What do you get when you mix low income families and poor school options? You get Rocketship Charter Schools. Rocketship is a network of charter schools that are open to children through fifth grade from kindergarten. They are successful because they learn from everything around them. They understand the importance of change and how their services improve through change.
What started out as a charter school in the basement of an old church in San Jose, California, Rocketship has expanded to help many new students. In the 10 years that they have been helping students and families, Rocketship has expanded to include children of all races, backgrounds and creed. In the ten years, Rocketship has learned a number of important lessons, including these:
First, to be able to change the system, you have to bring in more demands. They know and understand the importance of their teachings and how it helps children through the fifth grade and even though many parents, funders and communities wish that they would expand to help the older kids, Rocketship knows that this would be detrimental to the learning of the students. By expanding, they lose the focus on the younger generation and their learning would suffer from it.
Secondly, bringing power back to parents is key in how children learn. It is important for the families of the students to be empowered in their children’s schooling. Because the school is focused on the younger generations, this means that parents are required to be engaging in their children’s education. It also means that they can advocate for their children.
Rocketship believes that all children should be entitled to great educations and for this reason, they strive to work and make better their teaching experiences. They know and understand the importance of children and how their education impacts their entire life. For this reason, Rocketship works to maintain the level of schooling they offer. The believe by including the community in how the school operates, it helps to bring the school and communities closer which helps the students in the end. That is what makes Rocketship so special.