Sandy Hook Elementary: Extraordinary School

School that suffered a mass shooting was one of Connecticut's top-rated schools.
3:18 | 12/14/12

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Transcript for Sandy Hook Elementary: Extraordinary School
Today's tragedy may have catapulted sandy hook elementary into the national spotlight. But the school system here has long been renowned for its excellence so much so that parents go to great lengths to have their -- to -- school in this area. ABC's Jim traveler brings us a look inside some very special classroom. Sandy hook elementary has always been well don't -- in central Connecticut. Not for tragedy but as a warm creative sanctuary for children aged five to ten years old. With a sterling reputation for academics small classes of quality. Known for its caring teachers and scoring a perfect ten for great schools not a war. In the top 3% of all the State's elementary schools a Baghdad for civic pride in growth. People continue to come for the schools continue to. Husbands will sacrifice to commute to succumb to -- The principal -- hawks who died in the attack kept a Twitter account probably documenting the school's achievements. Just two days before the gunfire she wrote sandy hook students enjoy the rehearsal for our fourth grade winter concert. -- December 10. Tenders right list select grocery items and pay the cashier at their new classrooms supermarkets center -- -- October this tweet emphasizing security. Safety first -- sandy hook it's a beautiful day for our annual evacuation trio. Messages from a principal who loved her students welcoming incoming kindergartners. -- this week message this fall. Now we will be here. -- It's good. Caitlin Taft spent six years at sandy hook she's 21 now it's still remembers the look she felt -- -- school. -- -- and turned it. It's a small school. I just. I'm they're just really important to me really -- them. -- and watched the tragedy unfold on television this morning. Heard little children attending the same classes she remembers so finally tell of hiding in classroom closets and quarters. And I was this -- -- I mean I know the list of schools I can. You know imagine how this -- on the chaos. This is really really close. Sandy hook is indeed quaint -- even quintessential New England but here to schools have stepped up security. Just this year sandy hook elementary school put into place a security plan. Make get mandatory for visitors to ring the doorbell. And only be -- in that the staff recognized them through the video monitor and his staff didn't recognize the visitor he -- she needed to present a picture I. Cited that only then will be led into the school. Even would Caitlin with the sandy hook there were emergency drills lessons that may have saved some of the children today. Exactly what the kids are saying on music I'm going in the corner of the room to turn on the -- -- -- -- -- had quiet time. How much as I pretend you know especially when I think it's not real self time I think most -- that something's really. For Nightline Jim Ottawa in sandy hook --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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