“All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools in August at least five days per week for all students,” the announcement states.

Local health officials can override the commissioner’s directive if it is not safe to open schools, due to COVID-19, but Monday’s announcement makes it clear that districts have to prepare to open their doors to all students in August.

And while health officials could deem schools unsafe, as long as there are not widespread shutdowns, it could be a tough call to single out schools.

“Logically, I don’t think they could say schools aren’t safe if they are allowing people to be out in public,” Department of Education spokeswoman Cheryl Etters said.