Programs + Events

School Smarts Parent Academy

School Smarts involves a unique collaboration between the school, districts and PTA.



We start with a campus-wide family engagement event

Each School Smarts program is introduced at a school-wide event designed to attract families from all sectors of the school community. At this social and educational evening, parents learn about the School Smarts program. Each event is planned and customized by a local site Planning Team. Details about the upcoming Parent Academy are shared with parents. Parents also learn how to maximize success for their children, get a chance to meet each other and school leaders, and take part in an interactive arts activity to further build community.

Parents learn at our seven-session Parent Academy

School Smarts trained facilitators (often teachers from the local school site) lead seven interactive sessions for 25-30 parent participants, based on a professionally developed curriculum. The sessions include individual and group activities, art activities, discussions and opportunities for parents to build relationships with each other and with school and district leaders. Each Planning Team works with their school district to ensure that childcare and food are provided.

Celebrating leadership and next-level engagement

The parent academy culminates with a graduation celebration – many parent graduates then to serve on school and district committees and PTA boards, plus seek additional training to strengthen their overall engagement and their advocacy skills.

Contact to find out how to get involved!


  • Session 1: Parent involvement — Parent’s role as their child’s first teacher and the types of parent involvement
  • Session 2: Preparing for a lifetime of learning — How children learn and the basics of college readiness
  • Session 3: Understanding our education system — The structure of the California public school system, including academic standards, testing and local school funding
  • Session 4: Understanding our school — How schools are governed and decisions are made
  • Session 5: Becoming an effective communicator — The importance of communication between families, schools and other audiences
  • Session 6: Standing up for quality education — Becoming a leader and advocate on behalf of your child and all children
  • Session 7: Taking action/Celebrating commitment — Creating personal and group action plans.