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School districts moving back toward returning to classrooms

Fulton, Barrow and Cobb counties detail updated plans.

ATLANTA — There have been signs of improvement in getting children back to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a delicate, multi-step process for most districts. 

On Monday, more kids in Fulton County returned to their campuses for one full day per week of in-person learning. 

The optional decision is for students in all grade levels whose families have chosen in-person learning. The district decided to skip Phase Two and proceed directly to Phase Three of its plan because it says it feels comfortable with the downward trend of cases here. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, Pre-K through 2nd grade students began going back, and that was only for an hour and a half once per week. 

Fast-forward to October 5, and the school district would like to start Phase Four, which will see all students in the classroom twice per week. 

This is for students who have chosen in-person learning. Parents had the option of choosing virtual learning. 

In Barrow County, starting on Monday, students began five days of in-person learning. 

When they started classes on August 17, concerns were high, they did not want to bring anyone back into the classroom.

The district said on their website, "Nine of the past ten days have been in the Yellow, or Moderate virus spread level."

The school district also pointed out that 26 percent of its students are enrolled in virtual -- what they are calling -- distance learning. 

They have the option of continuing with that. 

The deadline has passed for Cobb County parents to decide whether their children will return to the classroom or continue virtual learning. 

Parents had until midnight to make that decision. 

The Cobb County School District began their fall semester in a fully virtual form on August 17. 

Now, it is close to beginning its reopening phase. 

Phase One for Cobb begins on October 5, with Pre-K through 5th grade and Special Needs students returning for in-person learning. 

Sixth through 8th graders can return on October 19 during Phase Two. And 9th through 12th graders will be able to come back on November 5. 

These dates could change if the number of COVID-19 cases surge again.