Rocketship Expanding Charter School 2018-19

Charter School


The charter Rocketship school in Redwood, CA will find a new home at 860 Charter Street. The new location is in an industrial area. It will help Rocket Education add programs and increase the number of students to 480.

This larger space for the K-5 school will help teachers prepare students for college with a high quality education. The 23,000 square foot warehouse will be converted into the school design that Rocketship Education requested.

This school will have classrooms, offices, and a cafeteria. There will be technology and tutoring center that opens up to the outdoor assembly area. There will be a 9000 sq. ft. play area, small soccer field and half a basketball court too.

The walls in the building will be reconstructed adding skylights and new windows to let in more light. New plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems will be installed. It will be an eco-friendly school for students. About 85% of the students live within three quarter miles of the Redwood City school. There are other schools in the area.

The staff is working on a car pool program for student transportation involving parents and teachers. They plan to stagger student pickups and drop offs so traffic does not back up or become congested near the charter school in Redwood City.

Rocketship Education focuses on developing parent and teacher relationships in all its schools. They realize that parent involvement is the key to the student’s success. Parents help to shape the school’s enrichment programs in art, music, gardening and other activities that teaches creativity and critical thinking.

Rocketship Education teachers visit students homes before the year begins to learn more about them. This helps them develop strong ties with the families they teach. Their students out perform other school in ELA and math testing due to their innovative programs. They have a high retention rate of 90%. Parent involvement is a key to their success.

Families Help Hire Teachers in Washington, D.C. Rocketship Education Charter School

Charter School

Parental involvement is one of the core guiding principles of the Rocketship Education charter schools philosophy. The idea of parental involvement in the hiring of teachers is nothing new; the Los Angeles Unified School District tried the idea in the ‘90s. However, this is the first time the parents of these Washington, D.C. children have been encouraged to actively participate in the teacher hiring process.

The Washington, D.C. school opened for its first semester in the autumn of 2016. Parents were allowed to participate in teacher job interviews months before the start of the school’s first semester. Groups of 3-6 families sat in on job interviews, and larger groups of parents were invited to community meetings in which they were welcomed to share feedback with school administrators.

One benefit of this style of teacher hiring is that it allows teachers to get to know the community and some of the parents they will potentially be working with. For some teachers, this intimacy with the families of their potential students is too much. Some leave the interviews deciding the school is not right for them.

Washington D.C. is the site of one of many Rocketship Education charter schools around the U.S. Rocketship Education, a nonprofit charter school network, is based in Redwood City, California. As of 2017, the company operated 16 schools, including schools in Redwood City, Concord, and San Jose, California. Its other member schools are located in Washington D.C., Nashville (TN), and Milwaukee (WI).

Another core guiding principle of the non-profit Rocketship Education model is blended learning. This teaching style incorporates adaptive software into the classroom to help improve individual student performance throughout the school year. It allows teachers to give each student individualized instruction that shores up the student’s academic weaknesses and utilizes the student’s academic strengths.

Rocketship Education (RSED) was founded by Preston Smith and John Danner in 2007. Smith has said about parental involvement in the teacher hiring process, “Their [families’] input matters. I can’t recall a time where the parents and I or the school leaders were in disagreement.”