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Stoneman Douglas Teachers Preparing For Emotional Return To School

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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – Plans are moving forward to slowly reopen Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Teachers and staff members will return to the school on Friday.

On Sunday afternoon there will be a voluntary orientation for students and family members.

The Broward School District says that its goal is to resume classes on a modified schedule next Tuesday.

The question of when to return to school has been haunting Spanish teacher Alicia Blonde since the day of the shooting.

But on Friday, she and other teachers will face their fears and go back to school, the place they once called their second home.

"Our facility has been violated, our space has been violated," Blonde said. "It's not the same, I don't think it'll ever be the same."

Teachers have been invited back for an 8 a.m. breakfast in the school's cafeteria and can stay however long they want.

The purpose, Blonde says, is to get teachers together and start the healing process.

"Because I believe we're Eagle strong," she said when asked why she expects a large number of teachers to show up Friday. "We are positive, we are passionate, and proud to be Eagles and that is our motto and we will come back, I believe that 95% of us will be back there tomorrow."

Blonde says for days after the shooting, her mind like many others, was filled with questions.

"Maybe I had dreamt it, you know after the first night, so I want to go back right away so maybe I'll retire early," she said.

While the pain and sorrow for what happened that afternoon on February 14th will never fully subside, Blonde says having her colleagues together again to lean on is a start.

"The hugging colleagues, you know I think it's probably going to be harder when the kids come back," Blonde said.

For that reason, Broward County Public Schools is giving the students an extra day to cope.

They'll resume classes for a half day on Wednesday.

Until now, Blonde says she and other teachers have received a great amount of support not by counselors or law enforcement, but by their students.

On Sunday students can choose to go to the school, if they like, for a voluntary orientation from 3 to 6 p.m.

Counselors will be made available on site for students and teachers.

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