Madison City Schools released its reentry plan for the upcoming school year.
The first day of classes are August 4. The district still plans to leave the decision whether or not to wear a mask up to parents and students.
"However, I highly encourage all parents to have their children wear masks to school, especially in the elementary grades since they have not been cleared for a vaccination," Superintendent Ed Nichols said in a letter to parents.
Nichols said he has received hundreds of emails regarding the issue. He added the mask optional plan is based on direction from the Alabama Department of Public Health. ADPH is encouraging masking but leaving the decision to local districts.
"Although these times may seem uncertain, one constant is the fact that the staff, teachers, and administrators of Madison City Schools are going to provide the best education possible for your children," Nichols said.
The district will implement several COVID safety protocols. This includes hand sanitizer stations, disinfecting/cleaning high-touch areas throughout the day and organizing rooms for maximum social distancing.
However, the district said it cannot guarantee three feet social distancing the entire school day.
Visitors on campus will still be limited to emergency situations, special circumstances, and with prior permission.
Additionally, the plan states, unlike last year, virtual students in grades K-8 may return to in-person learning at any point in the semester.
Click here to read the full plan.