Kathleen Middle School students return to class after tornado

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – On Monday, students will return to Kathleen Middle School after the building was damaged by a powerful E-F2 tornado.

The Lakeland school suffered significant tornado damage, including damage to the roof and twelve classrooms.

Classes were canceled last week as a result.

Since then, crews have cleaned up the campus and started the repair process.

Teachers and other staff spent the week preparing their classrooms. They worked to move furniture and determine what school supplies were salvageable.

“As you can see, we have a little bit of damage,” Gregory said. “But you know what? It’s not anything that’s going to damage the spirit of Kathleen, it’s not going to damage the instructional momentum that we’ve got going on here at Kathleen, and it’s not going to diminish how we all feel working together.”

Twelve portables have been installed as temporary classrooms, and will be up and running for students when they return Monday.

According to the school, security measures are in place to keep the campus safe and secure as repairs continue.

A crisis team will be at the school Monday for students and staff members to provide counseling services.

The construction process could take more than a year to complete. ­

To help: a list of requested items and drop-off locations can be found here. ­

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