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Newport-Mesa School Smarts Program Fosters Meaningful and Diverse Parent Engagement
Posted 7/26/19

School Smarts Collage

Since 2017, parents throughout Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) have participated in a School Smarts program that encourages parent engagement in school and district operations. 

Led by school Parent Teacher Associations (PTA),  The California State PTA School Smarts Parent Engagement Academy is a model for creating meaningful and diverse parent involvement. School Smarts exposes parents to understand the educational system and empower them to be effective advocates for their children and school’s success. 

More than 100 parents graduated from the 2018/19 School Smarts engagement program from the following schools:

  • Adams Elementary
  • College Park Elementary
  • Costa Mesa High School
  • Ensign Intermediate
  • Estancia High School
  • Killybrooke Elementary
  • Newport Harbor High School
  • Paularino Elementary
  • Rea Elementary
  • Sonora Elementary
  • Whittier Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary

NMUSD school community facilitators in collaboration with district staff and site administrators led the series of seven interactive-sessions:

  • Parent Involvement: A Key Ingredient in Student Success
  • Preparing for a Lifetime of Learning 
  • Understanding the Education System 
  • Understanding the Local School System
  • Becoming an Effective Communicator 
  • Becoming a Leader and Educational Advocate
  • Development of Post-Academy Action School Plan


The courses include professionally developed curriculum, multimedia presentations, individual and group activities, instructional art activities, homework assignments and discussions.

“When parents are engaged and take an active role in their children’s education, students perform better in school,” said Coordinator of English Learner Programs, Laura Dale-Pash. “We are thrilled that our graduates will serve as leaders in our school community and support our common goal in helping children achieve,” she said.

School Smarts culminates with a graduation celebration, with many parents encouraged to serve on school and district committees, PTA boards and other leadership roles within our schools and district to stay better informed about and more involved in their child’s education. For more information please visit our English Learners Programs website.

School Smarts Parent Academy Photos