By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After nearly a year of remote learning, students in 53 Philadelphia public schools will return to classrooms on March 8. This is only for pre-k through second grade students on a hybrid learning plan.

A concrete plan is now in place to bring hundreds of Philadelphia School District students back into classrooms and their teachers will be back in school buildings as early as this Wednesday. An outside mediator helped the Philadelphia School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers reach an amicable solution, following weeks of tense negotiations.

“Today, we’re happy to share that 53 schools have been approved to resume in-person instruction using the district’s hybrid model on Monday, March 8, for pre-k to second grade students,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

The mediation process has resulted in hundreds of students returning to in-person learning next week, with more students and more buildings reopening weekly.

“From there, a cohort of new schools will come back each week until all pre-k through second grade students who opted into hybrid learning in the fall have returned. The goal is to have the return dates for all pre-k to second grade hybrid learning students announced by March 22,” Kenney explained.

The teachers’ union had serious concerns about returning to buildings many teachers deemed unsafe. The biggest sticking point was fans that were installed in older schools to help promote ventilation. Those fans will no longer be a factor.

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“No space that contained the window fans that we rightfully thought was the source of much consternation will be cleared for re-occupancy,” said Arthur Steinberg, with the teachers’ union. “We actually have come up with an alternate solution and we are going to involve air purifiers where appropriate so those spaces can be occupied.”

One-hundred-fifty-two school buildings are set to reopen by the end of March to accommodate 9,000 pre-k to second grade students. Layers of safety protocols are in place.

Vaccinations for teachers are also underway as the district looks to finally welcome students back into classrooms for the first time in a year.

“We can do this safely, if we’re committed to doing this together and together is how we got to this point,” Superintendent Dr. William Hite said.

The school district will be releasing a new set of buildings that will be reopening every Monday.

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Click here for a full list of schools that are reopening.