Dear Families, Students and Staff,

It has been a difficult 12 hours in the Dubuque Community School District.

Late last night, we learned of a threat to Dubuque Senior High School that started on social media and quickly gained widespread momentum. As it began to circulate, a flood of misinformation also began to surface and determining credibility of the threat became immensely difficult. At that point, we decided to cancel classes at Senior out of an abundance of caution.

Once the decision to cancel classes at Senior was made, it became clear that Dubuque is understandably not immune to the heightened awareness and sensitivities that exist nationally around school shootings. Given student/parent concerns across the district and the clear disruption to the school day that would have undoubtedly been present, we decided it was in the best interest of our students to cancel the day and make it up at the end of the year.

Now, 12 hours later, working closely with the Dubuque Police Department, we are confident in saying that there is no credible threat to our schools. We will proceed with the high school activities scheduled for this weekend and, as a precaution, will have additional security and police officers present at those events. Together, we must be vigilant.

As we reflect on this situation, it is important to reinforce that we will take any threat received as serious until we know otherwise. Anyone who believes there is a concern should report it immediately to an adult for follow-up and refrain from posting/reposting unconfirmed information on social media. When we are able to determine the source of the threat, we will take action to ensure that the individual is held accountable.

As parents, this can be a difficult topic to discuss with your students. Counseling staff will be available in our schools next week (and beyond) for students needing additional support. Later today, we will also post additional resources on how to talk with your student about violence on website at

Throughout this, many students and family members have shared information as the district and police investigated. We are thankful for this information and know that working together in this way is the best way to prevent violence in our schools.

As we move into the weekend, please be assured that we are fully committed to the safety of our students and staff, and we are thankful for the tremendous support we receive from the community in providing a safe learning environment.

Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools