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Students in the Everett Area School District will return to school buildings on Fridays beginning the week of Oct. 26.

The school board at its meeting Monday night voted to expand the alternating in-person learning schedule from four to five days per week.

“We’re taking a step,” Superintendent Dr. Danny Webb said on Tuesday. “Ultimately, our goal is to get back to full time (in-person) when the circumstances are safe.”

The district is operating under a hybrid schedule in which students have been divided into two groups that alternate between in-person and online education on a week-to-week basis.

In-person learning has been Monday through Thursday, with all students learning remotely on Fridays.

Students will still alternate on a weekly basis when the in-person learning is expanded to five days per week.

The district has had one positive COVID-19 case since the start of the school year.

“We’ve had one positive test — a faculty member,” he said. “We’ve had quite a few close contacts and family members, but so far no students have tested positive.”

Webb said the return to full time learning will be based on state guidance.

The state Department of Education makes its recommendations based on levels of community transmission. Those levels — low, moderate and substantial — are based on the incidence rate per 100,000 residents during the most recent seven days.

Webb said the district likely won’t return to full time in-person learning until the county’s level of transmission is low for at least three consecutive weeks.

“The last five weeks has been in the (moderate) level,” Webb said.

The education department recommends schools follow a blended learning or fully remote schedule while the county is in the moderate level. It recommends either full in-person or blended during the low level and full remote learning in the substantial level.

Contact Will DeShong at wdeshong@bedfordgazette.com; 623-1151, ext. 150.

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