A lone voice could be heard above the crowd of students gathering in front of Evanston Township High School on Monday.

“Are they going to make us wait outside in the rain?”

But luckily for those lining up, doors to the high school opened just before noon on Monday, right as a downpour started to soak the 10th, 11th, and 12th graders waiting to get inside for the first day of the 2023-24 school year.

Incoming freshmen had already come and gone on Day One. Ninth graders got a half-day in the morning, everyone else a half-day in the afternoon, before full days of classes begin on Tuesday.

Angel Morales, a 15-year-old sophomore, said his goals this year, besides doing well in his classes, are to “be safe, have fun, and try to get into as many sports, clubs and activities” as he can handle.

Morales is on the Wildkits football team, and also loves E-sports.

Total enrollment at ETHS is expected to be around 3,700 — similar to what it’s been the past several years.

Official numbers will be released later in the fall.

In a message on the school’s website, principal Taya Kinzie listed her “Principal’s Five Things to Know” for the school year: Showing up every day with resilience, Building a restorative community, Strengthening our school culture, Enhancing instruction and learning, and Grounding and reflecting to take action.

Under that last point, Kinzie ended with a couple of questions: “What do you want to accomplish this year, and how will you accomplish it?”

Sophomore Jaden Smith summed up his 2023-24 goal quite simply: “Get all A’s.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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