In February, when Coyote Creek flooded and caused major damage to a multitude of homes in the San Jose area, many families were left wondering just how to begin rebuilding. However, a helping hand was provided from an organization that many hadn’t considered. Rocketship Education, a unique type of charter school focusing their resources on low income areas, who founded their initial school in 2007 in San Jose, raised over $60,000 for thirty Rocketship families whose lives had been devastated by the flooding. This act of community support mirrors Rocketship Education’s moral construct, and shows that the organization is in recognition of something many education providers leave unnoticed; that a student’s family, and life outside of the classroom, is perhaps the greatest opportunity to teach from.
With schools in three states and Washington D.C., Rocketship Education have built an education organization founded upon community, parent, and teacher engagement, along with the mission of bringing education to those who may not have had the opportunity before. Parent involvement plays a role in Rocketship’s education model in a way that no other school has ever provided. Parents of Rocketeers, the school’s students, name their school, help create the schools programs, help develop a unique and individualized core value for the school, and even go so far as to assist in the selection and hiring of teachers and administration. This parent involvement has resulted in a tightly cohesive local education center, whose support extends beyond education in the traditional sense.
In the areas where Rocketship Education has set up charter schools, a new environment of community enhanced education has grown. The school’s unique model and parent focused approach have proven so successful that in 2015, a group of four hundred parents successfully campaigned to bring the charter program to Redwood City, California. Rocketeers have proven the effectiveness of the focus on community in education, with high test scores that continue year after year from all of Rocketship’s locations. A focus on their surrounding community, the students they teach, and with continuing education outside of the classroom, Rocketship Education are providing children with real life teaching moments like no other education model has before.