Martha’s Vineyard school administrators presented a rolled-back, phased approach for re-opening public schools Thursday, now hoping to have students in classrooms nearly a month later than originally proposed as Covid-19 cases rise on the Island and concerns mount about what the end of August will bring.

The new draft model would have all students participating in a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning by Oct. 27. A slow build-up to that date, starting with entirely remote learning, would begin on Sept. 17, and thereafter gradually phase in all grade levels to some form of in-classroom education.

School leaders had aired a speedier plan last week that would have had all students in classrooms by Oct. 1.

The slower approach came partly at the direction of public health officials on the Island, who raised concerns that current metrics, as well as the unknowns associated with summer and a lack of data about the virus among Island students presented challenges for getting all kids back in classrooms by early October.

Health officials also said children under 18 would be able to get tested as early as next week for the coronavirus at TestMV, the comprehensive testing site at the regional high school — although Island Health Care director Cynthia Mitchell said in a phone call with the Gazette after the meeting that the details for the testing had not been fully worked out.

Island health agents Matt Poole, Maura Valley and Marina Lent joined a two-hour Zoom meeting of the all-Island school committee meeting Thursday that had more than 200 participants, including teachers, parents and school staff.

“Our recommendation was to get through the month of August, get settled in September, and see where we stand . . . and ease into the school year,” Mr. Poole said. “So it’s a cautious approach. I think it would be incredibly dangerous and risky to jump into schools in September.”

“We are seeing an uptick,” Ms. Valley added, noting that there has been a case reported each day this week on-Island.

School leaders have labored over various models for reopening facilities in the fall for weeks on end, forming numerous subcommittees and task forces to try to come up with a plan amid changing state guidelines.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had required all school districts in Massachusetts to submit three plans for school reopening, including an entirely in-person model, an entirely remote model, and a hybrid model.

Broader directives from Gov. Charlie Baker regarding school reopening are expected this month.

At an all-Island committee meeting last week, school leaders aired a preliminary version of a Vineyard plan that combined remote learning and hybrid models to phase students back into the classroom over the month of September. The hybrid model will have students in separate cohorts, likely attending school two out of the five days of the week — with Wednesday set aside for all-remote learning and deep cleaning in the school buildings.

A vote on the plan was expected Thursday night, but postponed to Monday after the state extended its deadline for districts to submit their plans.

At the meeting, schools superintendent Matt D’Andrea explained that the new plan slows down the transition from remote learning to the hybrid model with the intention now of moving most students to classrooms by November. The plan includes numerous complicated details regarding special education and transportation, and covers all grade levels.

Under the new draft plan, learning will start for all students on Sept. 17. By Sept. 29, kindergarten through second grade in down-Island schools and kindergarten through third grade in up-Island schools will transition to the hybrid model. Grades three through five will then transition to the hybrid model by Oct. 13. Grades six through eight and the high school will transition to the hybrid model on Oct. 27.

Mr. D’Andrea said the ultimate goal is still to have all students back in classrooms for full, in-person learning — although there no date was set on Thursday.

“We think it is very wise to phase into in-person learning,” Mr. D’Andrea said. “That way, by phasing in, we can monitor the virus, see how it is playing out on the Island, and make adjustments as necessary, gradually moving into as much in-person learning as we can.”

High school principal Sara Dingledy and assistant superintendent Richard Smith said too that remote learning this year would be more rigorous and streamlined than last year, when schools and teachers were forced to haphazardly transition to online education with little notice or advance planning. The high school’s proposed remote learning schedule includes a full 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. class day, while grades three through eight would have approximately four hours of learning.

When hybrid learning eventually begins, both Mr. Dingledy and Mr. Smith were clear that in-person education would not be the same as it was prior to mid-March last year, taking into account six-foot social distancing, masks and children staying put as teachers move among classrooms.

“I think it is going to be challenging in either scenario: remote and in-person,” Mr. Smith said. “A return to school is not going to be the same as the return we had on March 13 . . . I don’t want to go back to last spring. None of us want to.”

A budget presentation from treasurer Mark Friedman described new costs associated with remote and in-person learning. According to Mr. Friedman, the school has applied for three different federal and state grants totaling $1.7 million. He said the costs of added busing, totaling around $700,000, as well as IT expenses, cleaning costs and facility upgrades, would total around $1.2 million.

Health officials also outlined public health metrics that will be used to determine school reopening, with less than one daily case per 100,000 people representing “green” and more than 25 representing “red.”

A preliminary plan to get children tested at the TestMV site next week was also discussed, in order to gain a sense of the virus’s spread within the school community. Ms. Valley said the testing would likely be available by early next week, although broader plans for comprehensive testing before the school year begins remains a work in progress.

School committee members showered the health officials with questions, zeroing in on concerns about in-person learning, special education and teachers who are also parents. They also expressed concerns about kindergartners and freshmen at the high school starting the year with remote learning. Other committee members further wondered how public health officials would determine health metrics when the fluctuating Island population cannot be precisely counted, and they noted the lack of a re-entry plan for schools if reopening steps have to be halted.

A final vote on the plan is expected Monday.

“Whatever we come up with is not going to be perfect,” committee member Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said. “There’s just lots of complications. I think we need to address each one as best we can. But at this particular time, not everybody is going to be able to be accommodated the way they should. We’re just going to have to make the best of it, and do the best we can to educate the children and protect the staff.”