Sandy Hook Elementary students will resume classes on Thursday for the first time since the horrific shooting in which 20 pupils and six adults were gunned down by 20-year-old Adam Lanza. The students will be in a new building where their old classrooms have been completely recreated, ABC News said.
As classes recommence tomorrow, students and teachers from the Newtown, Conn., elementary school will now occupy the former Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, about six miles away.
Sandy Hook has been in recess since Dec. 14 when Lanza, a former Newtown High School student with a reported history of mental problems, fatally shot several people and wounded two others, after murdering his mother at the home where he grew up.
Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung died in the shooting. Donna Page, who retired in 2010, will serve as interim principal.
"Please know the inspiration you and your children have been to my staff and me as we connect with you at Chalk Hill," Page said in a letter posted on the school's website. "Be assured that the towns of Monroe and Newtown are working night and day to ensure the facility is safe, secure, and fully operational for our return."
While Thursday is the official back-to-school day for students and teachers, officials will host a walk-through for families on Wednesday.
"I want to reassure you that we understand many parents may need to be near their children on their first day(s) of school and you will be welcome," Page wrote.
In an effort to ensure a safe and secure environment, the school is encouraging students to take the bus, to help everyone return to familiar routines. Parents will also be permitted to enter into the classrooms or auditorium throughout the day.
Furniture and supplies for the new school were removed from Sandy Hook to help recreate the classrooms at the new school. Teachers also photographed their classrooms at Sandy Hook to replicate everything about them, from the pictures on the walls to the crayons left on the students' desks, all in an effort to make the students feel as comfortable as possible.
The new Sandy Hook elementary is outfitted with brand new bathrooms and a new security system. Newtown Councilman Steve Vavrek told ABC News that the school will be "the safest school in America."
Page, the interim principal added, "I want parents and families enduring the loss of their precious children to know their loved ones are foremost in our hearts and minds as we move forward. "Your strength and compassion has been, and will continue to be an inspiration to me and countless others as we work to honor the memory of your precious children and our beloved staff."