For the first time in almost a year, students at the Erie School District are heading back to school.

Elementary school teachers are finally able to welcome their students inside the building.

This comes as the district begins to operate under a hybrid model.

The Erie School District shut the schools doors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic while moving to a remote model of learning.

Now the district is making a switch for those in Pre-K through fifth grade.

“It’s been 318 days since the kids have been back, so we are excited to have them back. We are running a hybrid model right now in our elementary schools where we have purple groups and gold groups,” said Teresa Szumigala, Assistant Superintendent at the Erie School District.

Each week the district will rotate the groups who are in the classrooms on Monday through Thursday.

All students will learn remotely on Fridays. For some parents, allowing their children to go back to school can bring mixed emotions.

“It’s just kind of a scary thought seeing your child knowing that they aren’t as protected as they would be if they were at home, but also it’s like a push pull because you know they aren’t getting all the services that they need if they’re at home,” said Angela McNair, Parent.

This comes just weeks after the district announced he impact remote learning is having on students.

Middle school students are performing at a 56% fail rate during the second quarter.

So when will those students be able to see the inside of a classroom again?

“We are working for some plans for the middle school and high school. Those aren’t finalized yet. We are looking at ways we can bring those kiddos back as well to get them back in their routines. That’s important,” said Szumigala.

Those students in sixth grade and up will remain in remote learning until a plan is in place.

Parents did have the option to keep their child enrolled in strictly remote learning.