News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

COVID-19 rates continue to impact schools

In what has become nearly a weekly pattern, Sisters School District superintendent Curtiss Scholl shared a letter with the school community last week regarding what the rising infection rate in Deschutes County means to students and families.

With a record number of weekly confirmed COVID-19 cases, Deschutes County has remained in the “red zone” which has both immediate, and potentially future, impacts on when and where students will be able to receive in-person instruction.

In his letter Scholl said, “Unfortunately, our current trend has Deschutes County COVID metrics well into the red zone. The metrics do not allow us to bring our fifth grade back at this time. The next date to re-engage our fifth grade will be January 11, which will be based on the metrics released on January 4.”

The winter break for schools is scheduled from December 19-January 3.

Remaining in the “red zone” could ultimately impact the students at Sisters Elementary School, who are currently attending in-person classes Monday-Thursday, potentially forcing them back into Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) for a time.

Scholl explained, “Additionally, if we continue in the red zone through the ‘safe harbor’ period (which ends January 4), we will be required to have our K-4 go back to Comprehensive Distance Learning as well.

Elementary school families will be kept up to date on that situation by Principal Joan Warburg and Scholl.

Scholl ended his letter urging everyone to do their part in minimizing the spread of the virus in the weeks ahead.

“I continue my plea that we need all Deschutes County citizens to be leaders when it comes to the COVID protocols,” he wrote. “We need continued vigilance around fighting the spread of this virus. For the sake of our students, our vulnerable populations, and everyone, please continue to follow the physical distancing, hand washing and mask wearing protocols that have been put in place to stop the spread of this virus.”


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