Harmony Middle School set to reopen Monday after closing due to COVID-19

Harmony Middle School is set to reopen Monday after being shut down for two weeks. 

Harmony Middle School in St. Cloud was shut down for two weeks after 12 teachers tested positive for COVID-19. Students learned virtually during that time, but some will return to the classroom Monday. 

Lare Allen, with the Osceola County Education Association, tells FOX 35 that teachers with underlying conditions who aren't working from home are put in a bad position. 
"They love their job, they love their students. This is something they trained for all their life, but they did not expect that they would be given the choice, ‘Hey, if you want to do the job you love, you’re going to have to risk your life,'" Allen said. 

On Friday, Harmony Middle School said it was working to accommodate parent requests for student instruction. The school says that means some students' schedules will have to be changed. 

According to the post, face-to-face learning will get new schedules Monday and start them on Tuesday. The district also says virtual students should check for schedule changes, too. Some parents are not happy about the potential changes. 

One parent commenting, "I did not ask for and do not want my son's schedule changed. It was hard enough to get the one he has!"

Another parent echoed that statement saying, "Please do not change my son's schedule. I have not asked for it and he is doing well. I would like things to stay consistent for him."

Harmony Middle School responded: "We understand your concern, and every effort has been made to make the least amount of change in students’ schedules. This is a difficult endeavor to do after school has started and has an effect on the stability of academics. That is why our district is halting the option to change after 9/18."

Parents have until Sept. 18 to move to digital learning or face-to-face learning. 

According to data from the Osceola School District, 395 students and 25 school staff members were quarantined last week in the district. The data also shows 25 students and 11 school staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

"I would be surprised if we don’t’ see more schools closing because it hasn’t gone away yet," Allen said. 

The Osceola School District was not available for an interview on Saturday. The school district has previously said it has put protocols in place to help school officials respond to reports of exposure and quickly quarantine students to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.