Oxford High School will remain closed into January, principal says

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Oxford — Students at Oxford High School, the scene of a deadly shooting a week ago, will not resume formal classes until at least January, school officials said on Monday.

School officials have not announced plans for reopening the building where about 1,800 students attended classes, but that won’t happen before the scheduled holiday break ends on Jan. 2, Principal Steve Wolf wrote in a letter to parents and students.

"We truly miss you and can’t wait to see you soon. It has been extremely difficult working through this tragedy...We plan to create many opportunities to keep connected as we work through this traumatic event. Emotions will continue to shift and change as we begin to process all we have been through. This experience is more than anyone can be expected to handle on their own," Wolf said in the letter.

A memorial on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, for those who died in the Oxford High School shooting in Oxford on Nov. 30. School districts in southeast Michigan are evaluating rule changes to boost safety and training.

"We understand the importance of keeping an ongoing connection with one another, as we do not expect any formal classes to resume until at least after the Holiday break," Wolf said in his letter. "We are also in the process of reaching out to each individual student. We want to make sure that we have heard from each student at OHS."

The school has been closed since Nov. 30, when a 15-year-old student is accused of killing four students and injuring seven others, including a teacher, by using a semi-automatic handgun at close range. 

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne described the building in a Thursday video message as a war zone and said he expected it to be closed for weeks.

The process for determining when students will return would probably begin after funerals for the students are held, Throne said in a weekend statement to families. Services are expected to conclude this week.

The Oakland County district plans to release details next week about resuming in-school instruction for students in elementary and middle school.