Cambridge and Lampson Elementary Schools Graduate Orange County’s First School Smart Parent Academy Classes

ORANGE, Calif. — June 1, 2015 — Cambridge Elementary School graduated 23 parents from the School Smarts Parent Academy on May 28. The next morning, Lampson Elementary School graduated 22 parents from its School Smarts Parent Academy.

School Smarts is a parent engagement program created by the California State PTA with support from a grant by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Their operating principle is to reach across all parent groups to bring them together in the common goal of helping their children succeed. Lampson Principal Maria Chairez, EdD, stated, “All parents can benefit from the School Smarts program, it really helps set the foundation for parent involvement throughout the child’s education.”

The School Smarts Parent Academy consists of seven sessions facilitated by trained school staff members. The sessions focus on a range of topics such as how the education system works, ways to maximize the success of your child in school, how to be a parent leader at your child’s school, and becoming an effective communicator. The goal is to strengthen parent leadership at school and equip parents to become advocates for quality education.

Jeremy Mortensen, principal of Cambridge Elementary School said, “School Smarts is an amazingly comprehensive parent program that enables our parents to be advocates for their children and our school for today and beyond.  Thanks to the dedication of our parents and the hard work put in by our coordinators, Mrs. Cardenas and Mrs. Ellson, it was a meaningful, real-life experience where instructional strategies were used that are implemented daily in our classrooms.  I look forward to being able to offer this successful program to more of our parents next year!”

Research has shown that parent involvement in their child’s education improves a child’s chance of success in school.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.