Alcoa City Schools students walked into classrooms Wednesday for the first time since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the buildings.

Alcoa students will follow a staggered start for in-person instruction through Sept. 4, and some families are opting for virtual learning.

Alcoa Elementary School helped prepare students for the 2020-21 school year before the first day by posting on social media photos of staff members with and without face masks.

Although Alcoa is not taking any action against students who don’t wear face coverings, they are encouraged for younger students and “expected” for older students when distancing is difficult. Staff members must wear masks when in close proximity to students and during class transitions.

Daily temperature checks on arrival are part of the new routine to check for possible symptoms of the coronavirus.

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