HAYFIELD -- Beginning Monday, all students at Hayfield Community Schools will return to their classrooms.

Superintendent Gregg Slaathaug announced the change of learning models in an announcement on Facebook.

"We are able to do this because our internal data is again at its best point since early October and it continues to improve; the same can be said for our ZIP code data," Slaathaug said. "We also feel we are way ahead of the curve in preparedness for this move."

Hayfield, a community about 26 miles southwest of Rochester with 690 students and 50 teachers in its schools, is among a number of districts announcing changes to their learning plans as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be loosening its grip in the area.

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Gov Tim Walz announced in December that school districts could return their elementary students to the classroom starting Jan. 18. In December, Byron Public Schools announced that it would return its students to hybrid and in-person learning. On Tuesday, Rochester Public Schools announced plans to return its elementary students to hybrid learning. Hybrid learning a mix of classroom and online classes.

Slaathaug said that if Hayfield is able to maintain in-person learning throughout the rest of the year, students in pre-K through sixth grade will have been in school for the entire year. Under the same scenario, students in grades seven through 12 will have been in classrooms for 27 of the 36 weeks of the school year.

"This is an accomplishment," Slaathaug said. "Not many school districts are or were able to do this to the extent we were able to do."