WACO, Texas – School districts across Texas have been open for less than a month, and the rise in COVID-19 cases are forcing many of them to close their doors – including local school Harmony Science Academy.
Morgan ISD, Kemp ISD and Irann-Sheffield ISD are a few of the schools across Texas which have closed their doors since the school year began.
As of Thursday evening, Harmony Science Academy is now a part of this list – announcing their closure for the remainder of the week.
Brenda Prado says she has a third-grader and a preschooler who attend Harmony – and even while wearing a mask daily, her third-grader tested positive.
Harmony Science Academy mandated a mask policy Tuesday – two weeks after school started on August 12th.
“I don’t know if the schools weren’t notifying everybody promptly. They have their own way of doing it this year,” Prado said. “They are just notifying the parents who have came in contact with somebody who has tested positive instead of letting the whole school know, ‘Hey we have COVID at our school! Extra precaution!'”
Prado says she did not know about the positive cases until a teacher informed her, because she was in close contact with her child – and the teacher was positive.
Harmony sent an email to all parents Wednesday afternoon – letting them know that due to positive COVID cases, in-person instruction is suspended for the rest of the week – and they will spend time cleaning the school.
“With all of the positive cases that they were having, they finally decided last minute to shut down so they could sanitize,” Prado said. “If you already had positive cases before now, why wait to shut down to do thorough cleaning? It should have been done as soon as y’all found out y’all had COVID cases.”
The number of COVID cases across the district varied by the school.
“It’s scary! Like, what do we do as parents?,” Prado said. “What do we do as parents when we are faced with this reality?”
Harmony told FOX44 in a statement:
“Like many schools in Texas and across the country, Harmony Public Schools seeks to balance our
instructional requirements with the realities of the pandemic. Wednesday, we learned of an
exposure incident at Harmony Science Academy-Waco and have taken proactive measures to
ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Those directly exposed to the virus have been asked to follow CDC-recommended protocols laid out in our student handbook. HSA Waco is being cleaned and sanitized Thursday and Friday and will reopen on Monday, August 30.”