New Faces, New Friends

Dempsey D, Writer

This school year, St. Robert welcomed 71 new students who spanned across all grades and came from 51 different families. I sat down with Mrs. Felber, head of marketing and engagement, as well as a few new students to find out how our school gained so many new faces and to see how the school year is going so far.

St. Robert School staff worked hard over the summer to advertise to the community. Many yard signs and banners were placed,  information was spread through social media, and direct mail was sent to 1,000 homes in the area. However, the most common way that new families heard about our school was word of mouth from happy students and parents. Mrs. Felber was busy giving tours to ten to twelve families a week before school started. Even a month into the school year, she continues to get phone calls from interested parents, and the school has gained a few new students since school started in September.  

New families came to St. Robert School for several reasons. Many parents wanted their children to have in person class rather than virtual school, but they also heard that St. Robert teachers did a great job with virtual learning last spring. Some parents wanted a Catholic education for their children, and others liked the small class size and strong parent community found at St. Robert. Mrs. Beckmann’s strong leadership and in-depth COVID-19 procedures helped convince many parents to move their children to the school.  

Mrs. Felber’s children went to St. Robert School years ago, so she is always happy to meet new families who may expand the community she knows so well. She said it is fun to give tours, and she is proud to talk about the success that St. Robert School has had in educating the whole child – academically, spiritually, and emotionally.  

Most of the new students joined us from Shorewood public schools and they report that so far the year is going pretty well. They miss old friends but are enjoying getting to know new ones.  Putting on uniforms every morning was a big change for some kids, but 5th grade Eilee said having to wear the same thing everyday makes it easier to get ready in the morning. 7th grade Damian said he thinks the school day is more efficient than his old one, and he likes the St. Robert schedule. With new students in every class, some children are going to Mass for the first time and even learning about the Bible. There is certainly a lot of change for these new additions to our school, but they are adapting well overall. It seems that all new parents and students are happy that they can be learning together inside the classroom even though we have a few extra rules to follow this year.

2020 has brought many challenges to the community, including COVID-19. However, something positive that resulted from the pandemic is that the students at St. Robert gained many new classmates and are making more friends from within our Shorewood community. For those who were ready to get back to regular life (in some form) and wished to partake in a more “normal” school year, St. Robert has become a place to call home. The school was very happy to welcome so many new students this year.

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