The school board in Prince William County, Virginia, voted to approve the superintendent’s return-to-learn model Wednesday night.
The board voted 5-3 in favor after a seven-hour long meeting.
Under the new model, only pre-K and kindergarten students will return to schools starting in November. Middle and high-school students will return in January.
But the new plan is a lot different than what the board previously agreed on.
Board Chairman Babur Lateef voted against it, saying it doesn’t get kids back to school soon enough.
“I firmly believe pre-K and three should have been in. I’ve said that over and over again, and so I will not support this plan this evening, just because I believe we can do better than this, and we can get students in sooner and do it safely. I truly believe that,” Lateef said.
Superintendent Steve Walts argued that the slow approach is necessary because the district doesn’t have enough staffing, transportation or the ability to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to bring students back faster.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this story.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct when pre-K and kindergarten students return.