Rocketship Education Carries On With Its Inspiring Mission

Working diligently to eradicate the achievement gap in underserved communities, Rocketship Education is making significant academic progress throughout the country.

The story of Rocketship Education began with the Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Father Mateo Sheedy in 1999 with his scholarship donation to Santa Clara University.

He was taken aback to learn none of the hundreds of children in his parish met the basic academic requirement of eligibility to attend their hometown college or any other higher level university.

As a result he began a plan that would build up enhanced educational alternatives in the Washington Guadalupe neighborhood of San Jose, California. Two educational entrepreneurs, Preston Smith and John Danner, opened the doors of the first public charter school in 2007.

Today there are 12 Rocketship schools in the San Francisco Bay area; two in Nashville, Tennessee; one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the most recent school opened in Washington, D.C.

A charter school is an independently run public school that functions without some of the regulations that are imposed on public schools. Charter schools, which can differ in design, are held responsible for academic results and for the promises made in their charter.

Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of public elementary charter schools where low-income students for the most part do not have access to excellent schools.

While each Rocketship schedule varies from school to school and grade level to grade level, the student’s day is similar, as students spend most of their day in a traditional classroom setting. Students receive large group instruction as well as small group and team learning and breaks are built into classes. After school programs are available at all Rocketship schools as well.

All schools have made parental involvement an essential factor of their program. Parents can join in on job interviews, volunteer in the classroom or take part in parent advisory committees.

A recent study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University revealed students in San Jose charter schools experienced higher levels of annual growth in math and reading compared to their traditional public school peers.