NEWTOWN — The Board of Education has approved the official back-to-school checklist of classroom dividers, desk shields, hand sanitizer stations and supply closets stocked with face masks and other personal protective equipment.

Now it’s up to parents to decide if they’ll send their kids to class with masks and social distancing on Sept. 3, or keep their kids home for a new season of distance learning in the fall.

Although it may be a hard decision for some parents, the school district can’t finish its preparation for an unprecedented school year until administrators know how many children will be in the classroom versus learning from home.

“We promise to do our best to bring students and staff back safely,” said Superintendent Lorrie Rodrigue in a recent letter to parents. “We recognize these are stressful times.”

The district plans to send a survey to families this week, asking parents to indicate whether their kids will be taking buses to class, and whether they need essentials, such as a thermometer or technology to connect to the district’s online learning system.

Newtown and districts across the state have been busy this summer drawing up plans to reopen schools in the fall, while new coronavirus cases in the South and the West continue to climb at alarming rates. In contrast, Connecticut has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate in the country, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

“The state is requiring us to go with an all-in model,” Rodrigue said during a school board meeting in late July. “We did not have a choice.”

The district was given six guiding principles from the state education department from which to draft a plan, with the understanding that if Connecticut’s coronavirus infection rate increases, Newtown can shift to a modified schedule or shut down schools, as it did in the spring.

Parents, meanwhile, have the option to enroll their kids in the district’s distance learning curriculum.

The Board of Education will discuss the plan during a virtual meeting that will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The plan draws on lessons learned during the emergency shutdown of schools in the spring, including improved remote learning procedures, improved academic support for distance learners, and extra professional training for staff.

Families also have a new responsibility to screen children before they get on the bus each morning.

“Any student who has a temperature of 100 degrees or above should remain home,” Rodrigue said in a letter to parents. “This screening is important not only for your child’s well-being but for the safety of others.” 203-731-3342