WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - If kids go back to school in the fall, they just can't hop on the bus or walk into the classroom. They first need to be screened for COVID-19. Who is going to do that?
The answer depends on the district. However, it seems some schools will make screening students homework for the parents.
Before the opening bell, student temperature checks will be required to go to school each day. In a large district like Indian River, that's going to be the parents' and students' responsibility at home.
“With a district this size and even with looking to reopen in a hybrid model it was simply unfeasible and unrealistic to expect that we be able to accommodate that many personnel let alone students entering any of our given buildings,” said Superintendent Mary Anne Dobmeier.
That's 8 buildings, 3,700 students, and hundreds of faculty and staff.
If students' temperatures are lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be able to board the bus or get dropped off at school.
Dobmeier says Indian River will be able to take temperatures if parents aren't able to.
"It's absolutely critical that we all collaborate, cooperate, work with one another for the health and safety of everyone," she said.
Families will also be required to answer screening questions once a week and submit them to school online.
The same goes for Sackets Harbor, a smaller school district with about 400 students.
But instead of using a thermometer at home, students' temperatures will be taken at school or on the bus.
“We learned of a product that we can install on our buses - a touch-less mounted thermometer so that students simply enter the school bus and they put their wrist underneath a thermometer and it quickly gauges their temperature,” said Sackets Harbor Central School District Superintendent Jennifer Gaffney.
The cost is $400 per scanner, per bus. It will save the district space on the buses, and money they would have to spend to bring on more staff.
Faculty and staff will need to take their own temperatures and answer screening questions daily at Indian River and Sackets Harbor and, again, temperatures have to be below 100 degrees.