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setting as well as the ingress and egress areas of the bus. “Artificial intelligence can be applied to processing


large amounts of video data and identify where and when students are not social distancing,” remarked Cald- well. “Then, administrators can address those problem areas with appropriate countermeasures. For school bus routing, AI can be applied through dynamic scheduling systems that can take into account new and chang- ing data sources and guidelines, such as students who choose virtual class, students who are ill, changes in bus capacity for social distancing, and school lunch delivery when students are working from home.”


Infrared Technology Maturation Needed Child Check-Mate Systems is another familiar name


to student transporters. But in addition to its namesake solution that prompts drivers to look for students during the post-trip inspection, the company owned by USSC Group is now working on a means of monitoring the temperatures of students. Its approach is to use infrared technology to detect temperature, when a student enters a kiosk that is outfitted with sensors. In this way, the temperature can be measured without a person adminis- tering a temperature gun. Brad Both, vice president of Child Check-Mate, said


that product developers, however, face obstacles. For one, medical sensors would be required to detect temperature with accuracy. The company also found that procur- ing such sensors was challenging, as there is a surge in demand for them. It then found that medical sensors are intended mostly for inside settings in medical facilities such as hospitals and other health care settings. “Many people have talked about infrared thermom- eters, but the data on those demonstrate that they are not accurate,” commented Laurie Combe, president of the National School Nurses Association. “If we talked about students running at the bus stop, and they get over heated, and then we take their temperature, is that fair representation of fever or exercise? And then, here in Texas, if I am thinking about the triple digit temperatures in August, and it might not be in the triple digits in the morning, but its still hot, we could be in the 90s and kids are standing outside. Again, is that an elevated tempera- ture a representation of illness or climate? And infrared are notoriously inaccurate, so I tend to believe that it should be a parent responsibility.” Child Check-Mate said it continues to develop the tech-


nology, focusing for now on assisted living centers. As for South Carolina and other states searching for the new normal, the jury is not out. It’s still convening. ●


www.stnonline.com 33


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