Now that the victims have been buried and the New Year has passed, the students of Sandy Hook Elementary will go back to class on Thursday morning. However, they won't be going back to their old school Sandy Hook so soon, if ever. The 450 or so students will be attending class at the nearby Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, Connecticut, where administrators have posted a sign that reads "Sandy Hook School" under Chalk Hill's official one. The Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson says that it's there "so we can carry on our traditions, which have helped make this a very nurturing, caring place." She added that Chalk Hill "has been transformed from a middle school to a very cheerful nurturing elementary school."
Students and parents got their first look at Chalk Hill School on Wednesday, when administrators opened their doors for a tour and meetings with teachers. There's obviously plenty of anxiety about security, especially given the various threats on local schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, but Robinson says the school "feels extremely secure." The students even have a couple of familiar faces to greet them. Former Sandy Hook principal Donna Page is coming out of retirement to lead the school after she says she felt a "calling" to return to the students. Meanwhile, mental health professionals will be on hand to help the students readjust to life at school, but one father says that his 8-year-old triplets, all three Sandy Hook students, are just eager to get back to their old lives. "They want to see their teacher," David Connors told NBC News. "They want to see their classes. They want to get back into a routine."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.