District 30 Summer School Combines Study and Fun

If you walked into the halls of Maple School in Northbrook this summer, you would see a space full of curiosity, exploration and wonder.

The walls were filled with anime sketches, 3D art of sea creatures and savannah animals, and even drawings with captions in Spanish, showing the hard work of young students in art and craft classes. language.

Thirsty children and teachers could visit a lemonade stand, run by the Service Learning Class to raise funds to support the Highland Park Community Foundation and Heartland Animal Shelter. They raised over $1,000 in less than four weeks, as well as 250 food items for the Northfield Township Food Pantry and 283 books for Bernie’s Book Bank.

In science labs, students mixed ingredients to create slime and tested their chemistry skills, or invented courses for marbles to travel as a physics experiment.

And to end the semester, music roared through the building as theater students performed the musical “Matilda” and orchestra students performed their end-of-summer concerts.

This magic, however, is carefully curated by approximately 55 teachers and support staff, from nearly eight months prior. District 30 Summer School Principals Ashley Grosshuesch and Lainie Levin say it takes a lot of planning to create this special environment that also promotes learning and fun for more than 340 students in the Northbrook School District/ Glenview, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


“We strive to balance academic offerings, along with fun classes like sports, drama, and music,” Grosshuesch says. “I feel like it’s the best of both worlds because if you want your kids to work on academic skills there are plenty of opportunities, but they can also learn sign language or enroll to classes like All Sorts of Sports.”

Levin adds that teachers welcome the change of pace as much as students.

“What drives the vibe of the regular school year is academic progress and the focus on learning,” she says. “Summer school gives us the chance to see our kids in a different light and watch them try new things. It helps us understand why we started teaching in the first place.”

Students like Dylan Gryll, a new sixth grader at Maple School in Northbrook, agree that summer school is “more fun”. This summer, he’s taking a communications class where he learned skills like interviewing, a drama class that included a starring role in “Matilda” as Mr. Wormwood, and a bullet journaling class that , according to him, inspires him with creativity.

Dylan explains that he almost missed out on this great experience by initially enrolling in another summer camp – but it was canceled by a happy accident.

“Now I want to do this every year because it’s really fun,” Ryan says.