Harmony Middle School to close after 10 staff members test positive for COVID-19

Drive-thru testing site opening Saturday at St. Cloud school

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Harmony Middle School will shut its campus down for in-person learning for the next two weeks after 10 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

School District of Osceola County Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace sent a message to parents notifying them of the upcoming closure.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted multiple staff members at Harmony Middle School during this past week. The Osceola School District has worked closely with the Department of Health, and at this time, there is no evidence of any secondary transmission to students. Out of an abundance of caution, the Osceola School District has decided to move all face-to-face teachers and students at Harmony Middle School to digital learning starting Monday, August 31, for the next two weeks,” the message read.

Pace said anyone who has come into contact with a confirmed case has already been notified.

“This absolutely started during the pre-planning experience, we had a couple of staff members report testing positive on Saturday, two more on Sunday,” Pace said.

Students who need equipment for online learning are asked to fill out this form before Sunday.

According to the district, 595 students and 78 staff members have been in brick-and-mortar classrooms and Harmony Middle School this week.

Students and teachers will be permitted to return to campus on Sept. 14.

“We are going, to be honest, we are going to be open we’re going to be transparent and we’re going to react,” Pace said.

“The Osceola School District appreciates the understanding, support and patience from the Harmony Wrangler community as we take this precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff members,” Pace wrote.

Parents who wish to do so can pick up their children early on Friday. They’re asked to call the front desk at 407-593-0416 to make arrangements.

“This was not my hope, this was not my prayer but at the same time we knew that we had to have a plan b,” Pace said.

While campus is closed, breakfast and lunch meals will be available for curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each weekday.

Also, on Saturday only, the Department of Health will open a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for any student or staff member who would like to get tested.

Students who opted for in-person learning returned to campus on Monday for the first time since mid-March, when schools were shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Other campuses across Central Florida have opened up as well in the past two weeks. So far, Harmony Middle School is the only one that’s made the decision to temporarily close its doors.