This year's Education Today issue feels more weighty than those of the past. Although some local school districts toyed with the idea of resuming some degree of educational normalcy this fall, the COVID-19 pandemic had different plans. In fact, the governor issued an executive order in July requiring schools in counties on the state's COVID-19 watchlist (that's you, SLO County) to refrain from in-person learning until the county has been off the watchlist for at least 14 consecutive days. So teachers, parents, and students have had to adjust to the idea that distance learning is the way things are going to be for the foreseeable future. In this issue, New Times staff writers cover a potential exception for elementary schools, what school sports are going to look like, and the guidance that districts have received from state and local agencies.