After all we\u2019ve been through over the past eight seasons, let\u2019s give each other a break about the agonizing decisions on whether to close schools as the pandemic rages. The latest COVID surge happens to dovetail with the first major weather events of the 2021-22 school year. While local and state leaders deal with shifting factors on whether to pivot back to virtual classrooms, snow and ice remind us that the hardest part of a superintendent\u2019s job is typically deciding if they should shutter schools with bad weather in the forecast. Superintendents have to rely on the same forecasts the rest of us complain about, then make the call while most people sleep. Sometimes they get it right. Other times students wind up staying home on days when nary a snowflake falls. And occasionally \u2014 and these are the days we all hear about \u2014 parents understandably freak out because their kids are riding buses in perilous conditions. By the end of the school year, everyone forgets the specifics and just questions why they have to make up snow days as July approaches. Life presents a lot of difficult choices: Naming a child; choosing a major; changing jobs or careers ... whether to Supersize at the drive-thru. But answers for true challenges, such as the choices faced by leaders during this once-in-a-century pandemic, can\u2019t be found by consulting friends, social media or search engines. We favor offering clear solutions on the editorial page. We rarely have to weigh in on weather conditions, because most are fleeting. But the pandemic\u2019s stubborn resilience reminds us that when it comes to educating children during this crisis, it\u2019s important to maintain empathy for those making the decisions, and for those who have to deal with the consequences. We should all agree that the ideal is to keep schools open. Losing interaction with people outside the household can leave invisible scars. Social skills are just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. And many children need access to vital resources they are only getting from schools. If schools must close, the good news is that educators know a lot more about managing remote learning than when they unexpectedly became pioneers in the practice almost two years ago. Gov. Ned Lamont is correct that masks, vaccination and testing \u2014 used properly \u2014 are the best tools to keep classrooms open. Ultimately though, the choice won\u2019t be made by the governor, a teacher, a parent or a child. It won\u2019t even be determined by a human. COVID continues to determine the future. If there aren\u2019t enough healthy teachers, staff, bus drivers, etc., districts will have no other choice but to revive virtual classrooms. Some districts have already been forced to close. We can\u2019t predict what\u2019s next in this pandemic any more than we can control tomorrow\u2019s weather. But we each get to decide if the conversation will move forward with dignity.