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CARLSBAD, Calif. – Carlsbad Unified School District leaders Wednesday approved plans for students to return to campuses at least part time or more starting in January.

The district’s Board of Education passed a plan for middle and high school students to resume in-person learning Jan. 5. Under the plan, two cohorts of students would be on campus twice a week while continuing distance learning the other three days.

The board also voted, 4-1, for elementary students to resume in-person learning five days a week in January. Elementary students currently attend in-person classes for two half-days per week.

Some high school students also could return to schools by Nov. 30 in a pilot program. It comes after data presented Wednesday showed the number of students receiving failing grades at the middle and high schools up more than 300% since the last school year.

Ahead of the meeting, competing rallies were held near Sage Creek High School.

Parents and community members participated in a “We Stand With Teachers” rally to call on district leaders to provide more PPE and “better plans for reopening schools” during the ongoing pandemic. The other group, Carlsbad Families for Reopening Schools, has been petitioning the district to reopen schools for in-person learning for the last several weeks.

“We want as much instructional time and as much time on campus as possible for the students, but we also want the teachers to be safe,” Carlsbad parent Sharon McKeeman said. “We want this to be a phased reentry so we make sure we can do it safely and the schools are able to stay open.”

Members of the local teacher’s union and other parents called on the district to not rush reopening.

“We also want them to stick with their original January reopening plan,” Carlsbad Unified Teachers Association President Lindsey Gordon said, “so that we have time to really look at the plans that have been proposed pick the best one and make it safer for students in our community to get back in the classroom.”

Additionally Wednesday, the board approved the purchase and installation of new filters for every classroom in need. They also approved an app for symptom monitoring, increased the budget for cleaning and custodial staff and secured plexiglass barriers for teachers who request them.

The board meets again on Nov. 18 to discuss implementation of in-person learning plans.