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Sandy Hook Students’ Emotional First Day Back To School After Massacre

Thu, January 3, 2013 7:09pm EDT by Sandra Clark 1 Comment
Sandy Hook Students Return School
Getty, Courtesy of Facebook

It was an emotional day for the  Sandy Hook Elementary School parents, students and teachers who gathered together for the very first day of school since that horrific Dec. 14 tragedy. has all the EXCLUSIVE details on their courageous reunion.

The town of Newtown is strong and resilient, and today Jan.3, the families and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School returned to school with courage, strength and unity, knowing that together they will heal and move forward.

Sandy Hook Elementary School mom Karen Dryer tells exclusively, “It was a big step forward for all of us today. My 5-year-old son Logan returned to his kindergarten class in the new school building and he did just great. He wanted me to be there with him and I was, but he was able to participate in all of the activities. He interacted with the other students and the teachers. There was a drastic difference in his behavior from before when he was scared to go to school at the old location.”

“Familiarity and consistency are what’s most important for the younger kids, so we tried to do everything that they used to do in class. We did circle time.  The kids were happy to be back together,” said Karen who plans on volunteering at the school for the next couple of weeks.

“The older kids had to stop periodically during class to talk about what had happened. They are older so they understand more. There were therapy dogs and counselors at the school, and that helped,” said Karen.

“It’s tough for the adults, the teachers. It’s very emotional,” Karen explained. “But they all did just a wonderful job. The new principal Donna Page was there and she was completely hands on.”

Sandy Hook’s New Principal

As previously reported, Donna used to be Sandy Hook’s principal for many years, but retired  two years ago. When she heard the news of the fatal shootings, which took the life of  school principal Dawn Hochsprung, she decided to step in and help the kids and teachers.

“When I heard that Sandy Hook’s former principal Donna Page was coming out of retirement to return as the principal, I broke down in tears. It brought so much comfort to all the families and teachers,” said Karen. “We didn’t know who could do this job. She called all the parents and re-introduced herself. Donna is going to lead the school forward.”

Sandy Hook’s New Campus Open House

Karen was at the school’s open house yesterday, Jan.2, and told, ““The school is only 8 miles away from Sandy Hook. Originally the teachers and students were going to be split up but the teachers came together and said ‘No way! We need each other right now.’ The community understood this. From the first day we found out we had a new school, everyone started volunteering their time to fix up the school. Since it was originally a middle school, the toilets had to be lowered, the sinks had to be lowered. Everyone in the community came together and helped.”

“They managed to get the original art work from the cafeteria and bring it into the new cafeteria. They moved their beloved pet turtle that has been at Sandy Hook for years into the new library. It may not seem like a big deal, but for those kids to be able to walk into their new library and see their old librarian and Shelly, the school turtle, was just such a blessing,” said Karen.

We are so proud of all of the parents, students and teachers that returned to school on this special day. We continue to send our prayers and good wishes for a peaceful recovery.

–Reporting by Sandra Clark

More Sandy Hook news

  1. Sandy Hook Mom Says Clairvoyant Son, 5, Refused To Go To School, Saving His Life
  2. Sandy Hook Families & Teachers Attend Open House At New School
  3. Terrified Sandy Hook Students Prepare Return to School On Jan. 3