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Madison City Schools transitioning back to “mask required” status

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 8:01 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Update: Madison City Schools announced masks will be required for all staff and students beginning Wednesday, Sept. 22.

“Last Friday, I made the decision to move the district to a “Mask Preferred” status based on the low rate of positivity in the district,” said Superintendent Ed Nichols. “However, since that time after consultation with our legal counsel, I have been advised of a possible interpretation of the Board’s policy under which the Board should be asked to approve or disapprove the change I announced.”

Masks will be required until the matter can be considered by the Board.

“I apologize that we are so quickly reversing course,” added Superintendent Nichols. “However, I certainly want to make sure that our district is in compliance with Board Policy.”

Update: Madison City Schools announced they will transition to a “mask preferred” status on Monday, Sept. 20.

Superintendent Ed Nichols released an update on the masking policy Friday afternoon after seeing a decrease in positive COVID-19 cases in their school system.

“This “Mask Preferred” status encourages masks in our buildings but does not make it a requirement. Masking will still be required on all bus transportation,” said Superintendent Ed Nichols. “Masking will still be required on all bus transportation.”

Read more on the updated policy here.

Original: A mask mandate has been issued for students and staff inside school buildings and buses in Madison City.

In less than 24 hours, students at Madison City Schools will make their way back inside the classroom. This school year, face coverings will be required for all staff, students, and bus drivers. This comes after the Alabama Department of Public health released new guidance for schools on Monday.

“In the past, even if you had a mask on, and if you were within 6 feet, you were quarantined. This year, if you have a mask on and you’re between 3 feet you don’t have to quarantine. I made the decision then to change from our optional mask to masking because we had such an impact last year of quarantining with our students and staff,” said Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols.

Nichols said all students will return to the class for in-person learning. There is a virtual option available for students in grades 9-12.

Nichols said most importantly, they will have a full staff of nurses and teachers returning and an influx of students coming into the classroom.

“One of the things that we are excited about is that right now we’re at 12,100 students. You know, no matter how people feel about masking they must be coming to school because we have about 1700 new students this year, and that includes our kindergarten and pre-k,” said Nichols.

The big change for the district this year is that the new Midtown Elementary School is finally opening.

“I walked through it yesterday, and it’s beautiful. Rooms are already decorated, and teachers have got all kinds of things in there. Overall, 90 percent of it is ready to go,” said Nichols.

Nichols said ADPH will be responsible for contact tracing this year. He said he is hopeful to return to the optional face coverings as more people get vaccinated.

Madison City Schools also issued a revised reentry plan:

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