Below is the information that Superintendent Julie Helber sent this evening to Chelsea School District staff, students and parents.
Dear Chelsea School District Families and Staff:
Chelsea High School will be back in session Oct. 3, 2019.
The Chelsea School District thanks you for your patience and understanding as we prioritize safety for our students. We understand the concern and worry a situation such as this can bring. We have outlined a timeline below to bring clarity to the situation and to communicate accurate information.
Given the multitude of social media platforms and the volume of information that is generated within, these venues can often cause concern and additional questions.
As we process and diligently work through crisis situations, we are cognizant of the balance between the need to provide accurate and vetted information to our stakeholders in a timely manner.
While sometimes a delay exists, our goal is to ensure fully accurate information is provided.
Timeline of events on Oct. 1, 2019:
- At approximately 5:55 p.m., a CHS custodian located a flyer with wording on it indicating that a bomb was in the high school.
- Shortly thereafter, this information was relayed to CSD administration.
- CSD administration immediately contacted the Chelsea Police Department.
- The Chelsea Police department contacted the Michigan State Police.
- At approximately 6:15 p.m., CSD Administration and local law enforcement secured and cleared the building.
- At approximately 7 p.m., the Michigan State Police arrived on scene with a K-9 unit and proceeded to search the building.
- At approximately 9:30 p.m., CSD Administration received notification that the building was secure and that the threat was not credible.
- District administration determined that school would be canceled at the high school on Oct. 2 as a precautionary measure and to allow for further investigation. The high school was placed in lockdown mode throughout the day.
- After this determination, CSD administration created a communication plan and then proceeded to share this information out to our stakeholder groups, which included: CHS staff members, CHS parents and students, all CSD staff and all CSD parents and students. Additionally, information was shared with local media outlets and was posted via our district social media account.
- At 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, a phone message was delivered to Chelsea High School families and information was posted on the exterior doors of Chelsea High School indicating that school was closed for the day.
Several tips came in to the Chelsea Police Department, and Chelsea administrators supported their investigation by reviewing school security camera footage based on these tips.
The Chelsea PD will continue their investigation to determine who may have written the note indicating there was a bomb in the school. As you may be aware, threats in schools carry with them a heavy penalty and we appreciate your help while we determine the origin of the threat.
Thank you to those who provided information to law enforcement. If additional information becomes available, please encourage your child to share with the Chelsea Police Department or their building administrator.
We would like to thank the Chelsea Police Department, Michigan State Police Canine unit, our administrative team across the district and our operations department for their dedication in protecting our students and determining the building was safe.
Your child’s safety is paramount to our daily mission and we will always err on the side of caution when making district level decisions.
We will debrief this situation, consider all feedback from parents, staff and community members and revise our protocols based on this information.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Dr. Julie D. Helber
Please Note: Several parents were concerned about Count Day.
We will always prioritize student safety above scheduled days such as count day. The district was able to secure a waiver for our high school to reschedule our count day to Oct. 3, 2019.
The Michigan Department of Education issues a waiver for events that are beyond a school district’s control.
For families who chose to keep their kindergarten through eighth grade students at home, we will have 30 days beyond count day to capture their attendance. Our enrollment and our funding will not be impacted by these events.