Conn. (WTNH) — Whether hybrid, remote learning, or getting back to the classroom, one thing is certain: school districts across the state have been busy keeping staff and students safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. News 8 sat down for an exclusive interview Monday with State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona.

For many educators across the state, it has been a year unlike any before, but the State Education Commissioner told News 8 Monday there’s been a lot of adapting and learning over the past few weeks.

He emphasized the importance of having health and safety drive each school in every district. He says, moving forward, he’s hoping everyone can focus on communication – with both the Department of Public Health and the families in their school community.

He says it’s a long-term process the state is working at every day:

“It is different. Everyone’s a first-year teacher again; everyone’s a first-year principal; everyone’s a first-year superintendent. It is new and I think the critical thing is that in the district where it’s working really well it’s districts embracing the opportunity to reimagine what education could be.”

More from out sit down interview with Miguel Cardona Sunday at 5 p.m. on WTNH for our Hispanic Heritage 2020 Special.