Police investigate a bomb threat at Magee Middle School, 500 North Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake, Wednesday afternoon. | Photo: Joe Shuman/J. Shuman Photography (2024)

Students were evacuated and sent home at schools in Round Lake and Round Lake Heights after bomb threats were made Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Round Lake Police Chief David Prus told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that his department was notified just after 1 p.m. Wednesday of a bomb threat at Magee Middle School, 500 North Cedar Lake Road.

The call was made to the nurse’s office through a phone application.

Prus said officers responded and coordinated with the school. Students were evacuated and later sent home.

An extensive search of all of the lockers and the building produced no evidence of any explosives.

Police investigate a bomb threat at Magee Middle School, 500 North Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake, Wednesday afternoon. | Photo: Joe Shuman/J. Shuman Photography (2024)

Detectives are working to trace the caller who made the threat. “We have some good leads at this time,” Prus said.

The phone call did not originate from the local area and there is no immediate threat to the community.

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Round Lake Area Schools Community Unit School District 116 Superintendent Dr. Donn Mendoza sent a message to families and staff across the district about the incident.

He said a bomb threat was separately made to Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights just before 12 p.m., prior to the threat at Magee Middle School.

The Round Lake Heights Police Department, Round Lake Beach Police Department, Round Lake Police Department and Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District responded to Round Lake Middle School and the attached Indian Hill Elementary School.

Both of those schools were placed in a “hold” status and once the hallways and common area were searched, students and staff evacuated the building.

Police investigate a bomb threat at Magee Middle School, 500 North Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake, Wednesday afternoon. | Photo: Joe Shuman/J. Shuman Photography (2024)

Police and fire crews conducted a thorough search of the involved schools and no security concerns were found, Mendoza said.

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“We believe that our schools are safe at this time following a comprehensive search. We continue to work closely with our local law enforcement officials to investigate this matter until we determine who was responsible for this incident. We take all issues of safety seriously and will always conduct a thorough investigation on matters such as these,” Mendoza said.

“We extend our sincere apologies to our families, staff, and students for the disruption that these incidents caused today. Given the time of the incidents, follow up investigations, and the need to have the schools clear, we know that some students were not able to have lunch. Safety was our primary concern today,” Mendoza added.

Round Lake Heights Police Chief Eric Schmidtke said the bomb threat at Round Lake Middle School was also made to the nurse’s office. It was received by a “masked” call by an unknown person using the Text Now app.

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The caller stated, “I’m gonna blow up the school.” Schmidtke said the Great Lakes Naval Station sent a bomb and explosive canine to assist in the search of the building.

School staff was allowed back into the building after an all-clear was made. Students were dismissed from school.

Schmidtke said his department is working closely with the Round Lake Police Department due to the similar nature of the investigation, which remains ongoing.

After-school activities for all District 116 schools were canceled Wednesday.

School is expected to resume as normal on Thursday, Mendoza said.