DEXTER, Mich. (WXYZ) - School counselors rode many of the buses in Dexter Monday morning as students began arriving just before 8 a.m.
Administrators realize that, while this may look like a normal school day, its anything but after the weekend many of these students have lived through.
"Sophie, the youngest, was the one that wanted to get everyone in the basement, so she was starting to get nervous. She had a friend over, so I think she was hiding it pretty well," says parent Rick Rowell.
Rowell lives in the Huron farms subdivision and was at home with his kids as the tornado sirens began to wail. He says the mood was relatively light until everyone realized it was not a drill.
He says he quickly rounded everyone up and headed to the basement.
"I grabbed a mattress and got everybody against the wall," Rowell says. "You could hear things hitting the house. You could hear the hail. The hail was really bad, it was hitting the house, you could feel the pressure change. We knew it was close, we didn't know it was that close."
At that point the tornado may have been on his block. It caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and amounted to a one day vacation for the kids. A vacation day many students took full advantage of.
"They did a lot. They did a lot in the neighborhood," Rowell says. "Helped their grandmother clean up this weekend. it was good, there was a ton of kids out helping this weekend. It was nice to see."
There is still plenty of work to be done in the subdivision before things are truly back to normal, but Rowell says, with the kids returning to school, at least one more thing is back to normal.
"I think they're real happy. I don't think they're ever happy to go back to school on a Monday morning. But to get back to normal? Yeah definitely," Rowell says.