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Each students that enters Simpson County Public Schools must have their temperature taken! When I heard this early in the pandemic plans, I thought how will they ever get the day started!
The Simpson County Schools have thermal imaginary machines that take each students temp as they enter their respective school. These $14,000 machines were purchases with funds from the CARES Act. The machines are portable; therefore, can even be used at ballgames or any school sponsored event.
The machine can read thirty students temp at a time. The student does not even stop in front of the machine! As the student enters the building, their temps are being recorded. Jeffrey Walker, Maintenance and Transportation Director, explained that the machine alerts if a mask is not worn. Simpson County Superintendent of Greg Paes noted that the machine can almost read through the glass. I kept thinking one would have to stand and stare at the machine! Not so!
Dr. Paul Lawrence, Magee Elementary Principal said, “ We have more car riders this year than in the past…which is good.” Children begin arriving at 7:10 and school begins at 7:35.” If a child comes by car, they enter at the front of the school. If a child rides a bus, they enter at the back of the school. The thermal imagery machines are located at the back and front of the school.
I asked Superintendent Paes if the machines could “pick up” a gun. He explained at this time, the machines can not but with additional software weapon recognition might become a reality.
I was shocked at the clarity of the screen. Not every school systems in the State is as fortunate as Simpson County to have these machines! Just saying, federal money well spent by our county.
The attached video gives a great overview of how the machines operate.
MageeNews.com is an online news website covering Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.