In a sign of continued improvement in local COVID-19 case numbers, as well as the Detroit Lakes School District’s wish to have students back in the schools as much as possible, the district is again shifting its learning model to increase face-to-face instruction time for more students.

Following an announcement in mid-January that the district would be moving to full-time in-person learning for all elementary school students, Superintendent Mark Jenson recently alerted parents that all students through grade 9 would be allowed to return to school full-time, as well. Grades 10 through 12 will remain in the hybrid model.

The change goes into effect on Monday, Feb. 8.

The district petitioned its Regional COVID Support Team to make the change, according to Jenson’s announcement. That team includes a number of medical professionals.

“Case numbers and hospitalizations continue to decline in the area and with some changes in safety protocols in our school buildings, this leads us to believe we can bring more students safely back into the buildings face to face,” Jenson wrote. “The Regional Support Team has granted our request.”

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He stated that the district would continue to monitor local COVID-19 case numbers on a weekly basis, prior to and after the Feb. 8 shift.

“The goal is to begin assessing when we can start bringing back our 10-12 students to a face-to-face learning model,” he wrote. “While we are in an improved spot where community COVID cases are concerned, we need to remember that we are not ‘out of the woods’ yet. As a community, we need to continue all safety protocols to ensure that our students and staff can remain in our schools.”