Ten years ago, Rocketship opened its first school in a church basement located in San Jose, California. Currently, it has grown into a network of charter schools that have made a tremendous impact in the communities it serves. However, a decade down the line, Rocketship still sees itself as a work in progress since it is still learning how to serve the communities and students better. With this experience comes several important lessons as follows:
- Acknowledging the power of Parents
Since Rocketship schools only provide elementary education, parents must organize, engage and advocate for high-quality high and middle schools. During the past decade, the network has witnessed such a movement take shape in San Jose with Rocketship parents such as Karen Martinez helping to open high-quality schools.
- Personalized Learning begins at Home
The network is a pioneer of personalized learning and staunch supporter for the integration of technology to support learning. Nonetheless, Rocketship believes that personalized learning goes beyond technology. In fact, it entails an in-depth understanding of the distinct interests and needs of each family and student.
- Defining your Mindset
Although creating a culture of continuous learning is ideal, it does not favor everybody since not all educators can handle having a coach in class on a weekly basis. For this reason, Rocketship finds educators who have a mindset that complements the network’s model.
Rocketship Education operates as a non-profit network made up of public charter schools that serve disadvantaged communities countrywide. John Danner and Preston Smith are the brains behind the inception of the network in 2006. The mission behind the formation of Rocketship was to get rid of the achievement gap through creating a sustainable and scalable school model, which drives student achievement in marginalized communities around the nation.
All Rocketship charter schools aim and strive to develop excellent educators, propel student potential, and collaborate with parents who allow high-quality public schools to flourish in their community. For this reason, the success of this non-profit network is dependent on various stakeholders like teachers, parents, students and community organizations who all work together to diversify the future for low-income communities around the country.