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Atlanta Public Schools altering its plans to return to in-person learning

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases in Georgia have surged in recent weeks.

ATLANTA — Remote learning will continue a bit longer for one of Georgia's largest school systems. 

The Atlanta Public Schools says it will be pushing back its timeline for some students to return to the classroom. 

The district has changed some of its plans moving forward to ensure students have a safe learning environment. 

APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring says she has decided to slow the pace of a return to in-person learning for students in Grades 3-through-12.

For now, according to Herring, that means Grades 3-through-5 won't return to in-person learning until Monday, Feb. 8, with Grades 6-through-12 going back in person on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Those dates, of course, are for families who have opted in.

RELATED: APS 'slows pace' of in-person learning plan with staggered return through Feb. 16

Students in Pre-K-through 2nd Grade and Special Education students are still scheduled to return to the classroom on Monday, Jan. 25.

The decision comes as COVID cases in Georgia surge.

Dr. Herring says to the teachers, staff, students, and parents who have expressed concern that she hears them.

"The decision to return to in-person learning, at all, is not an easy one," Herring said. "Factors like the vaccine roll-out played a role in the decision."

RELATED: APS teacher group protests Jan. 25 return to in-person learning

Additionally, the school district says they have distributed personal protection equipment for students and employees to use while in school buildings.