Sandy Hook Students to Return to School at Chalk Hill in Monroe [Updated w/ Clarification]

Monroe superintendent says arrangements have been made for Newtown to use closed school.


Updated, 1:22 p.m.

After prolonged debate over how to use Chalk Hill, Monroe has found a use for the former school building. On Sunday, Supt. of Schools James Agostine informed teachers and parents that Sandy Hook Elementary School will hold classes there, beginning this week.

Since the tragic shooting on Friday, Newtown school officials have been working with the Monroe Board of Education, Monroe Public Schools and surrounding towns to try to find a place to teach their students.

In his email sent to parents this morning, Agostine wrote, "We have been working with our First Selectman Steve Vavrek and representation from Newtown. Newtown will be using Chalk Hill School beginning this week. It is important that the Sandy Hook students get back to school quickly in an environment that is familiar and safe.

"We recognize that everyone would like to lend a helping hand, but we have been asked to hold back until the Newtown staff is settled in and they can direct our efforts."

Monroe Board of Education Chairman Darrell Trump was reached for comment Sunday, but declined to say anything until Monroe and Newtown's school districts flesh out more of the details and hold a joint press conference, which he said should be very soon.

Following Monroe's candlelight and prayer vigil Saturday night, First Selectman Steve Vavrek said talks were going on between the two towns, but that it was too early to say anything else.

On Sunday, Vavrek said, "The Board of Education of Newtown and their first selectman are requesting that any and all volunteer efforts wait until they know what will or will not be brought from the Sandy Hook School. We need to respect their wishes.

"If you have any ideas, please feel free to send them but please do not go to the school and ask to help as there is a very well orchestrated professional effort between federal, state and local custodians making true miracles happen."

Original Story

Students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed on Friday, will possibly resume classes this week, but in an alternate location, according to the Danbury News-Times.

"We will not enter that building right now," Superintendent Janet Robinson told the News-Times.

Sandy Hook staff members will return to work on Monday to receive training from counselors on how to help their students deal with the tragedy once they return. Students and staff members at Hawley, Middle Gate and Head O'Meadow elementary schools, as well as Reed Intermediate and Newtown middle and high schools will return on Tuesday, Robinson told the News-Times.

Counseling is also available to both chlidren and adults on Sunday and Monday at Reed Intermediate School between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Newtown Youth & Family Services between 9 a.m and 4 p.m.

[Editor's Note: This article incorrectly stated that classes for Sandy Hill students would resume on Wednesdsay and has been updated.]

J C December 17, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Another thing that is a problem is Big Pharma has been pushing anti-depressents and other psycoactive drugs down out throats for a decade or two
Sally Robinson December 17, 2012 at 03:21 AM
"mitzimatters"... Seriously?!?!? You are heartless! Unless you have a child that goes to that school your opinion doesn't matter. I only hope that with a heart as cold as yours that you don't have children of your own! Its always all about the money isn't mitzi? (For the record I don't have children and I don't live in CT, but if it would make these kids/teachers lives easier I would gladly donate for a new school!)
Noreen Dalisera December 17, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I am glad that the children have a place to return to school and it is not Sandy Hook - the first part to their healing is to try to get back to whatever the new normal in their lives will be. They also need to go where they can feel safe again and the safe feelings they may have had at Sandy Hook are probably replaced with fear and sadness. If people want to post anything other than their respects and how sad and helpless the people around the country are feeling for this community only being able to offer prayers - post it somewhere else.
roberta hunt December 17, 2012 at 04:16 AM
kudos to you joe ; more people , etc. Should be reaching out as you are . I myself even though it will not change anything that has happened in this senseless act of violence will be donating money to 1 fund or another .
Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Mitzimatters, Let me put your worries about your own pocketbook to rest. Clearly you are unaware that Newtown already had a big debate going on about which elementary school to close because enrollment is down and they no longer NEED five elementary schools. The debate has officially ended. The students of Sandy Hook will have each other as they heal this year in a building that has no horrifying memories to hold them back from moving on. Next year the district will revise the elementary territories to utilize their four other schools most efficiently. You will not be personally burdened by the closing of sandy hook school. Any costs incurred by their temporary relocation will be more than covered by the generous donations of people who wish to help, not just complain.
Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Mitzimatters, please see above. I have answered your selfish question and hopefully you will shut up now.
Marc Allen December 17, 2012 at 04:25 AM
You are 100% correct... If only the loser parents who let their kids run wild with no consequences could look in the mirror and see this..
David December 17, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Dear Kim, All I can say to you is "AMEN"!!! I can NOT imagine what the people in Newtown are going through. God bless everyone up there. But saying that "guns" are to blame makes as much sense as saying, "that pen made me write a bad check". If you want to do the blame game, open your eyes to the way kids are being raised today. You can not turn on a TV with out a "killing" video game being advertise and/or glorified.. David in SC
kekake101 December 17, 2012 at 04:39 AM
I totally agree with you. I am a teacher also, and when I speak to my parents about a child's behavoir its always they didnt get enough sleep, or they are hungry. I had one parent getting on her child about spitting in someone's face. I was like that is what I like to see, but then she started apologizing to the child for getting onto them. I said to myself, that is why he acts out...no structure, or discipline. Children rule their households these days. The parents read all these no nonsense books on how not to discipline your child, let them make all the decisions, and you see what decisions they make. Parents wake up...stop trying to be your childs friend, or buddy...be there parent.
kekake101 December 17, 2012 at 04:45 AM
We are praying for the families affected by this horrible tragedy. It will take a while but you will get through this. God bless all of you.
debby December 17, 2012 at 04:49 AM
As each person takes time to pray for the victims and their families, please remember to pray for Adam Lanza and his family and friends too. Its evident Adam was mentally ill and needs to be prayed for and his father and brother both lost their son, mother and brother and grieve deeply as well.
kekake101 December 17, 2012 at 04:49 AM
I dont think people are coming on here speaking about there own feelings. I think they are speaking on gun control in America and the people that use guns to hurt and harm other people. it comes from there upbringing.
kekake101 December 17, 2012 at 05:07 AM
thats what I say. The children will probably not want to go back into that school. they should make a memorial out of it. I just pray that those babies and the teachers will return.
Jill Anderson December 17, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Re: Doug Kach....Opening the 2 rooms out into an outside memorial isn't the answer. The Entrance, Lobby, and Hallways nearby all hold horrific memories for staff & children. The whole school is now hallowed ground. Raze it, {#%% the money, and let town decide where to place a memorial!!!!! And whoever said use it for apts, etc... Would you like to live there.? Cleanup companies can't remove the memories!
Jimjim2bad December 17, 2012 at 08:12 AM
I would never step foot in that school again nor would me children!
ROSE December 17, 2012 at 08:20 AM
I have mixed feelings about this. The mother and grand mother in me would run as far away as possible, had it been my grand daughter who will be 4 xmas eve. The other part of me says...TAKE BACK OUR SCHOOL. Why let that monster win even in death It is what evil wants. It takes and takes and takes until..you run. A memorial is needed, The innocent lives of children and heroic teachers would not want us to run. The children were full of life, laughter, learning, and loving their little friends and teachers. That is what needs to be remembered. Are the bad memories that the school will now have..bad memories for the little children or is it us as adults who will always be filled with bad memories and fear? Don't let that monster win and run, stand up, take bacik your school and your lives because that is what those 20 innocent young lives would want all of US to do and so would those heroic teachers. That is what those teachers were doing...they were trying to take back their school and save the children.
Sharon December 17, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Debby. Are you kidding me? Pray for the coward who murdered all those little babies in cold blood? Debby, you're the problem. You're the reason why nothing gets done, you're the reason cowards don't spend enough time in prison. It's people like you who feel the same sympathy and compassion for murderers as you do victims. Debby, you're confused. You need to pray for yourself. How Dare You Speak Of That Bastard In The Same Tone, The Same Forum For These Beautiful Victims. He's not the victim, he's the cold blooded killer. Families are planning for funerals. Sadness hit everyone in this nation because of one, ONE EVIL BASTARD! Here's my prayer for the coward, "I Hope He Suffers In Hell!"
Sharon December 17, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Yes, those beautiful babies are not my babies but their tragedy brought great sadness to my family. I was shopping with my family this past Saturday, I felt so sad. So very sad for shopping when so many little babies were taken from us. I bought one lighted Angel that day for my lawn in memory of the little angels that were taken. That Angel replaced my Christmas lights. We owe it to all our children to them to protect them as a society, as a nation, whether they are ours or someone else. Now the nation mourns. It mourns because of what one coward did. I Don't Pray For Evil. Pray for a murderer! Unbelievable!
Pamboo December 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I firmly agree with the person who wrote this article. My children are grown but when they were growing up, this country was a God fearing country. Now it has turned evil. Banning guns is NOT the answer. It goes far beyond that. That's all I am going to say.
Ann December 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I agree - it's the parent's responsibility to teach their children respect for others. Guns are probably an important factor and we do have to ban them, but also look what the kids have become - they don't know how to socialize with others a lot of kids today sit at home in front of the TV and play games on the computer, Xbox, playstation (a lot of those games are extremely violent) and puts ideas into their heads, so let's seriously think about banning these also. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have lost loved ones.
izzy December 17, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I know the "experts" say that the children should go to school this week and they are saying it might be Wednesday, but it seems to me that the children who survived might be better served to go back to school after Christmas and to start their vacation early this week... Have a happy memory of Christmas before going back to school could help them more than going right back to school... They could go back earlier than usual to make up for the missing week, if the school board is worried about losing money from attendance... Why make them go to school this week when Christmas vacation would start on Friday anyway...
DEBBIE December 17, 2012 at 02:52 PM
DEBBIE December 17, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Andrea Parsons December 17, 2012 at 03:00 PM
That is a good idea that they should go back to school after Christmas. They need to tare down sand hook and rebuild it and make it different on the inside and out!
mitzimatters December 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
it cost millions and millions of dollars to tear down and school and build another one. certainly you don't expect the tax payers to pay to replace a building that is not structurally damaged. If the school district no longer wants to use the building it is their responsibility to sell the building.
Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Seriously Mitzi? I have answered your question. Please see above. You are posting from San Clemente California, so you obviously know nothing about our community's needs and maybe you should worry about your own state's budget rather than sticking your nose in ours.
ROSE December 17, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I would pay tax dollars to see metal detectors, armed security, and personnel. At least they would stand a change to defend themselves and the innocent children,
ROSE December 17, 2012 at 07:14 PM
And what mental illness did he have? Asperger or something like that? George Clooney has a mild form of that and I don't see him going around killing innocent children......personality disorder? Is it medically documented?
DrGrace J. Gniazdowska PsyD PhD December 18, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I am offering free private grief counseling to the families of victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Please contact me. drgraceg@sensualmentality.com or you may speak with me on yahoo chat graceg1971a I am free to come to your home (like Dr. Hank does on Royal Pains) or you may come to me. I am in Trumbull. Please contact me for information. Dr Grace
mitzimatters December 18, 2012 at 03:24 AM
parents have kids they don't have time for and expect the school to do everything. guns are not the problem here. he could have killed people in other ways. so many attacks recently i sure don't want to go to a movie. think i'll just sit home alone.


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