already come back to the classroom.  

“Actually some of the parents had seen the classrooms via the virtual learning and thought it might be best for their children to be in-person," O’Brien said.

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