Rocketship Education-Expanding Parent Participation
Rocketship Education is a network of public charter schools. This network is non-profit and works with parents and teachers to create quality public schools. Rocketship Education is based out of San Jose, California. The network strives to put children from San Jose’s low income community on the path to college. Rocketship Education launched its first school in 2007 and it now has 13 different schools. The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has stated that students, who are living in poverty in San Jose, are gaining more than a month of additional learning for every year that he/she attends the charter school. At Rocketship Education, parents get to participate in choosing a teacher who will be hired months before the classes begin. Parents are beginning to participate in the job interviews for the teachers starting at the first Washington D.C. location. Preston Smith, executive officer and co-founder of Rocketship Education, stated that parent participation has always been the core of the program. The network has received a lot of their attention from their blended learning style. Parents participate in the interview process in some way at every location. There are times where three to six families at each location will go through training to do panel interviews. Every Rocketship Education location has five core values. These values include: respect, empathy, responsibility, and persistence. The fifth core value is decided on by parents and teachers. That value is intended to represent the schools character and vision. Most of the programs that are taught at the schools are instructional. Therefore, it includes social-emotional learning that is taught about three times a week. This program is intended to give students opportunities to establish relationships and make responsible decisions on a day-to-day basis. Rocketship Education strives to create a positive school experience for students.