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Rocketship Ranks in The Top 10% on California State Assessment

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO

The results are in!  I am proud to report that once again, our Rocketeers across the Bay Area are beating the odds in both math and English Language Arts!

On the 2015-16 California state assessment, Rocketship’s Bay Area network of 10 schools ranked in the top 10% in both math and English Language Arts among all elementary school districts serving a similar student population across the state.

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First Day of School in Pictures for the 2016-2017 School Year

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by BEYOND Editorial Team

School started for our Rocketeers in Nashville, Milwaukee, DC and the Bay Area just a few weeks ago and we got some incredible pictures from our families! Though we can’t share all of them, below is a smattering of pictures of our Rocketeers getting excited for school, walking into their classes, or enjoying Launch.

Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Please keep them coming – we want to follow your Rocketeers’ success all year round!

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The Conversation on Race Our Nation Needs Happens in Classrooms Everyday

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO, Rocketship Education

Every August, I visit all of our schools across the country to meet with our teams, listen to their vision for the year ahead, and celebrate the start of a new school year with our Rocketeers and families. My annual back-to-school road trip is one of my favorite moments of the school year. But this year, my tour took on a different tone. The tragic events this summer in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Dallas, Orlando and Milwaukee brought a new sense of urgency to our start of school conversations.

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United We Learn

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by Jason Egly
Teacher, Rocketship United Academy

Egypt

Kenya

Somalia

Mexico

Honduras

El Salvador

Venezuela

Puerto Rico

USA

Is this about the Olympics?

No. It’s a list of the homelands proudly represented by the students in my two fourth grade Humanities classes at Rocketship United Academy (RUA) in Nashville. Continue reading

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Reconstructing Beauty: Empowering Our Girls for a Better Future

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut I learned the value of education early on. My mother was a workaholic providing for a family of seven and carried herself with strength and poise. Life at home was difficult at times, so I became immersed in school and extracurricular activities. Though involved in many organizations at school, I was still harassed for being African American, athletic, religious and just for being a girl. I was constantly teased about my hair. There were times in high school where I felt insecure about my physical appearance and capabilities. This motivated me to find my inner strength. I needed to become the Queen I was encouraging my friends to be.

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Kindergartners Conquering Personalized “Quests” Learn To Love Reading

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by Lauren Berry
Kindergarten Teacher, Rocketship Redwood City Prep

Anyone who’s worked to teach kindergarteners how to read knows that it can be a slippery challenge. Their squirmy bodies are full of energy, which can make it difficult for them to sit still through reading instruction, let alone through an entire text that they’re still struggling to understand.

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This Nashville Teacher and Dad Is Living Proof of the Importance of School Choice

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by BEYOND Editorial Team, Bay Area

In May, Education Post featured the story of one of our new Rocketeers, Jason Egly. Jason has been a teacher for 6 years and starting next month will teach at Rocketship United Academy in Nashville. But Jason is not just an educator, he is a parent of three kids in public school.

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5 Books for Boosting Classroom Leadership Skills

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Program Specialist

Students aren’t the only ones who are enjoying the summer season. Teachers, too, deserve this well-earned break to visit the beach, take in a trip or binge watch their favorite series on Netflix. Some teachers, though, will find that summer is an excellent time to own their own professional development through various workshops, training or even through resources at the local library. Here are five books that we recommend to kick off teachers’ summer reading: Continue reading

Rocketship Los Dichos Class

Los Dichos: Values, Partnership and Cultural Identity in the Classroom

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by Lorena Romero and Lety Gomez
Rocketship Parents, Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep

 If we want our kids to be lifelong readers, we as parents must read to them, with them and around them. Why not take this approach into the classroom? To help Rocketeers learn to love reading, many Rocketship parents, including us, participate in the Los Dichos Program through Project Cornerstone, an initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley. Los Dichos is a literature-based program emphasizing stories of Latino origin that not only benefits the students, but also benefits the parents.

The Los Dichos program helps parents, especially those parents who speak Spanish as their primary language, to be involved in their children’s education and instill a positive cultural identity. We begin by taking an introductory course on developmental assets by a Project Cornerstone staff. We meet monthly as a group to review and discuss lesson plans and activities before we go into the classroom.

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Rocketship Education

Our Response to NPR “Hit Piece”

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO, Rocketship Education

Last Friday, NPR’s Education blog published what many are calling a “hit piece” on Rocketship Education. As co-founder and CEO, I am used to anti-charter attacks like this. But my staff and parents are not. They flooded my inbox over the weekend with outrage over the voices missing from this story. As for the voices included in the story, 6 of the 9 named Rocketship sources contacted me to express their frustration over how NPR’s blogger mischaracterized their comments.

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