OSCEOLA COUNTY - Following a two week winter break, area students in kindergarten through 12th grade had the chance to return to the physical classroom on Monday. While an epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services moved high school students to virtual learning in November, the order was lifted Dec. 20. However, with winter break beginning for area schools Dec. 21, this was the first time back in the classroom for many high school students. "We have been very fortunate that with the exception of the three week closure at the high school level we have been able to offer face to face instruction," Evart Public Schools Superintendent Shirley Howard stated in a recent letter to families. "It has been a difficult and stressful year but the staff at Evart Public Schools has always put our students first and accepted the challenges they have faced in providing the best educational opportunity for our students during a pandemic." As well as Evart, students at Reed City Area Public Schools, Big Rapids Public Schools, Crossroads Charter Academy and Morley Stanwood Community Schools welcomed students back into school buildings Jan. 4. Options for students to learn virtually will continue through the new year as well. While many had the option to return to the classroom on Monday, Chippewa Hills School District and Baldwin Community Schools will continue to teach students virtually for at least a few more weeks. All students at Chippewa Hills will continue to learn virtually until Jan. 19, with plans to reevaluate the decision during a Jan. 11 board of education meeting. Chippewa Hills students have been learning virtually since early November due to rising cases of COVID-19. Baldwin students also will continue to learn virtually at least through Jan. 15. They have been learning remotely since the beginning of the academic year.