elementary recess

One hundred kindergarten students in Harrison are now in quarantine due to being exposed to COVID-19. The situation is raising questions about how young students adapting to wearing masks while in the classroom.

KATV spoke with some elementary school teachers in central Arkansas to find out.

"It was hard for me to adapt as an adult, so I expected it to be hard for kids. But they have proven to be pretty receptive," said Bethany Osborne, a first-grade teacher at Florence Mattison Elementary School in Conway.

Osborne says her students are to wear face coverings all day other than at lunchtime. "If they pull them off, they’re quick to put them back on especially if we ask them to," she said.

Osborne says enforcing social distancing has been the hard part for her and her students. "Kids are affectionate creatures," she said. "They want to touch and want to be near each other. Not being able to hug them and high-five them has been difficult for me."

At Crystal Hill Elementary School in Pulaski County, kindergarten teacher Karla Lasiter echoes the same message. "I’m so used to just getting down on the floor, calling groups of kids down and mixing the kids up," she said.

But Lasiter says her students know the importance of not spreading germs. "They know there is a pandemic, and we’ve talked about if they don’t feel good it’s important to stay home," she said."

As the unusual school year wears on, teachers like Lasiter and Osborne want parents to know they're doing their best to keep their little ones safe.

"I think knowing how happy they are and how successful they are being despite the changes is very encouraging," Osborne said. "We should be very encouraged by that."