TODAY   |  August 16, 2013

Moore, Okla. kids and teachers return to school

Plaza Towers Elementary School teachers and students are preparing to return to school at a new location while their new school, fitted with a storm shelter, is build and set to open next Fall.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> year beginning in moore , oklahoma this morning. it's a town hit so hard and an emotional day as students turn to class for the first time since may's devastating tornado. kate snow is in moore this morning. kate, morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah. this is where plaza elementary school once stood and now 7 crosses to remember the children that were lost here. they're putting up a new school for next year but for now, three quarter of the students that once attended here will go to a different building. a tough day today. not just for the kids, but for the grown ups .

>> if we have to hide our fears, and our aprehension for starting that's what we'll do.

>> principal amy stenson struggled we motions.

>> it's okay to be afraid, it's okay to be angry.

>> they're the teachers that saved lives back in may when a tornado ripped their school apart. the district collected donated school supplies from books to wall decorations. there are reminders of the old school .

>> when we looked at the old school in may you were saying --

>> the wall with the panther is still there.

>> says something.

>> yeah, it does.

>> you wanted reminders of the old place too.

>> yes. it was important to show the kids that this is plaza towers. they needed to come in here and know there's books to read, carpets to sit on. nice shares. their own desk. all of those things were important.

>> reporter: simpson's biggest worry is the children won't feel as safe that they did before.

>> i'm afraid that they have lost the trust and they have lost the security that we had before may 20th .

>> reporter: she is particularly concerned about the fourth graders, like he who was pulled out of the rubble after being crushed under a wall with his classmates.

>> i just heard the banging on the building and then rocks falling on me.

>> reporter: his teacher did all she could but six of the seven lost were her students.

>> i really wanted to come back this year.

>> reporter: she's not healthy enough to return to teaching yet. but she will.

>> this is what i want to do and this is where i want to be.

>> reporter: for so many coming back is the healing.

>> seeing my kids faces, seeing their smiling faces, that heals me right there. just knowing they're okay.

>> reporter: --

>> the kids find normalcy here and schedule and routine. that's our goal.

>> reporter: they have become close as a community here. a lot of parenal support. the principal thinks it will lead to a successful school year. the new school they'll build behind me will have a tornado shelter. the building they're in now does not. there's a plan to move kids into interior rooms in the building next door if, god forbid , the tornado sirens ever go off again.

>> kate snow in moore , oklahoma.