Fayette County’s Director of Operations provides inside look at schools’ new technology and protocol

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – The first day of school is quickly approaching, and as plans can change at any moment, Fayette County is still preparing for the staggered start for the first two weeks and then to hopefully transition into five days a week, but operations will definitely look different.

One of the big changes will happen as soon as students walk through the door as Fayette County Schools’ Director of Operations Tim Payton explains the new technology that will take the temperature of multiple students at a time.

“As I walk through this door and pass this device looking at camera behind us which is actually the thermal camera, it’s taking a relative temperate, so it knows what the temperature here is, so then it’s taking the relative temperature of my body, and it’s looking at this area right here,” he said pointing to his forehead.

Schools in the county will have various types of temperature-taking technology. For the schools with larger populations, there will be two sensors at the door that can take the body temperature of 30 students per second.

In the smaller schools and in all offices, there will be smaller kiosks that can take temperature of one person at a time in about one second.

Payton says hopefully students with fevers will not be coming to school, but in the case that one would present a high fever, the student will be pulled aside for further evaluation and be potentially taken home by bus or by parent.

However, that is not all that will change. Classrooms will be spaced out, students and staff will be in masks, lunch will be in classrooms, and hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the buildings.

Payton says improvements to the HVAC systems have also been made to allow for more air turnover.

Everyone will face the same direction in class and in the halls when they can.

But this all won’t be thrown at students at once. Payton expects teachers to take the extra time to talk the students through their new normal when school begins.

“The first day is going to be really interesting, but the first two weeks actually are going to look a lot alike,” he said. “And a lot of it is just going to be learning new routines.”

These are new routines that they have been changing and adapting since March, and Payton says the sliver lining has been watching resiliency in the teachers, the custodians, the bus drivers and all other personnel as they adapt with it.

“When a situation arises, generally people look at it as an opportunity to find a solution, so it’s just been amazing,” Payton said.

Stay with us for further updates from Fayette County Schools.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.