Open house held for Sandy Hook students

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A man waves to a child on a bus on the first day of classes after the holiday break, in Newtown, Conn.,Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Nearly three weeks after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, students and teachers from the school will return to class Thursday in the neighboring town of Monroe. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

MONROE, Conn. (AP) — The children who escaped last month's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have been welcomed with their parents at a school in a neighboring town that was overhauled specially for them.

And their new school is being renamed for their old one.

Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson said Wednesday the change is appropriate because "they are the Sandy Hook family." She spoke after a private open house for the families at the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe.

It was the students' first time in a classroom since Dec. 14, when a gunman killed 20 students and six educators. Classes resume Thursday.

Numerous police officers were at their new school Wednesday. Monroe Police Lt. Keith White said, "I think right now it has to be the safest school in America."