school chairs

An empty classroom at ABCD Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn., Oct. 2, 2013.

It’s official — school buildings in the state will be kept closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

The highly anticipated decision from Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona and Gov. Ned Lamont came Tuesday, after parents, teachers and administrators from around the state increasingly questioned the wisdom of bringing 530,000 students into close proximity to one another too soon.

Already New Jersey and New York have announced schools will not reopen this spring.

In a morning announcement, Lamont ordered in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the academic year and for distance learning to continue during that time.

Summer school programming remains up in the air. Further guidance on that is expected by the end of May.

“I know how important it is for so many students and teachers to finish out the school year, and I was holding out hope - particularly for high school seniors - that we’d at least be able to complete the final few weeks, but given the current circumstances and to protect everyone’s safety, it has become clear that it’s just not possible,” Lamont said.

Cardona called the decision to cancel difficult.

Public schools in the state closed in mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic swept into the state. The target date for reopening has been walked back ever since while learning went online. The latest targeted reopening date is May 20.

Late last week, school superintendents from around the state indicated they saw no path to reopening schools safely this school year.

At a press conference last week, Lamont laid out a plan to gradually reopen the state based on several social distancing criteria, all of which schools appear to fail.

lclambeck@ctpost.com; twitter/lclambeck