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Sandy Hook Teachers: 'This Allows Us to Stay Together'

Sandy Hook Elementary School children's desks at Chalk Hill are set up to make them feel at home, right down to the crayons.

Contractors are working around the clock to prepare the Chalk Hill building in Monroe for Sandy Hook Elementary School students and staff in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting in Newtown.

Aside from the actual structure, the electricity has been upgraded, there is now Wi-Fi and cell phone capabilities, and the town may hook up to a gas line that runs by the school.

Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek said special attention has been paid to the finest details to make the students feel more at home.

"A boy was writing a paper on the Newtown Night Hawks at Sandy Hook. It was on his desk Friday -- and that's exactly how it was delivered, with the little football helmet on there and his name on there," Vavrek said of the furniture Tuesday. "They're trying to do everything as psychologically correct as possible."

School will not be back in session until January, but no specific date has been announced.

Monroe Supterintendent of Schools James Agostine has met a number of the Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers who have come into the building.

"So far, the single resounding sentiment they have is, 'Thank you, because this allows us to stay together,'" Agostine said Tuesday. "I think the fact that they’re able to move as an entire unit is so important to this."

Prior to Newtown accepting Monroe's offer, Monroe Board of Education Chairman Darrell Trump said, "They mentioned several schools in Fairfield that offered a classroom here or there. They would have had to be divided up."

"The most important thing that could happen for these kids was to be together," Trump added. "We're setting up classrooms as they were at Sandy Hook, so the transition is as minimal for the students and teachers as well."

Some members of the Monroe Board of Education participated in a walk through of Chalk Hill on Tuesday and Vavrek said the work is moving along quickly.

"This will probably be one of the safest and secure schools in the country," the first selectman said. "The building is coming along great."

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