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District 171 leaders report on upcoming capital projects, new math program, more

LANSING, Ill. (April 21, 2024) – Sunnybrook School District 171 held its April board meeting on Monday, April 15. District administrators presented updates on previous and upcoming capital projects, expenses, and a new math program.

Capital projects and expenses

David Shrader, Chief School Business Official at District 171, updated the board on the district’s completed and upcoming capital projects. 

The front entrance of Nathan Hale Elementary School was remodeled and a maintenance garage was added to the building. The renovations were completed last summer. 

Heritage Middle School recently underwent renovations including new ceiling lights, restrooms, the cafeteria kitchen, classrooms, and HVAC units. Shrader said the district has plans to continue renovating the school including possibly replacing the lockers. 

The board previously approved replacing the ceiling lights at Nathan Hale and the remodeling of Heritage’s front entrance. 

Shrader also discussed the expenses needed to fund these upcoming projects. He says the district was over five million dollars in debt when he took on the role in 2015.

“We have been gradually paying that off along the way,” he said. “At the end of this year, we will have less than a million dollars in debt.”

Into Math program

Dr. Lori Owens-Stranc, Assistant Superintendent at District 171, presented the board with the district’s newest math program. She says district officials “piloted” between several math programs before voting to adopt the “Into Math” program as a part of the math curriculum. 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Math is an intentional, comprehensive, and inspiring mathematics program for grades K–8 that centers on student growth.

Dr. Shawyn Jackson, National Pilot Manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, said the program focuses on putting students at the center of instruction.

The board approved the purchase of the Into Math program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for no more than $30,000. 

Other agenda items:

  • Registration for the 2024-2025 school year has officially opened.
  • Heritage Middle School will hold its Spring Music Concert on April 24 at 6 p.m. and Spring Musical on May 3 at 7 p.m.
  • Nathan Hale has started several clubs including the ukulele club, choir club, cross country club, soccer club, and sewing club.
  • Nathan Hale Elementary will host its first “Nathan Hale Farms” event on May 7 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

More information about Sunnybrook School District 171 is available at Meetings are typically held on the fourth Monday of the month.


Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.