Arapahoe High School students returned to class Jan. 7 for the first time since the Dec. 13 shooting at the school.
"The first day was exhausting," Arapahoe senior Anna Sutterer said. "Not too hard emotionally, but it's tough to know we are going to have to start working and learning again to be honest. We are used to being focused on being together and digesting what happened, and I personally am not fully ready to remember how to do school again, and I'm frustrated that it's taking so long to get back to normal, or that I have to find that normal again. I want to go back to liking school and being a good student, but it's not happening right now and I don't know how long that will take."
Junior Jordan Macomber said the mood on campus was hard to explain.
"Half of us were really up and confident and happy to be back," he said. "The other half was lacking confidence and still very traumatized by what happened. ... Almost everyone is really sick of the news coverage and the cameras."
A letter to parents and students from Arapahoe principal Natalie Pramenko said there is additional police and school district staff presence on campus. She added that "there will be a need for mental health support moving forward. We will keep members of the current crisis response team in place for as long as is necessary to support both students and staff."
Students were given the opportunity to take final exams, but the tests were not required, according to the school's website. If a student decided not to take the final exam for a given class, his or her previous grade will stand for the first semester.
The library, where 18-year-old student Karl Pierson shot himself to death after fatally wounding classmate Claire Davis, is closed for remodeling. Pramenko's letter says a small team of students, staff and parents will help come up with the new design, and it hopefully will reopen in the spring.
"We want to thank you for your continued love, prayers, patience and support," she wrote. "Warriors, always take care of one another, and stay Warrior Strong."