Updated: Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013, 11:23 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013, 11:23 PM EST
MONROE, Conn. (WTNH) -- Things will never be the same for Sandy Hook Elementary school students, but for the first time in more than two weeks, they're headed back to class.
"It won't be heavy curriculum, but they need to do the kinds of things that are important for kids and to have a normal routine," said Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson.
Dozens of contractors volunteered their time transforming the old Chalk Hill Middle school in Monroe. They worked to recreate classrooms just as they left them, down to the pencils on their desks and even put a Sandy Hook Elementary School Sign out front.
Families did a walk through today.
"The children coming in, they are so excited to see their teachers and the students coming in completes the circle," said Robinson.
Principal Dawn Hochsprung died in the shooting so their former principal came out of retirement and will greet them at the door.
"That's incredibly normalizing. It's a familiar face to them and that's huge so I think they've done a lot of good things to make this as supporting and healing as it can be," said Deb Del Vecchio-Schully of the Connecticut Counseling Association.
Del Vecchio-Schully specializes in trauma therapy. Several grief counselors will be on hand for students and she says when it comes to kids verbal communication doesn't always work so they need to be able to express themselves.
"Painting, drawing, coloring, playing, things that kids like to do are going to be the most therapeutic ways for them to heal," said Del Vecchio-Schully.
The Connecticut Counseling Association is partnering with Newtown Lions Club to provide counseling at no cost to families, first responders and others in the community. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Newtown Lions Club Foundation Fund to benefit the victims and first responders by visiting www.newtownlions.com or mailing a donation to:
Newtown Lions Club Foundation Inc/Sandy Hook Elementary Fund (SHEF)
c/o Newtown Lions Club Foundation
P.O Box 218, Newtown CT 06470