The first thing students, parents and teachers saw when they returned to San Bernardino's North Park Elementary School Monday was a large memorial outside the campus.
Families stopped by all evening Sunday as they got ready for what's expected to be a heavily emotional day Monday, just a week after a teacher's estranged husband entered a classroom and killed her and shot two of her students -- one fatally -- before turning the gun on himself. Flowers, stuffed animals, candles, cards, signs and other items were placed on a sidewalk outside the school in tribute to the victims.
"Our heart-felt thanks to the entire community for their courage, control and confidence," said San Bernardino Schools Police Chief Joseph Paulino. "We're forever grateful for the response to this."
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Yvonne Zambrano spent Easter evening relighting prayer candles outside the campus. Her two daughters returned to school Monday after a difficult week.
"Just trying to talk to them about it and let them know everything's going to be OK, and school's going to be OK when they get back," she said.
Nerves were not really a problem for her 10-year old daughter, Drew, though.
"I'm not nervous or anything. I just want to be with my friends and teachers and be back on a regular schedule and have a normal day."
Some families were more anxious than others. Jennifer Arias was so nervous about her 6-year-old daughter's first day back that her whole family walked Ruby to the school Sunday night.
"Just to kind of make her feel like it's still a safe zone and if anything were to happen we're all going to be here as a family still supporting her," Arias said.
The school district this weekend showed security improvements requested by parents that have been implemented, including a new system for checking in visitors before ever entering the front office.
The district is asking everyone to wear red Monday, North Park's color, to show support for the returning students.
There will also be extra support staff and counselors at the school.
And as class starts up again for the 530 North Park students and the staff, no doubt they will be thinking about the two victims who lost their lives -- teacher Karen Smith and 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez.
Arias said the losses hurt.
"But I also see how when bad things happen, the community comes together, and I think that's really important and that's what I really wanted my daughter to see."
The second student shot, 9-year-old Nolan Brandy, is recovering and expected to return to school later this month.