MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Summer vacation has come to an end and students in the Madison County School System (MCSS) are back in the classroom as of Wednesday morning for another year of learning.

“Anytime we can get our students back into our classrooms…into our buildings…it’s just an exciting time!” said Superintendent Allen Perkins.

Amid a nationwide teacher shortage, the school system says they’re almost fully staffed. They currently have 2,400 full-time employees. 1,350 of those are teachers.

Superintendent Perkins says they’ve been working hard in terms of recruiting to let the public know there are positions available.

“We’re in a pretty good place right now as far as being fully staffed. Of course, there are some places we’re working on and we’re still trying to hire. We’ve got some teachers in the pipeline that we’re hiring right now, but we’re looking pretty decent as we move forward,” added Perkins. 

School administrators are not requiring students to wear masks on school grounds or at any school-related events despite data from the Alabama Department of Public Health showing Madison County with high rates for COVID transmission.

“We’re continuing with our enhanced protocols for cleaning, our nursing staff is ready to go, and we have just things that will continue to help our students come back to school and to be able to matriculate through our classrooms at a level where they can get everything, they need to be successful,” replied Perkins. 

Perkins says the goal is to keep this academic year as normal as possible while being safe.