Boards of Education across the country are faced with a tough decision. It is whether to reopen for the fall semester.

The question of reopening in August with multiple safety precautions or to continue with remote learning measures or some other plan to promote learning faces board members and school administrators.

It’s a health decision brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision-making is complicated by many factors, including the unknowns, especially about the uncertainty of an upsurge in COVID-19.

The decision on reopening is one of the most difficult challenges that members of school boards ever had to deal with.

It is important that the public understands the wide-ranging effects of the decision and understands that boards and administrators have one goal uppermost in their minds — protect the students.

The decision that is made will come after careful consideration of all the facts that are available, thoughtful insight with the intention above all to ensure the safety and health of students.

All information that is available is being considered. The Missouri School Boards’ Association has put out a 96-page report titled “Pandemic Recovery Considerations: Re-entry and Reopening of Schools.” It is comprehensive, covering everything from academics, mental health, transportation, human resources and other pertinent data. Recommendations are reviewed from health officials and government sources. The goal is to make the most informed decision possible.

That is all that can be expected from board members and administrators. They recognize their responsibility in decision-making. Whatever the decision is, there will not be complete agreement. Parents of students should recognize that the study of what to do takes time, and boards are doing their due diligence in this issue.

These are challenging times that call for decisions that are based on all the available facts. One fact is that there are so many uncertainties in the pandemic that make judgment in the decision-making very, very difficult.