(WXYZ) — For the first time since the deadly attack that claimed the lives of four students, Oxford High School students will have a chance to reunite in a school setting and spend time together.
The school's principal announced the gathering in a letter, as well as a plan to have students collect their backpacks and belongings left in the halls from the Nov. 30 attack.
The school board president, Tim Donnelly, also released a new video message on Wednesday.
“We know you have questions. We know that you have concerns. And we’re all taking them down," he said.
Watch the update from the Oxford schools board president below. This video was released by the district and WXYZ has not had an opportunity to ask questions to district officials.
In a letter, the superintendent is calling for a review of the district's entire system in the wake of this tragedy, which claimed the lives of four students and injured seven other people, including one teacher.
On Friday night, Oxford high students are invited to hang out at Oxford elementary. They'll have structured activities and extra security. It's a chance "to spend time together," the principal said.
Donnelly said administrators have been in "triage mode" in the days since the shooting
“Our school district had a horrific thing take place just one week ago," he said. “We had to let the district do what the district needed to do.”
Donnelly said students will be hearing more directly from the board, but the investigation into Nov. 30 has only just started. Earlier this week, the district turned down an offer from the Michigan Attorney General's office to investigate. Instead, it will hire an outside firm.
In a Wednesday letter to families, the superintendent said the district will continue to cooperate with the Oakland County Sheriff and Prosecutor on the investigations.
"After all the facts have been obtained and released through the course of the prosecution, my recommendation to our School Board will be that we initiate a review of our entire system as other communities have done when facing similar experiences,” he wrote.
“We are committed to doing this in a way that allows our community to move forward and does not re-traumatize our community members," he added.
Amid a flurry of questions, the school board's monthly meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, Dec. 14.
"I know that you’re frustrated that we’re not bringing an answer, and an answer. Please understand… this week, we’re catching up," Donnelly said.
The investigation will be talked about at the meeting.
As for the students who are gathering, they can come to the high school from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Security and trained counselors will be at the school for support.
Backpack pick-up will happen early next week in the north parking lot. There is still no timeline when school will resume, but the district said it will be at least after winter break.
The superintendent's entire letter is below.
"Dear Wildcat Nation,
Since last Tuesday, everyone in our community has been sharing in the grieving process, including school administrators, school employees, school board members and myself.
Since that terrible day, we have been primarily focused on helping our students, families, staff members, and community get resources to professionally trained crisis counselors and trauma therapists.
At the same time, we have been and will continue to be fully cooperative with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office with their investigation. We haven’t been able to say more because this is an on-going investigation. We do not have all the facts and cannot interfere with the prosecutorial investigation. We know this has caused frustration and anger but we are doing our best under difficult circumstances.
After all the facts have been obtained and released through the course of the prosecution, my recommendation to our School Board will be that we initiate a review of our entire system as other communities have done when facing similar experiences.
Our goal with all of this is to bring together all of the facts of what happened before, during and after this horrific incident. We are committed to doing this in a way that allows our community to move forward and does not re-traumatize our community members, who are reeling and suffering from this horrible event.
We want you to know we will keep our community updated as this process unfolds so we can begin the healing process for our entire Wildcat Nation and move forward.