What started as an educational program among some charter schools in California has now become on of the most sought after programs for high-quality education. Rocketship Education is built on the belief that every child can succeed. This is an important philosophy to have when meeting the needs of students who come from low-income backgrounds. Not only have the charter schools within the Rocketship network been able to bring high-quality education to students who sometimes live below the poverty level, but they have helped them to create brighter futures. After only their first year of operation, the students in these charter schools have surpassed the math and reading skills of their peers who attend schools outside the Rocketship network.
The unique dynamic of the Rocketship program is what allows it to create better connections between teachers, parents and students. Teachers are often screened by the parents of students attending the charter school they wish to be employed at. In some cases, parents will believe the attitude or personal goals of a qualified teacher are not in keeping with the objectives they want for their children. By allowing parents to have input into what type of educators will teach their children, the educational staff has become more aligned to the central goals of the program. Rocketship Education also encourages parents to take an active role within their communities to bring about the type of educational changes they would like to see all students receive.
The success of the Rocketship program is evident in the futures of the students who were enrolled at the beginning of the network’s launch. Many of these students have not only graduated from high school, but have also become enrolled in college. This evidence has spurred parents in communities outside the state of California to call for an increase in the number of Rocketship charter schools in their area. Parents value the input they have within the school’s program, as do the educators and students. A recent project sponsored by the Rocketship network showcased the gratitude students felt for their teachers with simple statements written on sheets of paper.
Rocketship Education has been in the game for the past one decade, and in the recent past, the distinguished institution shared many lessons that they managed to learn from the one-decade-period. First, being a pioneer of personalized learning, Rocketship indicated that personalized learning begins at home, a reason why they still hold the annual home visits. According to the school, the tours provide a stronger link with the families hence understanding the needs of each student in detail.
Rocketship schools focus on elementary education. On the other hand, many parents, partners, and sponsors feel that the school should introduce a K-12 system. While on the contrary, the school seems the move is so tempting when viewed from the perspective of the rocketeers. On this, Rocketship learned that in the education sector, one has to create a demand before deciding to improve the system.
Thirdly, the prominent school learnt how honoring the power of parents can bear more fruits to the education sector as a whole. The parent leadership has over time been able to practice their powers and that, has seen the likes of Karen Martinez open high-quality middle and high schools. Also, in terms of integration and the school performances, Rocketship learnt that institutions should avoid concentrating on integrating the students but instead should focus on the teachers as they are crucial when it comes to creating a culturally responsive school. Not long ago, John Danner enrolled his two kids to the institution, a move that many would insist that he was trying to make a point but according to him he just did what any responsible parent would do, take his kids to a good school.
Also, the school learnt the need to ensure that the meaningful inclusion benefits all kids and that’s why the students with disabilities spend most of their day in general classrooms, a move that was earlier viewed as imperfect. According to the institution, the program helps all the students regardless of their abilities discover their full potentials. On their ten lessons learnt, Rocketship Education also learnt it is always early to quit on learning new ideas after the adaptation of the flex model which had failed in many schools yet they are stronger for it.
Over time, Rocketship Education has been known for their unique hiring tactics which entail seeking educators who match their mindsets. The school learnt the lesson after noting that not all tutors are willing to handle weekly teachings as they were exhausted hence a need to change and that could only happen if they picked qualified personnel who match their mindset.
Also, the successful institution learnt they would never achieve all the success they celebrate today were it not for the few stakeholders and partners that came into play. Therefore, for a better future, Rocketship Education continues to build strong bonds with their partners. Lastly, the institution learnt that the fact that they are always proud to be a public school and this motivates them to continue providing the community with an education system that surpasses that of the private institutions.
About Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education is a philanthropic organization that provides quality elementary charter schools particularly to the low-income earners. The network is generally focused on areas that have limited or little access to the schools. The non-profit organization strongly believes that the schools do more than educate the student, but also boost teachers, and engage parents while transforming the community.
The group was launched in 2006 by John Danner and Preston Smith. The schools are headquartered in Redwood City, California during its spread over the San Jose region. According to stats, in 2012, the network had five schools, which had about 450 students each. Today, the system manages over 16 schools spread over Redwood City, California, Nashville, Washington DC, as well as Milwaukee.