JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – School district leaders are monitoring their reopening plans for the upcoming school year as COVID-19 cases to increase in Mississippi.

The Clinton Public School District is one of several districts that will have a mask optional policy, but the policy could change due to the Delta variant.

Robert Chapman, a public information officer for Clinton Public School District, said, “We’ve had parents on both sides of the fence contact us. Some parents want to implement a mask mandate, and others want to keep it optional.”

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has said local school boards are responsible for passing policies for their districts.

While there has been a spike in vaccination rates in the state, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 34 deaths on Tuesday, doubling Monday’s reported deaths from more than the three-day weekend period.

“Our school board is always involved in our decision-making. We never do anything out of their guidance. They’re always kept up to date with what we’re doing,” Chapman stated.

He said some of the best practices last year will be implemented this year.

“We’re listening to our parents, but we’re going to make the decisions that best for our students, that keep them inside the classroom and learning, moving forward through the school year.”

There is a school board meeting coming up before the first day of school. Students will return on August 11.

In the meantime, the Clinton Public School District reopening plan remains fluid.