School Smarts for educators and school districts

School Smarts is an award-winning, research-based program that helps parents help their children succeed in school.


The program is a seven-session, two-hour per week course designed to engage parents and create active parent leaders. The program includes instructional art activities that reinforce learning outcomes and build inclusiveness among parents.

Topics that educate and empower parents are covered during the seven parent academy sessions, including:

• Value of parent involvement
• Preparing for a lifetime of learning
• Understanding our education system
• Understanding our school
• Becoming an effective communicator
• Standing up for quality education.

The Parent Academy and materials are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Contact us at to find out how to get involved! Download the brochure for additional information.



Pre- and post-academy surveys are used to measure the program’s impact.

Examples of outcomes collected from program participants include:

  • Parents should have increased knowledge of key education topics and increased willingness to engage
  • School Smarts attracted parents from diverse educational, cultural and economic backgrounds
  • Parents formed bonds, met parents from across the school and continued to participate in volunteer activities post-academy.


  • “The School Smarts program has had a profound impact on our district.  We have seen new energy, participation, commitment, and involvement from parents and families who have previously stayed on the outskirts.  These parents and families now have a deeper understanding of not only how schools operate, but now they see the big picture of how the district is part of the entire system.  The benefit to our students and teachers who serve them has created a true partnership and students are benefiting.” — Superintendent
  • “School Smarts is an extremely valuable parent empowerment program. Implementing School Smarts at our dual immersion school in Spanish and English truly benefited all participants, especially those who have historically been underserved. The format of the program provided opportunities for collaboration among parents as adult learners. Child care and dinner provided by the PTA made it possible for parents who otherwise would not be able to attend to participate. The fact that most parents attended every single session says a lot about the program. I firmly believe that training in house facilitators was very beneficial. Having two wonderful facilitators (Rosa Torre and Kirsten Dwyer) who had previous connection with our Spanish speaking parents was invaluable.” – Superintendent
  • “By participating in the academy sessions, parents are not only able to invest in their students’ education through active involvement, but also able to connect with the school community, with each other and with District administrators in an innovative way. This program truly exemplifies our goal to increase parent engagement at all levels.” — Superintendent
  • “School Smarts successfully enriches, empowers and engages parents and caregivers to be active partners in educating and developing the minds of our children.” — Superintendent