Kathleen Middle teachers return for first time since tornado damaged campus

Teachers at Kathleen Middle School in Polk County will be returning to salvage what’s left of their classrooms following an EF-2 tornado and before students return to the campus Monday.  

Crews have been working around the clock to get the school back up and running after a tornado ripped the roof off last Friday, allowing the wind and rain to enter a dozen classrooms. In its path, the storm left behind flooded classrooms in disrepair and kept students and teachers out of class this week.

The Polk County School District said the historic building is going to need a lot of work, which includes a new roof. The repairs could take months, even up to a year. 

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Twelve brand-new portable classrooms will be available for students when they return Monday. Teachers are returning Thursday to move their supplies into the portable units. 

The school district released the following statement on Tuesday, “Teachers and other staff members of Kathleen Middle will spend time this week preparing for students to return. As you can imagine, visiting the storm-damaged campus can be an emotional experience. We will be giving our teachers privacy…We appreciate your understanding.”

Kathleen Middle School damage