TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ education commissioner is cautiously optimistic that the state’s 500,000 public school students will be back in their classrooms when the fall semester begins.

Commissioner Randy Watson concedes it’s difficult to predict the future as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced schools to go to mostly online learning since mid-March.

“We’re about 90 days now from the opening of school and I think there’s still much to learn about it,” Watson said, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. “We’re cautiously optimistic that we can be back in school face-to-face in August. What that looks like, it’s just too early to tell.”

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly became the nation’s first governor to order closure of school buildings

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