CLEVELAND — Schools across the state are beginning a new school year this month with in-person classes. With no statewide mask mandate from the governor, districts are deciding for themselves what COVID precautions to put in place. In the Cleveland School District, masks are required. Mississippi Today photojournalist Vickie King visited the district on the first day of school.

Photo Captions:

Pearman Elementary School students masked up and excited for class on the first day back to school Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.

Yuri James, 12, listens intently as his history teacher Bill Hatcher greets students during the first day of school at Cleveland Central Middle School.

Cleveland School District students attended their first day back to class. Masks were required for students and staffers.

Pearman Elementary School Principal Precious Redmond greets students and welcomes them back on their first day.

Students and staffers wear masks on the first day of school in the Cleveland School District.

Cleveland Central High School students on their first day back to school,

Cleveland School District Superintendent Otha Belcher welcomes Pearman Elementary 5th grade students on their first day back to class

Cleveland Central High Schoolers start their first day back to school with stretching and mild exercise.

Photo Captions:

Cleveland School District students returned to school, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Students and staff are required to wear masks.

Chundra Grisby and students in her Cyber Foundations II class on the first day of school at Cleveland Central Middle School.

Cleveland Central High School teacher Lynn Rush greets her students on their first day back to school.

Cleveland School District students change classes on the first day back to school.

Math teacher Krupa Kaneria and students on the first day back to school at Cleveland Central Middle School,

READ MORE: Which Mississippi school districts are requiring masks?


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