OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (CBS Detroit) — Superintendent Tim Thorne of Oxford Community Schools says he is delaying his retirement as the community continues its recovery following the deadly shooting at Oxford High School.

Throne, who was set to retire on Jan. 21, 2022, says he made the decision to avoid any uncertainty or disruption to the community and school district. His four-year contract is set to expire at the end of next year.

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“Trying to support our families, staff and community members as they grieve as well as supporting the safe and slow return to school has been my mission as your superintendent,” Thorne says in a letter posted on the district’s website. “I want to thank our community and staff for rallying together through this challenging ordeal. We have also appreciated the support, prayers and encouragement from people within Oxford, across our state, and around the world.”

The superintendent says he will be working with the administration in the coming weeks “to help ensure a smooth transition and give our School Board some additional time to complete its superintendent search while we continue to heal as a community.”

“I remain solely focused on responding to this tragedy, and I am committed to making sure our students, families, and staff are fully supported during this difficult time for our community. Now is simply not the right time for me to leave,” Thorne says.

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Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged in the Nov. 30 shooting that killed four students and injured six others and a teacher. The teen’s parents have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The four students who were killed were identified as 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre and 17-year-olds Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling.

Since the shooting, several schools across Michigan have closed due to threats.

On Tuesday, other schools in the Oxford school district closed after a threat was directed at the middle school.

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Authorities are investigating.

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