USD 501 using facial recognition device to increase building safety

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A local school district is hoping to make its buildings safer for students.

Educators in the Topeka Public School District will be rolling out what’s called a temperature check kiosk in all of their buildings soon.

Gary Menke with the district said the kiosk uses facial recognition technology to scan your face and take your temperature.

“That would indicate whether or not you may be feeling well, or not feeling well today based on those results,” Menke said.

Their hope is that the kiosk will help keep track of staff members temperatures, who’s inside the district’s building, and more importantly who shouldn’t be.

“We have a lot of folks that enter and exit our buildings that aren’t necessarily staff, or students, or parents,” Menke said.

The district’s technology employees will upload each staff member’s picture into the facial recognition system.

Once their picture is in the system, they will then be able to walk up to the device, scan their face and have their temperature checked by holding up their wrist to the kiosk.

Then they’ll be allowed into the building.

Menke said the kiosk can check 30 people’s temperatures per minute.

Students temperatures will be checked with a traditional thermometer, not the kiosk.

Menke said they’re still working out the details of how the information is stored and what they’ll do if someone has a high temperature.

The temperature check kiosk costs $1,500 apiece and Menke hopes to put them in every one of their buildings.

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