Programs + Events

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
  • A larger number of fathers participated – in both Parent Engagement Nights and academies
  • Parents formed bonds, met parents from across the school and continued to participate in volunteer activities post-academy.


  • “As an elementary school principal for over three decades, I feel that the School Smarts program has been the most successful parent engagement program that I have ever used.  PTA has created a program that is an awesome forum to help our parents navigate the public school landscape.  Each year our program is growing larger and our parent involvement is becoming stronger.  The program also has created a positive and open line of communication between myself and my parents.” — Rod Federwisch, Principal, Butterfield Ranch
  • “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 Dr. David Lorden, Lakeside USD
  • “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 Sandra Lyon, Santa Monica Malibu USD
  • “School Smarts successfully enriches, empowers and engages parents and caregivers to be active partners in educating and developing the minds of our children.” — Superintendent Richard Martinez, Pomona USD