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MADISON, Ala. – To the vast majority of students and staff at the brand-new Midtown Elementary, the main issue to get used to was the building itself.

Masking requirements for students in Madison City Schools remain almost the same as the start of last semester.

Wednesday also marked the second masked beginning to a school year that Savannah Demeester, now with Midtown, has overseen as a principal in the district.

“Our kiddos are very resilient,” Demeester says. They did exactly what they need to do. Students often thrive off peers and what peers do. And all students are required to wear those masks. And we just want everybody to be safe, so we’re just trying to do the right thing.”

Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said total enrollment eclipsing 12,000 students led to the need to be proactive with the spread of the delta COVID-19 variant.

“Systems around us may choose to mask or not mask, but some schools around us have 250 students,” Nichols says. “And we have schools that have 2,000. So it’s just different for every system and every school. I respect each superintendent and that decision that they make. But we’ve had a great year with enrollment and employment.”

Midtown Elementary School parent Chris Ackerman doesn’t mind either.

“We don’t have any problem either way,” Ackerman says. “As long as they keep them safe then that’s good enough for us.”

Nichols says in a statement sent out Tuesday that he plans to reevaluate that mask requirement no later than Labor Day.