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updated: 8/15/2012 5:49 PM

Naperville students head back to class — in costume

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  • Dan Sims dresses like an astronaut for the first day of classes Wednesday at Naperville North High School. The theme for this year's seniors was Apollo 13.

       Dan Sims dresses like an astronaut for the first day of classes Wednesday at Naperville North High School. The theme for this year's seniors was Apollo 13.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Apollo 13 was the theme for Naperville North seniors during their traditional first day of school. Courtney Cox, left, and Kelly Presperin took the opportunity to get a photo of themselves.

       Apollo 13 was the theme for Naperville North seniors during their traditional first day of school. Courtney Cox, left, and Kelly Presperin took the opportunity to get a photo of themselves.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Nathaniel Moxen, left, and Adam Jalali dress like a rocket for the first day of classes at Naperville North.

       Nathaniel Moxen, left, and Adam Jalali dress like a rocket for the first day of classes at Naperville North.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Rafee Mahmud dresses like an alien from "Toy Story" on the first day of classes at Naperville North.

       Rafee Mahmud dresses like an alien from "Toy Story" on the first day of classes at Naperville North.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Back to school in Naperville

 
 

Roughly 17,000 students returned Wednesday for the first day of classes in Naperville Unit District 203 schools.

The district started classes early this summer to provide balanced semesters and allow time for high school students to take semester exams prior to winter break.

Interim Superintendent Dan Bridges reached out to parents via email Wednesday afternoon to share the excitement.

"As a parent, I know the first day of school can be filled with great joy and a little sorrow. Touring the schools this morning, the excitement I saw in the faces of our students was a great reminder of how eager our students are to learn and be a part of the school experience," Bridges wrote. "In return, the school staff greeted them with equal enthusiasm knowing what is in store for their students this year."

Naperville North High School seniors are traditionally the most excited to return to classes and participate in a long-standing tradition.

On the first day of each school year, seniors come dressed in costume, based on the senior theme, and participate in a tailgate at the football stadium. Seniors are then allowed to enter the building and run screaming and cheering through the halls to celebrate the beginning of their year.

This year's theme was Apollo 13 and many students came dressed in space gear.

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