The State Board of Education on Wednesday voted to exempt Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School from a state law that requires students attend school at least 180 days each school year.

The school was closed for six days following a gunman’s horrific killing of 20 children and six educators there.

State legislators last month ordered the state board to give the district a waiver to the requirement.

Students — who now are attending a school in neighboring Monroe — will go to school for 177 days this year.

Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson told the state board that such an exemption was necessary “First off for emotional reasons, but second because we had no school — our school was a crime scene.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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