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'Safe and successful': Nearly 90% attendance as Oxford K-8 students return

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Oxford — After classes let out early in mid-December in response to a school threat, K-8 students at Oxford Community Schools had a "safe and successful" return to class Monday, with nearly 90% attendance, the district said.

"We had a safe and successful return to learning today for our DK-8th grade, Bridges, and OVA Wildcats," said Oxford schools spokeswoman Danielle Stublensky.

Bridges is an alternative high school, and OVA Wildcats is the online school.

"We had 88% of students in attendance today, who were greeted by our welcoming staff and teachers, as well as friendly therapy dogs."

The district now requires clear backpacks and said all students will be provided one in the wake of the Nov. 30 shooting that killed four students and wounded a teacher and six students. 

Kindergarteners through eighth graders returned to Oxford Community Schools on Monday.

The shooting was followed by a series of false threats at Metro Detroit schools.

On Dec. 13, Oxford schools closed after a "specific threat" against a middle school. Though its buildings were cleared for a return, the district decided the next day to cancel classes through Jan. 3.

"Many in our community have expressed concern surrounding yesterday's threat and do not feel ready to return," Oxford schools said in a statement at the time.

Increased safety measures are being put in place in Oxford schools, including a permanent police presence, trauma counselors in every building, safe rooms operated by a crisis team and therapy dogs.

More:Oxford will require clear backpacks for middle, high school students

Oxford High School still has yet to reopen after the Nov. 30 shooting that killed students Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling.

That reopening is expected later in January. 

jdickson@detroitnews.com