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District 171 prepares for summer enrichment, events

LANSING, Ill. (April 20, 2023) – Sunnybrook District 171 held its school board meeting on April 17, where the focus was on end of the year and summer programming.

Board reports

Juliann Greene, Director of Special Services, shared that a “Dental Bus” will be visiting the District on April 25 and May 2. Greene also shared that the chronic absenteeism team will be working with families and students to proactively plan for student attendance in the final days of school. 

Dr. Mike McGowan, Director of Technology, reminded families that registration for the 2023-2024 school year is open. The registration — which is on Powerschool — is available in English, Spanish, and now Arabic.

Summer enrichment

Dr. Lori Owens Stranc, Assistant Superintendent/Director of Curriculum and Instruction, shared an update on summer enrichment programming during her report. 

“This year we are doing summer school a little differently and it is going to be an enrichment program, because we analyzed our data and saw that we had a couple of enrichments and the attendance for our standard summer school was not great, but our original programs had almost 100 percent attendance,” said Stranc. 

The programs students can look forward to are:

  • Create-A-Book: Students will write and illustrate their own hardcover book. Available for 3rd through 5th grade. 
  • Basketball Camp: Students will learn or enhance their basic basketball skills. Available for 5th through 7th grade. 
  • Book Club Fun: Students will read and focus on one book a week, completing book-related activities about each book. Available for 1st through 2nd grade. 
  • STEM Club: Students will work together to reinforce their teamwork and cooperative learning skills through robotics and coding to produce a moving robot. Available for 3rd through 4th grade. 
  • Immersion into the World of Reading: A program that will connect history and geography to reading so students will be able to understand how to comprehend and visualize words on pages. Available for 6th through 7th grade. 
  • Hit It Straight: This program is designed to introduce and teach students golfing language, putting, stance, grip, alignment, full swing, posture, balance, and tempo. All equipment will be provided. 
  • Math Tutoring: Each student will get one day a week for four hours. Students will be taught to simplify complex concepts, practice real world applications, allowing them to become confident in approaching math. Available for 1st through 6th grade. 

Families can check the District 171 website on Monday, April 24 for an official flier and sign-up form. All activities are available on a first come, first served basis. 

Upcoming events, Good Neighbor Day Parade

Heritage Middle School Principal Chantelle Cambric gave updates about upcoming school activities and the Good Neighbor Day Parade. 

On April 20 at 6:30 p.m., the National Junior Honor Society induction will take place at Heritage.

On April 22, the student council will attend the Illinois Association of Junior High Student Councils Annual State Convention. Themed “Write Your Story: Fill the pages with LEADERSHIP”, students will learn how to run student council, collaborate with other local councils and hear from convention speaker Adrienne Bulinski. More information about the convention can be found on the IAJHSC website

The annual Lansing Good Neighbor Day Parade will be held on Saturday, May 6. The community is invited to come out to see the floats, community groups, local schools and businesses. This year, District 171 along with other local school districts in the area, will sing as a collaborative choir. 

Superintendent Dr. Erika Millhouse Pettis is prepared for this year’s parade with a wagon full of candy. 

“I’ve grown to really, really love that. It’s a good community turnout, so we’re just encouraging everyone just to come out and support your Sunnybrook family,” said Pettis.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for May 15. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at Heritage Middle School, 19266 Burnham Avenue.


Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University and his Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University. In addition to reporting for The Lansing Journal and the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, he volunteers with 100 Black Men of Chicago, Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Burst Into Books, and various other organizations. A south suburban resident since 2004, Quinton is passionate about telling the unsung stories of the community.