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SD170 Ass't Supt Mary Kay Entsminger Presents at LearningScapes18

Mary Kay Entsminger, Chicago Heights School District 170's Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, served as a presenter at the prestigious Association for Learning Environments LearningScapes 2018 Conference held recently at Chicago's Palmer House.

The LearningScapes 2018 event offered world-class educational sessions and showcased best practices from around the world in responding to the evolving needs and requirements of reimagining the learning environment through a global lens in planning, designing, equipping, furnishing, and maintaining educational settings.

Entsminger joined Recognized Educational Facility Planner Nick Salmon, President of the Collaborative Learning Network, and Katherine Moore, Director of the Sustainable Growth Program at the Georgia Conservancy, in presenting a breakout session entitled "Resilience Strategies for Communities, Facilities, and Learners."

"I met Mary Kay and other members of the School District 170 administration and staff while attending Harvard University's 'Learning Environments for Tomorrow Institute.'" Salmon said.

"After subsequent visits to Chicago Heights I realized that the incredible effort put into the planning and design of the new middle school and the innovative strategies being effected within the district made Mary Kay a natural to be part of our presentation at the conference."

"The topic of resilience is something that is in the vanguard of the initiative being implemented at schools throughout the world and with the conference being held locally I felt that Mary Kay would bring a 'hometown' perspective to our presentation," Salmon continued.

Entsminger was thrilled to have been invited to participate in the LearningScapes 2018 conference.

"I was so excited when Nick asked me to be a fellow presenter at such a prestigious conference attended by a wide variety of professionals from all around the world," Entsminger said.

"It was a distinct honor to be asked to represent Chicago Heights School District 170 in recognition of our district's commitment to implementing ways of reimagining the learning environment to maximize student success."

The goal of the breakout session was to create energetic conversation and discourse while exploring ways of reimagining the school setting, and sharing and engaging in strategies which impact individuals, companies, schools, and communities.

Resilience strategies span the spectrum of human endeavor and embrace self-awareness, self-esteem, optimism, life experiences, and the building of strong relationships as core ingredients of the resiliency mélange.

The conference sessions shared resilience strategies on the scale of the community, facilities, and learner demonstrating ways in which learning environments can be resilient to changing communities, pedagogies, and learning styles.

Entsminger addressed the importance of resilience strategies in commenting on the efficacy of the directives discussed during the event.

"School District 170 has committed to developing resilient students through a variety of techniques that were addressed at the conference," she said.

"Over the course of the last few years, our district has embraced various strategies such as Problem-Based Learning that help students become resilient learners, and have encouraged teachers to afford students the opportunity to experience a 'productive struggle,' an approach that has proven to be quite successful in enhancing the learning experience," she concluded.