Parked buses for the New  Albany Floyd County Schools in southern Indiana.  WDRB Drone Dec. 1, 2020 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A big scheduling change is coming for thousands of southern Indiana students.

In a letter Friday addressed to parents, New Albany Floyd County School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Brad Snyder announced the elimination of the A/B schedule for all seventh- and eighth-grade students. Starting March 15, students who had been in-person will attend school five days per week.

And starting March 22, grades 9-12 will return five days per week.

"Collectively, we have made much progress with our efforts to limit the societal impact of Covid," Snyder said. "We appreciate everything everyone has done to help our students make it through this year. It has been quite a journey for all of us."

And some parents praised the district's handling of the pandemic.

"I've been very pleased overall with the experience that our school system has provided us," said Angela Thompson Loesch, an NAFC parent. "I have a seventh-grader, and I have a freshman."

Loesch said with children at different schools, navigating the district's hybrid schedule hasn't been easy.

"It is kind of a logistical challenge with two different start times and two different end times with the kids," she said.

 NAFC School Board Member Rebecca Gardenour supports the decision and said Snyder has also consulted the Floyd County medical director.

"I think Dr. Snyder has done his due diligence. He has talked to his central staff and his principals," she said. "So I think this is a good time to try this. I think everybody is excited. The teachers and the students and their parents are excited about their kids going back to school every day. I think that everybody needs to understand that this will be fluid, because we don't know what's going to happen in the future as it is with COVID."

School officials said the district will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I think we're all over the masks," Loesch said. "But whatever it takes to keep them in school and thriving."

School administrators said they'll continue to monitor the overall community impact of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidelines.

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