Rocketship Education provides students and parents with something different
There is one characteristic that many charter school networks have in common with traditional public elementary schools within typical districts across the country: a lot of good intentions, but just not enough focus on the right things. While making a big deal about extended school days and years, use of technology, and student uniforms, few charter schools seem to focus on ensuring that parents are well supported to help their children.
However, Rocketship Education is quite different in that it is a network of charter elementary schools that builds parental support and involvement directly into its mission, and its schools practice what they preach.
Parents are considered to be one of the three pillars of Rocketship Education’s model. Recent examples highlight how parents are treated as essential members of these schools and as key parts of the students’ lives.
Recently, at a Rocketship school in San Jose, California, massive flooding wreaked havoc on the families of some of the students there. Instead of just assuming that problems cause by the floods were outside the control of these schools, Rocketship Education stepped in to ensure that there would be stability for the families of their students.
To ensure that quality education was continuously provided to its students both at school and at home, Rocketship Schools partnered with charitable organizations to raise more than $60,000 in support of families impacted by the natural disaster. That money was used to guarantee that members of the community were safe, healthy, and able to continue focusing on student learning.
These are concrete examples of how these charter elementary schools truly deliver on their promise to treat education as a community effort. For parents who have children in Rockership schools or are thinking about trying to enroll their kids, it is enormously helpful for them to see these schools walking the walk. It create a virtuous cycle where parents are then encouraged and even inspired to become all the more involved with the schools and with their children’s education, which further strengthens the schools.
Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education opened its first school in San Jose, but now has many other ones across the Bay Area, in Nashville, in Milwaukee, as well as in Washington, DC. The schools are very different than most traditional K-5 ones in that they have students rotate between different disciplinary blocks each day, which allows for teachers with specific expertise to deliver high-quality instruction. This model better prepares students for secondary education, as well as for college and career.
Rocketship Education’s schools, of course, also explicitly focus on making sure that they educate the whole child. The network’s unusual model has resulted in not only rave reviews from parents, but also in real results indicating that its model does indeed lead to increased student achievement.