BOSTON (WPRI) — Some students in Massachusetts will be heading to school on Monday without their masks for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statewide mask requirement for K-12 schools in Massachusetts has been officially lifted. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education formally made the announcement earlier this month.

While masks are optional at the statewide level, the DESE said school districts can still establish a local requirement.

More than a dozen school districts in Southeastern Mass. are adopting the state guidance and making masks optional including Attleboro, Dartmouth, New Bedford and more.

In Westport, the district dropped the mandate while giving staff and students the option to wear one.

Superintendent Thomas Aubin told 12 News most students are choosing not to wear a mask, and it’s a big change to see smiles again,

“Great, the principal said she actually had to become acclimated with remembering what some people looked like without their masks on,” he said. “We took a look at the declining numbers and the committee felt that it was the right time to based on the numbers to make that decision.”

The Fall River school committee has voted to keep masks in place through March 14, according to the Herald News.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said earlier this month the decision stemmed from the state being a national leader in vaccinating kids and having a strong testing system in place.

Testing programs at public and private schools in Massachusetts will remain in place and the state will continue to encourage vaccinations by hosting clinics at any school that wants to hold one.

In Rhode Island, masks will be required through March 4 and after that, it’s up to schools to decide how to move forward.