This morning, some 400 young children made their way back to their familiar classrooms and back to a (semi) normal routine. But the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut did not return to the same elementary school that Adam Lanza turned into a place of tragedy and sadness. No. Instead, the 400 students who we've all hailed as brave, courageous kids are making their home in a new school, one town over, in Monroe, CT at the old Chalk Hill school.
Before the morning bell rang, dozens of volunteers have worked relentlessly, turning the once-was Chalk Hill school into the new, safe Sandy Hook Elementary School. Volunteers raised bathroom floors for kindergarteners to be able to reach the toilets and the sink the bathrooms, as well as replicating the placement of bookshelves and cubbys for students to feel at home. They've also carried over students backpacks and other belongings that they left behind the morning of the devastating shooting. But that wasn't all the volunteers made sure the students had on their first day back to school.
In addition to painting the walls and hanging the same signs and artwork to match the students old classrooms, as well as transferring tables, chairs and desks from Sandy Hook to Chalk Hill, students were given gift boxes with toys inside.
Safety precautions for the children, their teachers and their families have been taken to ensure that as much normalcy as possible can be given. Law enforcement has even dubbed the new school, "the safest school in America" and rightly so, for these children deserve nothing but the best as they make their return to school. The school district has also encouraged parents that would like to stay close with their children to stay and visit in the classrooms or auditorum as long as they'd like. Parents are even encouraged to ride the bus with their children, to help them feel safe and secure returning to familiar routines.
Parents had IDs checked and incoming students and families were greeted by a fleet of police. Officers guarded the entrances and exits of the building.
Though the community is still reeling from the tragedy, Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said that they will be doing a normal day of classes, keeping the children and teachers on a regular schedule.
After a whirlwind of tragedy and horror that shocked the nation, a little normalcy is all we can hope for for the brave Sandy Hook students.