Rocketship Education is a charter school organization changing the way children in disadvantaged communities learn. There has long been an understanding that children in wealthy communities generally outperform students from poorer neighborhoods. Rocketship Education is working to correct that discrepancy. They are combining the concept of teaching children along with fully engaging the children’s parents and knowing the environment they live in.
By understanding these things and involving the parents so completely in the child’s learning Rocketship is building the environment needed for any child to successfully learn. Teachers go to the child’s home to meet the parents before the school year begins. By doing this the teacher learns more about the students learning environment, such as his home life and the support he may or may not receive from his parents. This visit alone helps bring the parent into the students learning experience and forges a bond for future interactions.
Rocketship Education is realizing the power of school and parent relationships. They know that parents that get involved in their child’s education leads to greater student learning success. Rocketship goes so far that they have the parents name the school, they help create an enrichment program for the school and they help make a mission statement for the school.
The educational performance of students who attend Rocketship’s charter schools is often two grade levels higher than their counterparts in traditional schools. Their students have very high scores in English language arts and mathematics. Rocketship also has a very high student retention rate of 90%. If students stay in school, they have the best chance of getting the education they need to graduate from secondary schools and go on to college.
Rocketship is showing other schools and communities how working with the family can benefit everyone, especially the child. Recently Rocketship was instrumental in helping families struck by disaster in the San Jose flooding. The students’ families were given funds to help them with rent deposits, repairs of their homes and to buy other important items for the home. This support helped families see the school as an important part of their lives, not just to teach the children, but to support the child’s family. When all schools accept that family is an important part of a child’s education potential, they like Rocketship Education will be including the family in any education goals.