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Family Involvement & Community Engagement Programs

Message from Claudia Medina, Coordinator, Family Involvement & Community Engagement Programs

Raising Alameda: redefining our district’s family engagement culture

AUSD's vision: Every school is a community of educators and parents/guardians working together in shared partnership, shared responsibility, and shared leadership to educate and prepare all students to be critical thinkers, resourceful individuals, responsible students, and joyful human beings.


AUSD provides families with educational conversations and workshops that support their parenting journey through the childhood and adolescent years. We offer three programs: School Smarts (elementary), Parent University (middle and high school), and the Alameda Family Enrichment Speaker Series (parenting conversations) in partnership with Alameda PTA Council.

We are also very proud of our recent launch of our Black Achievers Alliance (scroll down for events).


To support your child's academic achievement and preparation for college:


School Smarts for elementary parents and guardians are intended to support families on how to navigate the public school system.
Research tells us that two important characteristics will influence a child's long-term academic success: a parents' ability to navigate the public school system, and a parents' clear communication of high expectations of their children. Scroll down to learn more.


Parent University for middle and high school parents and guardians.
The workshops are part of a college-going framework that includes increasing College Aspirations, College Knowledge and College Planning. The middle school parent workshops are focused on College Aspirations and College Knowledge, and high school parent workshops are focused on College Knowledge and College Planning. Workshops are held in the Fall (October or November) and in the Spring (March or April), be on the lookout for your school invitations. Let us know you are coming!

Fall Middle School Session, September 21, 2017 6:00 -8:00 p.m. | Lincoln Middle School, 1250 Fernside Boulevard, Alameda

Spring Middle School Session, Wednesday, March 22, 2018 6:00-8:00 p.m. | Wood Middle School, 420 Grand Street, Alameda

Register here: http://bit.ly/MiddleSchoolPU

Download our 2017-2018 program here.


The parent/guardian workshops were created by the UC Berkeley Center for Educational Partnerships for the Alameda Unified School District, and were tailored by the staff of the Parent Involvement & Community Engagement Program and AUSD academic counselors to meet the specific needs of their parent populations. Click here to learn more.


To support your parenting role:


Our Alameda Family Enrichment Speaker Series is here!

Expert and community conversations related to raising strong and confident children. From navigating our digital era, to raising socially and emotionally responsible young people. Click here: http://bit.ly/SpeakerSeriesRSVP  for upcoming events or to get on our mailing list.


The educational series will build upon families’ strengths by providing parents with the information, skills and principles essential for children to become compassionate, responsible, resourceful, and critical thinkers.  By incorporating educational opportunities in our families’ educational journey, we see improved communication and understanding between families. We envision a community of parents encouraging their children to become responsible and productive students and citizens in our society. Our community becomes a thriving and safe place to live and grow.

Children acquire the abilities to be successful from the people who are most intensely involved with them, we believe that parenting is the most important and challenging job any of us can have; yet, it receives little support or recognition in our society.  There is very little formal training for this task and parents are often isolated and without adequate support networks. 
Our collective goal is to continue the good work of parent/guardian involvement in the interest of student achievement and community development.


Past Events:

Raising Resilient Teens | Download Flyer

Decoding Teen Behavior | Download Flyer

How to Talk with Your Kids About Sexual Harassment | Download Flyer

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 | Download flyer here.

Positioning Black Families for Parent Involvement Success | Download flyer.

Raising Kids with Emotional Intelligence|  Download flyer

SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age | Event Flyer

Family Tech Talk | Download Flyer

Is that Me YellingDownload flyer


School Smarts
What will my child learn? The most common elementary parent question.
Come and learn.

The School Smarts academy is designed to help parents learn very tangible ways in which they can help children and school succeed. Through this seven-week program parents gain a better understanding of how public schools are operated, funded and organized to serve children. The materials are translated into Alameda's top five languages: Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Arabic. School-age childcare (5+), and a light snack is provided. There is no cost to attend. Want to learn more, click here to view a School Smarts video.


Your participation is extremely important!
65% of today’s grade-school kids will end up doing work that has not been invented yet. 

How do you prepare them for the future?
Come and learn about today’s education system: who to talk to, where to go, and what to do to  support the creative, innovative, and safe space to enrich your child’s preparation for lifelong learning and adaptability.
What you cultivate now will pay off in a confident, joyful, resilient, and academically strong child.


SS Kid Logo SS Academies.jpg
1. Classes start every year in the Fall, download our brochure here or print your 2017-2018 schedule here.
2. Register today! Click here for your registration form or register online here (http://bit.ly/Register4SchoolSmarts)
3. You can return the paper registration it to your school office.



The seven-week sessions cover the following topics:
• Parent involvement and why participation is crucial in today's limited-funded public school system
• Preparing for a lifetime of learning; how to adapt to the individual learning needs of different children
• Understanding our education system; who does what and why at a state, regional and local level from organization to funding
• Understanding our school; understand how PTA, SSC, ELAC groups add value and enrich the school community
• Becoming an effective communicator; identifying best methods to succeed in a fast paced, multi-cultural learning environment
• Identifying what a quality education can do for children and what parents can do at home and at their school sites
• Taking action, identifying a school project that can enrich the school community, and much more!


Who benefits from this program?
• Kindergarten families and 1st grade families who want to understand what their children will learn in school, and who want to also find meaningful ways to integrate to the community and build strong support systems
• All families who want to understand how to navigate the public school system, and who want to understand what children are learning at each grade level
• English Language Development (ELD) families who are new to the country or to the American school system

School Smarts Parent Academy Testimonials

“I found the program to be incredibly useful as a resource as well as a support group.  Our group members came from many different cultures and perspectives that were expressed differently yet as we worked together, we realized that we all shared many of the same goals and values.  The group empowered me as an advocate for myself, children, family and school.  School Smarts encourages your individual identity and also opens your eyes to we are all one in the same when it comes to our family.  I loved the program.  I looked forward to going every week.  I recommend this program as a great introduction to the world of your children's education and as an eye opener to anyone who has an interest in becoming more involved but not quite sure on how to go about it.  Thank you School Smarts!  Thank you to my classmates for sharing their perspectives.  All of you have enriched my life.  The class was just the beginning of our journeys.” 
-E. Barrantes

“School Smarts is a wonderful program. I have learned an abundance of information about our school, kids, parents and community. I have learned that all children learn differently and we should do the best we could by teaching them the way they learn best.  I also found out that I have a voice in my child's education and the many ways to approach the school, the school board and PTA. This is a wonderful opportunity and I am so glad I was able to partake in it.”
-M. Lee

“When I first went I didn't know what it was going to be like -- but I knew there would be free breakfast and childcare so why not check it out? I actually was very interested because I had planned on homeschooling my daughter and even though that wasn't going to work out this year, I still wanted to be as involved as I could in her schooling and I felt this was a way to do that. I haven't been disappointed. The meetings were very informative not only as to how I can best support my daughter in her schooling but also in providing excellent tips on raising my children in general. Highly recommended!”
-B. Park

"I had the honor of participating in School Smarts and it was a fantastic experience! I learned a lot about myself and our school and had the opportunity to meet some great parents. I recommend School Smarts to anyone interested in community building and getting involved in our school! "

“When I started School Smarts, I thought I would find tools that would help me, help my children through the school process.   What I learned was that it was more beneficial for me as I learned about the community of wonderful parents we have at school. Also, we have an incredible support system of teachers and administrators and parents that work so hard to make everything about school better for our children.  We are so interconnected that without it, it would be hard to navigate the educational process without that support system in place.  The classes brought out the best in all of us by having us share and learn together.  So many parents are lost in a fog trying to support their children, but don’t know how.  This class is a wonderful way to learn, but also make new friends.
-M. Ashton

“The School Smart's Program has been a wonderful experience for myself, as well as our family.  I have learned so much about our school system, and how my child, as well as other children learns!  The use of art projects, team work, and the sharing of ideas among our wonderfully diverse school population has opened up many doors, inspired many new actions, and ultimately made for an exceptional learning experience.  Our children are the future, and we should all do what we can to help them achieve the best they are capable of.  This program has enriched us as parents, bonded us as a community, and given our children a strong foundation on which to grow and achieve.”
-H. Keenan

“I really enjoyed attending School Smarts these past 7 weeks.  I really wished this class was around 4 years ago when my son was in Kindergarten and everything was so new to me.  Over the years I have slowly learned how to navigate through the school and to understand a little about our educational system on a district and state level.  If School Smarts had been around 4 years ago, I would have been off to a quicker start in learning all these things.  Over the past 7 weeks, I've gained from our facilitator and the other parents a greater sense of empowerment to find my voice and to use it to better communicate with my children, teachers and school officials.  Perhaps one of the best things of the course was getting to know an amazing group of parents.  What makes any school successful is a strong parent community and getting to know so many wonderful parents has made my personal and school community that much richer.”
-M. Kaneshiro

“My School Smarts experience definitely exceeded expectations. Every single aspect of this course provided me with additional knowledge toward better educating my children. Not only do I feel more comfortable teaching my children, I also feel I learned a great deal about myself and how I would like to advocate for my child, school and community.
The structure and facilitation of the course was vital for this learning process. There was a very comforting atmosphere that allowed us to open our hearts to what we feel is important for our children and our school. I have a new understanding of the structure regarding all components of our school, the district, and PTA. I now feel enabled to be more involved with my school community, of which I was rather hesitant prior to the course. Through this course, I have genuinely become a better person and I sincerely feel my fellow classmates would agree to that regarding their own experience. It is extremely beneficial for parents to take this course moving ahead. Not only does this provide additional assistance in strengthening our community, it also provides more opportunity for our children and their futures.
-J. Meyer

“Schools Smarts class will always have a special place in my heart. It was there that I first learned how to be a leader around my son’s school and our community. Right from the start I met and connected with other parents, the principal of the school, and representatives of the school district. Also, I gained so much knowledge about the education system as well as tools to understand my son’s learning styles, and how to navigate his educational future. School Smarts gave me the push I needed to volunteer in classrooms, to be more involved and overall to be a more proactive and better parent. 
School Smarts is the support you need. It is not a class full of instructions, but a fun and interactive environment to exchange knowledge and life experience.”
I totally recommend it.
-L. Quirk



For questions regarding Family Involvement & Community Engagement Programs, please feel free to contact our office by phone (510) 337-7190, via email at cmedina@alameda.k12.ca.us or in person at our district office located at 2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda, CA 94501.

City of Alameda Community Needs Survey

The City of Alameda receives federal and other funds each year for housing, community development and social service projects and would like you to have a voice in how this money is invested.

Information collected by this survey will be useful for the City of Alameda, the Alameda Unified School District, and Alameda social services agencies as they plan for the future of Alameda.

Please help the city by completing the survey by December 11 at midnight.

For a hard copy of the survey, please contact Jim Franz, Community Development coordinator at (510) 747-6883 or jfranz@alamedaca.gov.


English Community Needs Survey

Mandarin Community Needs Survey

Spanish Community Needs Survey


School Smarts Graduates

School Smarts Graduates

Family Engagement at Your Fingertips

AUSD offers many opportunities for families to be involved with their student's education and the life of the district. Please see this handy "at-your-fingertips" guide for more information!

Parent University for Middle School Families

Parent University: Our program for middle school parents and guardians. The workshops are part of a college-going framework that includes increasing College Aspirations, College Knowledge and College Planning.

Fall Middle School Session, September 21, 2017 6:00 -8:00 p.m. | Lincoln Middle School, 1250 Fernside Boulevard, Alameda
Spring Middle School Session, Wednesday, March 22, 2018 6:00-8:00 p.m. | Wood Middle School, 420 Grand Street, Alameda

Register here: http://bit.ly/MiddleSchoolPU

School Smarts Academies

School Smarts Academies are starting!
There is no-cost to attend, light snacks, school-age childcare (5+), and translation is available as needed.

All classes are from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. no morning classes available.

FALL 2017

Edison | Wednesdays 10/4-11/15

Maya Lin  | Wednesdays 10/4-11/15

Bay Farm invited | Thursdays 10/5-11/16

Franklin invited| Thursdays 10/5-11/16

Register online: http://bit.ly/Register4SchoolSmarts


Download your registration here and return it to your school office.