Seeking a return to some sense of normalcy, many families in and around this heartbroken town sent their children back to school on Tuesday amid increased security and a ramped-up police presence throughout the area.

For John Gentile, the decision to send his 12-year-old daughter Julia back to classes was difficult, but he was persuaded by the young girl’s desire to find a temporary escape from grief and sadness.

“It was hard, but she doesn’t want to hear about it anymore,” said Mr. Gentile, who owns a small business in nearby Wolcott. “She wants to get back to normal.”

Those sentiments were shared by many in Newtown on Tuesday, as funerals continue for the 20 children and seven adults murdered last Friday by Adam Lanza. Classes resumed across Newtown and the surrounding region, with the exception of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of the massacre.

Eventually, Sandy Hook students will return to classes at another location as local officials weigh whether to close the building for good.