Will school be back to normal this fall? Kind of, sort of, maybe.

Concerns of teachers, who have argued it is too dangerous to return to many buildings, probably will linger, and so may battles that consumed many districts this year. Some families are sure to prefer fully remote education — either because it is working for their children or because they fear going back. Many districts will continue to offer online options.

Asked whether parents should expect in-person instruction in the fall or whether that is a leap, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was noncommittal. “It’s a leap only because we don’t know what we don’t know,” he said in an interview.

Many large school districts, including those in Chicago and Los Angeles, have struggled to open their doors this spring even on a part-time basis. Some remain fully online even now, such as San Francisco and Newark, which are planning a return to classrooms but have not yet reopened. Schools in rural areas and in some Republican-run states tended to open early in the year, while many big cities and schools across California have struggled to open their doors. Districts in New Jersey and elsewhere have battled in court over their plans.

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