Ellensburg students start hybrid-model classes

Jessica Perez

Jessica Perez, News Director

On October 5 the Ellensburg School District started a hybrid-model of classes. In this model, students attend classes in person twice a week and have classes online the rest of the time. 

They started this hybrid-model with a phased approach, elementary schools began first, then middle school, then high school. 

Addison Fowlks, 9, said she was excited to start classes the night before she went back.

“At least I’m not locked up in a house all day,” Fowlks said.

After her first week of classes, Fowlks said it went well. Although, she did see some kids breaking the rules.

“I saw some kids take [their masks] off,” Fowlks said. “They didn’t listen at all.”

Fowlks added after her teacher told the kids to put them back on, they listened.

Addison’s brother AJ,13, started middle school the week after her. He felt a little bit uneasy about going back to in-person classes.

“It’s hard going from being online for almost a year to switching over and not knowing what’s going to happen,” AJ said.

Angela Fowlks, his mother, added that he was a little bit more nervous about starting school than Addison because he is more aware of the COVID-19 numbers.

“He’s concerned about people not wearing masks or people not following what they need to do,” Fowlks said.

To help combat the spread of COVID-19 in school, the Ellensburg School District has implemented some changes.

Students are split into two groups. The group they’re in determines what days they attend classes in-person. Group A attends Mondays and Thursdays. Group B attends Tuesdays and Fridays.

Students must also complete health screenings before attending school, wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from others.

Class sizes are also smaller. Addison is in group A and her class only has 8 students.

Students were also told to take a water bottle to school so they don’t drink directly from the water fountains. 

While Angela knows there’s always a risk sending her kids to school in person, she said she and her husband have prepared them well.

“I think we’ve done the best we can and there’s definitely going to be questions because it’s going to be different,” Fowlks said.