As COVID-19 cases in the region continue to drop, some Sisters students may be able to return to school in September.

In a message to parents, Superintendent Curt Scholl said, “On September 8, we start comprehensive distance learning for all. We are targeting September 28 as a return time for K-3, as we have been consistently meeting the metrics set by Governor Brown to serve those students. If the metrics continue to improve, we are hopeful that we can include our 4th grade in this return on the 28th and all of our elementary students back to school under our reopen plan.”

Middle and high school students can still expect six weeks in Comprehensive Distance Learning as the school year begins.

“As we track our county and state metrics, we will continue to communicate about the possibility of a reopen at our middle and high schools,” Scholl wrote. “If our metrics hold, we could be reopening by the week of October 19.”

As of the September 2 report, the 97759 zip code has seen 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Deschutes County cases peaked in July and have returned to levels seen in late May and early June.

St. Charles Health Services CEO Joe Sluka reported last Thursday that, “The latest COVID-19 news at St. Charles is that our numbers of hospitalized patients have been quite low for the past few weeks. We have three COVID-19 patients in the Bend hospital (as of last Thursday) and two of them are in the ICU on ventilators. Yesterday (Wednesday, September2) , we had only one new positive COVID-19 case in the three counties we serve.

“This is really positive news and I can’t say how much we appreciate all you are doing to help — by washing your hands, wearing masks, staying home, physically distancing and more.”

Health authorities were hopeful that people would maintain COVID-19 protocols during Labor Day weekend and that there won’t be another spike in cases.

Scholl said he toured the schools last week and saw readiness to get the school year underway — regardless of the configuration.

“From what I witnessed this week, from school staff, to parents, to students, we are all ready to move into the 20-21 school year together and make it the best year possible,” he said.