SMASH is an amazing and unique community with its own way of doing things. Check out our Crash Course in SMASH Discourse and feel like an expert in all things SMASH!
Within each Core, students are divided into mixed-aged advisories. These groups are composed of students from both school grades in each Core and work primarily with one main Core teacher at a time. Advisories often switch mid-year (sometimes mid-semester) to allow students to learn with other children in their Core. Younger advisories get to pick their name each year!
The Annual Fund
The Annual Fund supports the activities of the SMASH PTSA. The Fund pays for: classroom materials and supplies, technology tools, scholarships, middle school musical theater, community events, parents education opportunities and other activities or services required by our community. The suggested donation is $325/student but the Fund’s number one goal is participation. Any donation amount is appreciated and needed.
SMASH is a multi-age learning school. Traditional school grades are grouped into “Cores.” This gives students the opportunity to be both the oldest and the youngest in different configurations, allowing for diverse learning opportunities. Note: Core groups have shifted over time. Those changes happen when our teachers and staff thoughtfully deliberate and adjust when it is deemed beneficial for our students.
Core 1: Kinder + 1st grades (Partners and Bigs)
Core 2: 2nd + 3rd grades (Apprentices and Mentors)
Core 3: 4th + 5th grades
Core 3.5: 6th grade
Core 4: 7th and 8th grades
Core Reps are parent volunteers who are selected each year to manage communication from staff and educators to families in their Cores. They are also a wonderful resource if families have any SMASH-related questions. All information is shared over Konstella.
Family groups are composed of students from every grade across the school, usually with 2-4 students from their own grade. Students remain in the same Family Group for their entire time at SMASH. These groups meet once a month and encourage more opportunities for mixed-age learning and mutual support across all developmental stages.
The SMASH parent portal and communication platform. It is used for all SMASH communication. Each parent can register for a profile where they can decide which information to share with the community. There are also Core chat boards, social groups and volunteer committees. Basically the hub for all things SMASH related!
Our sister school, John Muir, is a Santa Monica elementary school (grade K-5) which shares the same campus with SMASH. Muir has its own administration and classrooms but shares the Big Yard with SMASH. Muir and SMASH students are also together for afterschool activities.
The PTSA is the Parent-Teacher-Student Association. The purpose of the PTSA is to advocate for our students and staff, support important on-campus activities and learning, organize meaningful events and fundraise for our school. PTSA holds monthly meetings to make decisions, share important information and learn and grow with our community. Any person can become a member of the PTSA, which grants you voting rights. Because SMASH goes through middle school, students in grades 6-8 are invited to join as members of the PTSA with voting rights (younger students can be members but cannot vote). In addition to volunteer Executive Board positions which are elected by our community every year, there are also many volunteer opportunities for parent involvement offered through the PTSA. All major PTSA communication and volunteer opportunities are announced through Konstella.
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning (PBL) is defined as, “a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which it is believed that students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem. It is a style of active and inquiry-based learning” Project Based Learning is a core tenet of SMASH’s educational approach.
Santa Monica Education Foundation
The Santa Monica Education Foundation (SMED) is the only foundation which raises money for ALL Santa Monica public schools. As an equity fund, it is especially important to ensure all students in our district are given equal opportunity to learn and grow. At SMASH, the Ed Foundation funds people and programs like visual arts classes for all students, theater classes for all students, additional arts classes for all students, Nadja Kukor (beloved classroom aide), spring round of parent conferences and narrative report card writing, recorders for 3rd graders, music lessons and instruments for qualifying students, JAMS/SMASH Theatre Company, and additional library books and materials. The suggested donation is $750/student, but the Ed Foundation only tracks participation and the goal is always 100% participation for the SMASH community. Any donation amount is appreciated and needed.
School Site Council
Site Council is a group of teachers, parents, administrators, and interested community members who work together to develop and monitor our school's improvement plan.
Small Yard/Big Yard
The Small Yard is located at the front of the school. The entrance is at the corner of Ocean Park and 5th. Only Kinder and 1st grade students use the Small Yard.
The Big Yard is located in the back of the school. The entrance is on 5th, halfway between Ocean Park and Hollister. Grades 2-8 use the Big Yard.
SMASH Bashes are fundraising events hosted by SMASH parents for other SMASH families. The host can decide who and how many people to invite – Bashes can be adult-only, Core specific or open to anyone. The host teaches a skill or does an activity with the group. Hosts set the price to attend and all money raised goes to the PTSA, which directly supports our teachers and students. Examples of past SMASH Bashes include learning to make omusubi, visiting a family ranch, trivia night, yoga session, DIY card making, and many other creative and fun events. These Bashes are a great way to support SMASH while learning and having fun with our community.