DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The beginning of the school year has been different for Dothan City Schools.

“It’s been kind of a problematic start for school systems across the county,” Superintendent of Dothan City Schools, Dennis Coe said. “With the re-infestation of COVID and the spiking, we are seeing now. We are hopeful we are on the tail end of this COVID spike we are experiencing now.”

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Dothan City Schools have received extra funds this year.

“We are receiving a lot of federal funds regarding COVID,” CFO of Dothan City Schools, Stephanie Walker said. “A lot of ESSER funds. We have had a loss of enrollment in the past. And those have bridged the gap of that lost enrollment. And we have allocated a lot of those to attracting and retaining staff.”

Though, that doesn’t seem to have helped as much as the school system wanted.

“Not as much as we would like,” said Walker. “I think the word is still getting out there. Maybe whenever it gets closer to the time when we have these incentives. But at any time we are looking forward to more employees coming here.”

Even though these pay incentives aren’t attracting as many teachers as Dothan City Schools would like, they are staying positive about the rest of the school year.

“But I’m hopeful that here in the near future we can ease up on the mask mandates,” said Coe. “And get back to normal for our students. But again we are going to use that based on the number of cases we have and information from healthcare officials here in Dothan”