The first Rocketship public charter school started about 10 years ago. The school had humble beginnings. Located in the basement of a church, the tiny school in San Jose, California, soon began to grow. Even though the school has existed for approximately a decade, its dedicated leaders continue to look for innovative ways to make improvements. As described in this article on The 74, here is a list of 10 lessons gleaned from experience:
- Personalized Learning Begins in the Child’s Home Environment
Rocketship school is famous for being an early advocate of personalized learning. Rather than a homeschool in which the child’s parents are the exclusive teachers, Rocketship takes a deeper interest in education. The school has a unique approach. A teacher representing the school pays an annual home visit to each enrolled child. Consequently, the school develops a better comprehension of each child’s gifts and needs.
- A Few Words about Personalized Education in the K-12 System
Today, Rocketship school focuses on educating children in elementary school. However, many parents want Rocketship to create a system that also educates high school students. Currently, Rocketship students graduate after completing the fifth grade. The school’s founders have a clear vision. The plan is to educate children and hope that parents will become more equipped to handle the challenges of continuing the educational process.
- Parents Hold the Keys to a Better Education
The founders of Rocketship created a parent leadership program to educate parents about their rights to ask government leaders for excellent public school systems. Since Rocketship does not provide a school for teens, the basic philosophy is that it is up to a child’s parents to press for superior public middle and high schools.
- Teachers Hold the Keys to Providing Children with Sound Educations
Contrary to the position taken by some political leaders, the view at Rocketship is that teachers, rather than integration, make a difference in a child’s education. According to Rocketship, students of a different ethnic background should not need to take buses to other communities for the purpose of getting better educations. The best way to approach the idea of segregation in schools is to hire a diverse group of qualified teachers. A qualified teacher is not merely a person with the right educational background. A public school system, regardless of the neighborhood, needs to have teachers driven by the passion to teach.
- Actions Always Speak Much Louder than Words
Moms and dads want their children to attend outstanding schools. There is no excuse for any school that does not measure up to the best standards. Parents need to set aside their political beliefs and make the right choices for their children. Powerful forces cause positive changes.
- Meaningful Inclusion for Every Child
Students with disabilities pose special challenges for the educational system. Rocketship Education has evolved from complying with the traditional view of separate classrooms to developing a meaningful-inclusion model. Although difficult to put into practice, it is possible to include disabled children within the school community. Disruptions caused by a disabled student, within reason, are tolerated at Rocketship. Every child has the right to learn about his or her special gift or gifts and develop those talents into skills.
- Learning Never Ends
The flex model was a novel approach involving the concept that three superior teachers and one coach should create energetic learning environments. Although some schools benefited from the concept, other schools demonstrated adverse reactions. Quality became a problem because the classroom did not have enough structure for the students. Even though Rocketship discontinued the flex model, the leadership has learned that students benefit from real-time coaches and setting weekly goals. Continuous learning is now a model for Rocketship.
- Rocketship Hires Teachers Who are On the Same Page
Some teachers do not appreciate coaches attending their classrooms. These teachers feel as though the coaches are constantly judging their teaching methods. At Rocketship, leaders strive to find teachers who want to hear positive and negative comments from coaches. These teachers pursue their educational goals for the rest of their lives. They never grow tired of improving their own educations.
- Building an Excellent School Takes Time
In the beginning, Rocketship had several noble goals. However, the leaders quickly understood the complexities of developing a network of public charter schools. Yet, the school’s leaders continue to look for ways to build transparent business relationships with school board and zoning commission members.
- A Free Public School that Closely Mimics a Private School
Parents have mentioned that they first became interested in Rocketship because of the fact that the school was free even though the classrooms were similar to those found in private schools. Nevertheless, the school’s leaders continue to press politicians to insist on stronger public schools featuring excellent teachers. The school system is one of the main driving forces behind the American spirit. Consequently, the name of the school is being changed from Rocketship Education to Rocketship Public Schools.
Rocketship Education consists of a network of public charter schools. The network is a nonprofit organization. The schools within the Rocketship network serve younger children residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods within the United States. Rocketship was founded in 2006. The school’s leaders are dedicated to creating learning environments that encourage students to recognize, and expand, their gifts. Rocketship’s leaders encourage parents to become involved in the school community. The main goal at Rocketship is to eliminate the achievement gap within the public school system.
Now known as Rocketship Publis Schools, the leaders believe that every person has an unlimited potential to expand the mind. The belief is that it is the school’s responsibility to ensure that each student realizes his or her full potential. Every student has the ability to live a purposeful life. At Rocketship Public Schools, students, parents, teachers and leaders communicate about ways to improve the educational standards for low-income communities located in the United States. The primary goal is to encourage each student to strive for excellence.