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East Elementary Principal David Wiggins prepares to give a student a happy elbow bump Thursday morning, Aug. 20, 2020. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala.  – The first day of school looked a little different around Cullman County Thursday morning, but that didn’t stop the excitement. With precautions in place and everyone masked up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cullman City Schools and Cullman County Schools welcomed back students whose last names begin with A-K. Friday morning will see students with L-Z last names. All students will be headed back to class, either in person or online, Monday.

Over in Fairview, Fairview Elementary School Principal Marty Hardman was optimistic for the new year, saying, “It seems like most of our students are excited; I know we all are. Of course, with all the guidelines and rules and procedures that we’ll be following it’s early in the day; we’ll see how it goes. As long as we can stay here in some traditional setting, I think we’ll have a good year. It’ll be a bit tougher if we have to go full virtual learning, obviously. Everybody’s smart enough to know that’ll be tough, but we’ll do what we’re told to do. We’re excited to have the kids back!

In Cullman at East Elementary School, Principal David Wiggins was out front, as usual, welcoming each student with a huge smile and an elbow bump- a departure from his normal high-five.

The school posted online, “We are off to a phenomenal start to the school year! We are all smiles under our masks and happy to be back at EES! We can’t wait to see the other half of our kids on Friday!”

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