A man waves to a child on a bus on the first day of classes after the holiday break, in Newtown, Conn.,Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Nearly three weeks after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, students and teachers from the school will return to class Thursday in the neighboring town of Monroe. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
State and federal education officials are allowing Newtown students to skip standardized testing because of the school shootings that killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
The state Board of Education and state lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve measures allowing Newtown children in grades 3 through 8 to skip the Connecticut Mastery Tests that are being administered statewide this month.
Newtown officials had requested the unprecedented, one-time waiver, citing the trauma suffered by students and staff from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
State officials said the U.S. Department of Education has granted Newtown a one-year waiver of federal student assessment requirements.
State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the waiver is a way to provide some relief from the tragedy.