Thermal cameras and electrostatic sprayers: How Gananda schools are using tech to reopen

Back to School: Facts First

GANANDA, N.Y. (WROC) — School officials are busy putting reopening plans into action and responding to the governor’s newest requirements. That includes hosting discussion sessions with parents to answer last minute questions.

Shawn VanScoy is the superintendent in the Gananda school district. He said his district already held seven parent discussion sessions and will be hosting more next week. He’s said he’s been getting a lot of questions about cleaning protocols.

Students in Pre-K through 5th grade in Gananda will be returning to school five days a week in person. They’ll stay in the same classroom all day and teachers will come to them. Grades six through 12 will be in person two days a week and remote for three. VanScoy said cleaning will happen throughout each day and every night.

“We already go through every classroom as it is and we clean the surfaces of every desk, whiteboard, door handles, we do that every night. On top of that we’re going to be using electrostatic sprayers that will also add an additional level of germ killing,” he said.

Allendale Columbia is bringing all students back five days a week in person. Shannon Baudo is the interim head of school. She said everyone, including all faculty, will be asked to leave by 3:30 p.m. each day to allow for a thorough daily cleaning.

“First step is disinfecting the entire school and all the classroom spaces. We have increased our staffing for our cleaning services team, we’ve increased the hours for them as well,” Baudo said.

Both schools have installed hand sanitizing stations outside classrooms. Allendale Columbia is also in the process of installing a new air filters.

VanScoy said a lot of parents have also been asking about how temperature checks will be done.

“Thermal cameras will take the temperature of every student as they enter the building in each of the buildings. It will take a picture of each student and send it to the nurse, the nurse will do a more complete assessment if there’s a child with a temperature greater than 100 degrees.”

If a child has symptoms, they’ll be sent to the COVID-19 room.

VanScoy said parents were asked to complete a survey by last night, telling the district whether they plan to send their kids back in person or are opting for complete remote learning. He said now that the district has this information, they can start putting together schedules for the older students and figuring out where to place staff in all grades.

He said some teachers could be teaching strictly remotely if enough kids opt for that option. He said they’re trying to accommodate teachers who aren’t able to return due to medical issues. VanScoy also said they’ve hired seven long-term building substitutes to make sure they have enough staff to cover those teachers who won’t be coming back.

The Gananda district has a meeting set up with the Wayne County Health Department this week to go over specifics of its reopening plan.

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