ST. LOUIS – The students at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School will return to in-person classes next week.

It will be the first time they’ve been inside the building since a student and teacher were shot and killed there back in October.

Dr. Kacy Shahid is the principal of CVPA, where the school is gearing up for students to return to in-person learning. Shahid wants the kids to feel safe and ready to learn.

“It was tragic and heartbreaking. I’m still heartbroken,” she said. “I’m very confident that we will be the safest school in America right now.”

District officials said extra security measures have been in place. Starting off, a total of eight security officers will be on site. Some of the officers will be armed.

There will be more police patrolling the neighborhood and additional cameras throughout the campus. The school replaced more than 160 interior doors and has plans to replace exterior doors.

The district said it will continue to look for ways, equipment, and products to help maintain safe and healthy school environments.

When students return to the classroom on Tuesday, the principal says they will be greeted with smiles and hugs. They will also notice murals on their lockers.

“They are going to see vibrant colors, happy faces and feel positive energy,” Shahid said. “We have new doors, fresh paint, beautiful murals, new lighting, and it looks like a new place.”

On October 24, a gunman claimed the lives of a student and a teacher and injured others before he was shot and killed by police.

Among the victims were 15-year-old Alexandria Bell, a sophomore, and 61-year-old Jean Kuczka, a health teacher. School officials said they will be missed.


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