A new initiative called Mindset for All will strengthen non-cognitive skills in middle school students at four school sites in the Los Angeles Promise Zone. This initiative focuses on growth mindset, the belief that intelligence is a trait one can develop rather than an innate ability. It will be implemented this semester thanks to the efforts of several key partners. Families In Schools (FIS) is pleased to announce this initiative in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), GEAR UP 4 LA, Stanford University’s PERTS Lab, and the National School Reform Faculty. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Skills for Success grant competition.

Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Monica Garcia stated, “Students in Los Angeles are brilliant, courageous, and optimistic. Resilience is a teachable skill that will help us get to 100% graduation. This partnership to implement Mindset for All, extending from government, community organizations, research, to students and practitioners in the classroom, models the expectation of collaboration and coordination to help save more lives and get more students to the graduation finish line.”

Children with a growth mindset believe that their effort, willingness to learn from mistakes, and seeking out new strategies, determines their success. They embrace challenges because they see them as opportunities to grow and develop their abilities. Students’ ideas about what contributes to academic success or failure correlate more strongly with academic performance than measures of ability such as standardized tests (Farrington et al, 2012).

LAUSD School Board President Steve Zimmer stated, “Students face many challenges, but it’s up to our communities, schools, and families to support them through such critical times. I believe that through our partnerships and the Mindset for All initiative our students can learn to work through difficult situations and translate challenges into success.”

Mindset for All seeks to help develop non-cognitive skills in middle school students using the free, evidence-based growth mindset materials available in the PERTS Mindset Kit ( The program will focus on training teachers and parents, and using their feedback to improve these free resources. The efficacy of this approach with high-need populations is especially important as it may contribute to closing the achievement gap between low-income students of color and their more affluent peers.

Oscar E. Cruz, President of Families In Schools, stated, “Research continues to show that when schools partner with parents, student academic improvement increases rapidly.” Families In Schools will contribute to this body of research by assessing the added value of implementing complementary strategies both at home and in the classroom. As Mr. Cruz said, “FIS will bring our wide array of expertise and programs to align support systems at home with classroom instruction, in order to support the development of a growth mindset in students.”

To learn more about this work or explore partnerships with Families In Schools, please contact Carolina Hernandez-Malone, Director of Programs, at


For fifteen years, Families In Schools (FIS) has provided capacity building to schools and organizations to effectively empower and engage parents in supporting their child’s education. Currently, FIS partners with over 400 schools and organizations state and nationwide to help families fulfill their role as their child’s first teacher.

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