MOORHEAD — Moorhead Area Public Schools were welcoming students back Monday, Aug. 30, for the first day of school, while some parents were protesting the district's precautions against COVID-19.

The return to school meant a return to masks, as the Moorhead School Board voted last week to instate a mask mandate for everyone in the building.

A few families protested masks in front of Moorhead Senior High School Monday morning. The group was organized over Facebook, gathered in the morning for roughly 45 minutes, and held signs to protest the mandates.

Despite some opposition, the school district plans on holding students and staff accountable as the coronavirus delta variant rapidly spreads nationwide and locally.

Students without masks will be subject to mask education. Those who do not comply with the mask rules will be offered alternate methods of education after four offenses.

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Staff, meanwhile, will face disciplinary action and even termination for not complying.

When the doors opened for the new school year, the doors opened to new students, as well.

The school system reported enrollment for the start of the year is 7,336. That number went up from 183 from last year, and the district expects the growth to continue.