Every year, PUSD parents create new academic and enrichment programs that benefit our students. Below are just a few of the innovative projects that were founded and/or managed by parent volunteers. Take a look to get inspired and reach out to the parent contact to find out how you can replicate these ideas at your school. One of PEN's strengths is our ability to connect parents with each other so please let us know if you’ve started something awesome at your school that might inspire parents at other schools.
visual & performing Arts
Webster Art Loft - In a dedicated art classroom, volunteers facilitate art lessons based on curriculum developed by a Webster parent. Contact Dana Bradley
Don Benito Art Docents – Art Docent volunteers receive training and materials to lead art lessons in the classroom or the PTA-funded Art Studio. Contact this year's Parent Coordinator
McKinley Visual and Performing Arts Committee – The VAPA committee provides expertise and support of the arts, working closely with the drama, music, and visual arts teachers to improve programs and increase student participation. Contact Kelly Bradley
Community Pride Garden at Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy – Parents founded an extensive garden of more than 30 beds designed by students to reflect heritage, explore science, and grow edible plants. Contact Ruth Lorenzana
Before & After School Clubs
Hamilton GATE Club – Parents started a bi-weekly before-school club for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Gifted & Talented Education (GATE) students that includes hands-on STEAM activities and field trips. Sessions are often taught by parents, but many feature local specialists who donate their time to fuel student curiosity. Contact Drew Poppleton
San Rafael Miner’s Day – Fourth grade students participate in a pancake breakfast and hands-on activities where they learn about California history during the Gold Rush era. The curriculum was developed jointly by teachers and parents, who also volunteer and support the half-day event. Contact Emily Mencken
Don Benito Dads – This group of fathers meets regularly to socialize, share information, and volunteer to support the school. Contact Jose Bugarin and Peter Roybal
Sometimes parents have BIG ideas that go way beyond the bake sale! If you have an idea that would have a big impact on our students and schools, but think that no one would be interested… think again. Here are just two examples of parents who had very big ideas that are now part of PUSD’s academic programs.
Pasadena High School’s App Academy is a four-year computer science pathway program that was created by PEF with the support of PUSD parent Shawn McCreight. The developer of Encase digital forensics software, Shawn worked with PEF to develop a curriculum and program where students learn computer science and computer programming, and use these skills to create websites, games, and more. For more information visit the App Academy website.
When McKinley parents Jason and Sandy Roberts started coaching their son’s Math Field Day Team, they encountered some very advanced math students who they challenged with increasingly advanced math concepts. From that, they founded the Math Academy, where they created a curriculum that radically accelerates the learning curve of mathematically gifted students. Officially adopted by PUSD, the program starts in 6th grade at three PUSD middle schools. Students complete BC Calculus by the end of 8th grade. The high school curriculum, at Pasadena High School, combines college-level pure and applied mathematics. Contact Sandy Roberts or visit the Math Academy website.