KALISPELL — Students across the Flathead Valley are required to wear masks in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
School officials told MTN News that students are responding well to wearing masks.
Edgerton Elementary School principal Jen Stein notes that per Gov. Steve Bullock's mandate students are required to wear masks in class.
Students are also continuing to practice social distancing, proper hand hygiene as well as wearing masks.
"We have been elated just how well they're doing," said Stein. "Masks don't seem to be a problem for them and the teachers are fabulous."
She told MTN News that it's been a positive experience and teachers have incorporated mask hygiene into student's daily routines to normalize it.
Stein added that the masks are there to keep everyone in the school safe.
"It's really not meant to be political or divisive. It's just the guideline and the rule in the school," she said. "And so, we will follow it and we will help you follow it in a way that works for your family."
Somers/Lakeside School District Superintendent Joe Price says their students are required to wear masks both in and outside of the building.
"Especially, our younger students would not be able to keep a proper social distance during recess," said Price. "So, it was easier to just have them to continue to wear the masks."
He told MTN News that students have responded well to the mask mandate and the district has taken a hard stance on wearing masks in school.
"If we have a child who refuses to wear a mask we'll call their parents to come pick them up," he said. "And they're welcome to come back the next day with a mask on."
"But, if we have to send them home a second time they're just going to go on to remote learning," Price continued.
He says this is the way he's ensuring all his staff and students stay safe from the COVID-19 virus.
Meanwhile, Stein says her teachers have been great role models for the students to encourage them to continue learning in this different environment.
Students are being advised to continue to wash their hands, practice social distancing in addition to wearing masks.