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Starting Feb. 1, the Windsor C-1 School District will expand the number of days students in grades six through 12 may attend classes in person from two to four days a week.

The Board of Education voted unanimously during a special meeting held virtually on Jan. 12 to make the change for the older students.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade made the switch to a four-day, in-school schedule on Oct. 26.

The same change for the older students had been expected to start Nov. 30, but district officials put that plan on hold when there was an uptick in COVID-19 cases around the county.

Under the new system, all students will have “distance learning days” on Wednesdays, while those taking classes in person will be in school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Windsor families still have the option of having their children take classes entirely online from home.

Assistant Superintendent Jeff Buscher said the board and district administrators intend to keep at least the four-day, in-school schedule through the end of the school year, unless there’s another significant increase in the COVID-19 cases precipitating the need to limit in-person classes again.

The district also could expand to a five-day-a-week schedule if pandemic conditions were to improve significantly, he said.

“At some point, we all want to get to five days,” Buscher said. “Right now, we’ll see how the four-day goes.”

He said the Feb. 1 date for the switch will allow families time to decide whether to have their children on the four-day, in-school schedule or the all-virtual learning schedule.

Buscher said families are asked to stick with their decision for the remainder of the school year.

“For planning purposes, we want people to make a commitment for the rest of the semester,” Buscher said. “They may go from the hybrid (two-day-per-week, in-school) system to distance learning or to the four-day, in-school system (beginning Feb. 1 and then stay with that schedule).”

Buscher said the district has about 3,000 students enrolled, and a little less than 30 percent districtwide currently are taking all of their classes virtually.

He said pandemic protocols will remain in place for all students who attend classes in the district buildings.

“When social distancing isn’t possible, masks must be worn,” he said.

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