Some Illinois schools using new thermal tech to scan students' temperatures

As schools grapple with bringing kids back to the classroom while trying to stay safe, a handful of southwest suburban schools are using new technology to help make that happen.

That new tech is a body temperature scanning system developed by a company in La Grange.

It was morning arrival time for hundreds of students at Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge, and it was all being captured on a thermal camera.

Pleasantdale schools are trialing new technology called DuThermX, which can scan hundreds of body temperatures in a matter of minutes.

"It’s a constant where the kids don’t have to stop. They don’t have to slow down. They just walk right past it and we can get a lot of kids through the door in a short amount of time," said Pleasantdale Middle School Principal Griffin Sonntag.

A green box over their heads means the student’s temperature is normal. But when anything more than 100.5 degrees walks through, the box turns red and an alarm sounds.

Those students are retested and if still above the threshold, sent immediately to the nurse’s office.

"There is a tracking and tracing component as well so they get to keep the video recordings. That way you can see who this individual may have been in contact with the day before," said Monica Piraino of Dubak Electrical Group.


DuThermX was developed by Dubak Electrical Group in La Grange and is being used at a handful of southwest suburban schools, including Argo Community High School in Summit and Nazareth Academy High School in La Grange Park.

Pleasantdale has been able to remain open for in-class learning Monday through Friday since September, thanks in part to the thermal screening technology, which costs anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the setup.

So what happens when the pandemic finally ends? The superintendent says he believes thermal screening is here to stay.

"Before COVID, we had flu outbreaks, and after COVID we’ll have flu outbreaks. And hopefully this technology will help us minimize those minor outbreaks if you will," said Pleasantdale schools Superintendent Dave Palzet.