OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Just days after the district put a mask mandate in place, Osceola County School District announced Tuesday it was closing Celebration K-8 for the remainder of the week because of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
What You Need To Know
- Celebration K-8 will be closed Wednesday through Friday over COVID-19 safety concerns
- Students will attend classes using the district's TEAMS platform
- District officials believe many of the recent COVID-19 cases stem from an Aug. 10 open house at the school
- In-person classes are expected to resume on Monday
"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted multiple students, teachers, and staff members at Celebration K-8 during this past week," the district said in a statement Tuesday. "Out of an abundance of caution, the Osceola School District has decided to move all students and teachers at Celebration K-8 to digital learning through TEAMS starting Wednesday, Aug. 25, through Friday, Aug. 27."
According to data from the district, there were 52 positive COVID-19 cases among Celebration students last week, and another 247 were put into quarantine. There were also 11 staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 and 13 in quarantine.
Students and staff who have been in direct contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 were being notified directly, the district's statement said.
Celebration K-8 to close for the remainder of this week. Per @Osceolaschools, Last week, the school had 247 students in quarantine and 52 positive. @MyNews13 #News13Osceola Below is an email sent to parents. pic.twitter.com/pir8YfwImm— Jesse Canales (@jescanal) August 24, 2021
Osceola Schools public information officer Dana Schafer said district officials believe many of the current COVID-19 cases stem from an Aug. 10, open house at the school.
“These are higher numbers than we’ve been seeing," she said. "The school attributes it to spread at open house."
Students will start attending classes online Wednesday through the district's TEAMS platform, and laptops and hot spots are being distributed to students who need them for digital learning at home.
In-person classes are expected to resume as normal on Monday.
Parents who need help getting their child connected to TEAMS is asked to call the district's Learning Support Hotline at 407-870-4037.
Breakfast and lunch meals will be available for curbside pickup Wednesday through Friday from 10-10:30 a.m. Parents will be required to provide a student's school ID with name and ID number to pick up meals.
District officials asked families and staff to be mindful of their health when students head back to the classroom Monday.
"Families and employees are reminded of the importance of monitoring closely for COVID symptoms, including runny nose, cough, fever, headache and tiredness," Tuesday's statement said. "Please do not send your child to school on Monday if anyone in your family is experiencing these symptoms during this school closure period. "
Osceola is not the only county in Central Florida that has seen school disruptions because of increasing COVID-19 cases.
Brevard County Public Schools shut down Madison Middle School in Titusville on Monday and Tuesday over safety concerns. The district has reported hundreds of COVID-19 cases and thousands of quarantines in recent days.
As of Monday, all sixth-graders at Round Lake Charter School in Mount Dora were learning from home because almost all of them have been quarantined because of COVID-19.
Spectrum News 13 reporter Stephanie Bechara contributed to this report.