Sandy Hook students to return to class at Monroe school Thursday
By WFSB Staff
20 small and 6 large bronze stars are displayed on the roof of Newtown's firehouse.
MONROE, CT (WFSB) -
While students and parents from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown toured and teachers set up their classrooms, school administration and police officials discussed how they would all move forward and bring back a sense of normalcy at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
"I think right now it has to be the safest school in America," said Monore Police Lt. Keith White.
Students and their families visited the former Chalk Hill School Wednesday afternoon as they prepare to return to classes for the first time since Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary, killing 20 first-grade students and six adults.
He shot and killed his mother while she slept in bed before he headed to the school.
Teachers and several workers spent the last few weeks painting, moving in furniture and recreating classroom space in advance of the students' arrival.
At one point, there were about 80 people working inside the building to make it a "seamless transition" for the incoming students. Many Monore teachers offered to help Newtown teachers set up their classrooms.
"The students coming in completes the circle," said Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson. "That's what's missing right now, getting our students back."
According to Robinson, the staff have officially renamed Chalk Hill School to Sandy Hook Elementary School to give them "a sense of identity."
The students will remain at this new building for the rest of the school year.
Robinson said the school "feels extremely secure" and White added that police will continue increased patrols in the area. Every car that comes onto the school's campus has been stopped and questioned, he added.
"Our goal is to make it safe and secure for these students," White said.
Security devices have been installed in the building, but police would not elaborate.
"Obviously we don't want to overburden them with the police," White said. "We want this to be a normal school where they can go and enjoy themselves and learn throughout the day."
Counselors said it's important for children to get back to a normal routine and for teachers and parents to offer sensitive reassurances. Mental health workers will be available to all the students and staff, Robinson said.
Robinson said that it was good to hear teachers laughing as they were setting up their classrooms, which will look similar to the ones at the original Sandy Hook School.
"Teachers were creative in setting up the rooms and some of them are very different," Robinson said.
Many furniture and supplies from Sandy Hook have be brought to the new building.
"Snowflakes from around the world are all over the school," Robinson said about the Sandy Hook Campaign.
Robinson said that Thursday will be a "normal school day" without a "heavy curriculum."
The students, who will be bused to the school, will be greeted by signs in green and white, which are the colors of Sandy Hook.
A majority of students and their parents have already visited the new school with many of them liking the larger gym, White said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy met with Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers and administration privately.
Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe also said that in Newtown, there will be increased police at all schools in the town. He added that there is a resource officer in each of the three schools and additional officers on the campuses.
When asked about the investigation, Kehoe said all questions about it will be handled by state police.
"Kids that age don't need to relive that," Robinson said in regards to speaking about the shooting at school.
The Connecticut State Police are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:22 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:22:54 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A man wanted for allegedly killing his wife in Indiana has been captured in Horry County. A detective with Horry County Police found out 49-year-old Lorenzo Edward Archer ofMore >>
A man wanted for allegedly killing his wife in Indiana has been captured in Horry County.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:53 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:53:28 GMT
AYNOR, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Police are assisting Aynor Police officers in a vehicle pursuit in the area of Pee Dee Highway Wednesday afternoon. Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler confirmsMore >>
Horry County Police are assisting Aynor Police officers in a vehicle pursuit in the area of Pee Dee Highway Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:48 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:48:28 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - We're seeing plenty of new development coming to the new shopping center next to Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach. Golfsmith recently opened up and today, for the first timeMore >>
We're seeing plenty of new development coming to the shopping center next to Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach. More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:52 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:52:13 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A fatal collision occurred on Forestbrook Rd. in Horry County on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant. Senior TrooperMore >>
A team of investigators is working to piece together the details in the crash that sent a woman to the hospital and brought felony DUI charges against a Myrtle Beach man. More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:44:27 GMT
BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - A Bennettsville woman who was arrested for homicide in 2011 after the death of her 3-year-old daughter pleaded guilty Friday to homicide by child abuse and unlawful neglect.AteliaMore >>
Atelia Hunt, mother of three-year-old Edna Hunt of Bennettsville, has taken the stand to testify against Mike Huckabee Jr. More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:24 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:24:57 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A few isolated showers are keeping us a little damp Wednesday morning, says WMBF News Meteorologist Marla Branson. We'll have scattered showers off and on throughout the dayMore >>
A few isolated showers are keeping us a little damp Wednesday morning, says WMBF News Meteorologist Marla Branson.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:43 AM EDT2013-06-19 11:43:07 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A late night crash in Myrtle Beach has claimed the life of a teenager and injured two others. Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard with the Horry County Coroner's Office says19-year-oldMore >>
A teen has been charged with felony DUI for the late night crash that claimed the life of an 18-year-old passenger and injured two others. More >>