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With new backpacks full of supplies and with heads ready to be filled with knowledge in their new grades, Mooseheart’s elementary, middle school and high school students made their way on Thursday to the first day of the 2018-19 school year.
Minutes after the opening bell, the routine was already in-motion, with students greeting teachers, putting away supplies and finding lockers. High school students moved straight into a day of instruction.
Mooseheart welcomes a number of new students every year to campus, and this year is no different. More than 40 new students are on-campus this fall, fulfilling Mooseheart’s role as a school that offers an education and a home for children in-need.
“The school year starts and our students have many goals they want to accomplish, and our staff has many goals as well. We want to have a chance to get reacquainted and then to get started,” Mooseheart Executive Director Gary Urwiler said.
As school opened this year, Mooseheart has 173 students – 94 boys and 79 girls. Of those, 43 are in elementary grades, 41 are middle schoolers and 89 are in high school, including the 19 members of the Class of 2019, Mooseheart’s 101st graduating class.
“There’s a lot of energy with our new students and this is a chance for us to get to meet them and show them what we’re about and to get to know them. We want them to feel they belong here, and school helps,” Urwiler said.
As much change as there is in the student body, there are also 10 current students who were admitted in the first decade of the century.
“We have some students who have been here since they lived in Baby Village. When you realize that we’re taking them from being young boys and girls to being young men and women, it brings a smile to your face,” Urwiler said.
For many years, Mooseheart has celebrated the start of a new school year with a Back to School Bash the evening before school opens, and this year’s took place on Wednesday night. The Geneva office of publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt continued a long-standing partnership by providing backpacks and school supplies for Mooseheart’s elementary and middle school students. Vicky and Aaron Loucks from Shorewood provided backpacks and school supplies for Mooseheart’s high school students. Children enjoyed dinner provided by Canteen Vending.