The first Rocketship School was established ten years ago in the basement of a church in California. Today, the school has made a significant impact in the surrounding communities and is still working towards offering better services to the communities. The school has learned a lot of valuable lessons in the last ten years as discussed below.
The school realized that it made headlines for being among the pioneers of personalized learning. Rocketship schools strongly advocate for the purposeful integration of technology in supporting learning. However, personalized learning means a clear understanding of each of the students’ unique needs and interests, and integrating technology to meet them. Rocketship schools recognize that by changing the dynamics from the typical teacher in the classroom to a teacher in the student’s home, stronger relationships are developed, and teachers learn how best to serve each student.
Rocketship’s primary focus is on elementary education, and they have received a lot of insights on the need to build a k-12 system. However, they are careful to take note of the difference between creating a parallel system and trying to transform the existing public school system. They have so far learned that they need to put in more energy to create demand first before focusing on expansion.
Rocketship has built a parent leadership program with the goal of honoring the power of parents. The school recognizes that parents need to have the power to hold school leaders accountable and demand political attention. The school encourages parents to advocate for quality high schools. Within the last ten years, they have observed the movement become a success. An example is Karen Martinez, a Rocketship parent who has helped to open middle and high schools of remarkably high quality.
In the early years, Rocketship faced a challenge when it came to serving the students with special needs as it focused on compliance. Today, they have developed a program that works for the students with disabilities and allows them to attend 80% of regular classes.
Rocketship is a network charter of public schools that allows children from low-income families to get excellent education. The charter of school believes more in real transformation of schools rather than only offering education and seeks to empower the entire community.