Pupils in Aberdeen, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, Moray, Shetland and the Western Isles are back to in-person learning.
Exam performance at the national level has improved but progress since 2014 has been inconsistent across council areas.
Deputy First Minister rejects claims by teaching union that Scottish Government was looking for a 'good news story'.
Children in primaries 4-7 head back to classroom full-time and blended learning model in place for high school students.
FM says expert advice does not yet support all high school students returning full-time to face-to-face learning.
Deputy first minister says all pupils and staff must wear coverings in classrooms, corridors and communal areas.
The Educational Institute of Scotland says any cuts in the middle of the pandemic 'must be stopped'.
The latest statistics from UCAS show more than 500,000 applications were made to Scots universities by January.
The education secretary says the need to ensure social distancing means fewer pupils can be in school at the same time.
Nursery children, primary 1-3 pupils and senior high school students will begin phased return to the classroom on February 22.
Research from the Poverty Alliance found the attainment gap starts in the early years of education and grows wider over time.
Many students have been unable to travel back to campus for fear of contracting or spreading coronavirus.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats say urgent measures are needed to offer catch-up support to pupils.
John Swinney says coronavirus cases need to decline in 'emphatic fashion over a sustained period' before all pupils can return.
Education secretary John Swinney said HM Inspectors of Education will publish findings weekly.
Remote learning is in place for the vast majority of pupils across Scotland until at least February 1.
Educators remain optimistic that parents, staff and pupils will bounce back from the new coronavirus lockdown.
Schools will switch to remote learning for most pupils until February 1 as new coronavirus measures come into effect.
Schools have been given the go-ahead to reopen from August 11 and many local authorities have adopted blended learning.
Report says a quarter of the workforce could have lower skills by the mid-2030s if schools do not reopen.