Parents will be pleased to know that the high tech ‘thermal cameras’ actually work in detecting high temperatures

One week at a time…

That’s how school administrators and school board members are proceeding with the school year start in the COVID era. 

“Overall, the first week went well,” said acting administrator Brian Korf, at the Sept. 14 board meeting. “Our goal now is to get through week two.”  

Running public schools will be a week; or quite literally; a day at a time. 

Decisions on “learning models” and school operations will hinge in large part on Otter Tail County’s positive case rate per 10,000 population—which is now at about 11.9. Case count between 10 and 20 means school will continue “in person” for Pelican’s K-grade 6 kids. Junior high and high school will continue with a “hybrid” of in class and distance learning. 

A few other notes from the Sept. 14 school board meeting, which reviewed the first week of Pelican schools. 

• Enrollment is at a total of 855, down slighty from spring of 2020. 

• 93 of Viking elementary’s 433 students will be enrolled, but learning from home—as parents chose “distance learning” rather than in class. 

• In grades 7-12, 43 of about 422 total students will be learning from home, as the families chose to keep them at home. 

 • “Thermal cameras,” which read temperatures as people enter the school building, received a genuine field test, reported elementary principal Derrick Nelson. Students were returning from recess, and the device zeroed in on a student that appeared to have a higher temperature. The device transmits a photo to the office staff, and then the student is brought into a controlled area. As it turned out, the youngster got a little hot, playing during recess, which raised the temperature. Once the student  “cooled down” the temp went back to normal, and the child returned to the classroom.

Parents and families can take some comfort in the fact that the high tech “thermal cameras” really do work—and should help contain the COVID spread.