Category: Society / January 3, 2013 2:07 PM EST
Hundreds of the children who escaped the harrowing attack on their elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, last month head back to classes on Thursday (January 3) for the first time since a gunman killed 20 of their schoolmates and six staff members.
School officials are preparing for droves of anxious parents to join the fleet of buses carting children to a disused middle school in the neighboring town of Monroe.
Chalk Hill Middle School, closed about a year and half ago, has been hastily refurbished in the three weeks since the December 14 attack and renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Because the children’s safety is the biggest concern, the school has been outfitted with a new security system.
They will be welcomed to a building that has been decked out as a "Winter Wonderland" with the help of thousands of kids from around the world.