A Commitment to Rocketship Alum Rock

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by Alicia Ross
National Director of Parent Leadership

On May 8, 2014 the Alum Rock Union School Board voted on Rocketship’s charter petition for Rocketship Alum Rock (also know as Rocketship Jackson). Over 150 Rocketship parents attended the meeting and spoke powerfully in favor of passing the charter and their right to school choice. Rocketship was hopeful that we could build a new partnership with Alum Rock in opening the school. Unfortunately, the Board denied our charter application by a 3 to 2 vote.

Regardless of last night's outcome, our community has the power to stay positive and advocate for all kids to have access to a great education. Rocketship is committed to opening this school for the 400 enrolled families who want a high-quality option for their kids in the fall. Our next step is to appeal Alum Rock’s decision by bringing our charter application to the Santa Clara County School Board. We are optimistic about building on our partnership with the County and working with them to open Rocketship Alum Rock. Stay tuned for the dates of the hearing and vote at the County in May and June.

Regardless of last night’s outcome, our community has the power to stay positive and advocate for all kids to have access to a great education.

Thank you to all of the teachers, leaders, staff, and families who weathered the long ARUSD board meetings to stand up for Rocketship Alum Rock.

A huge thank you to Trustees Karen Martinez (parentsforkarenmartinez@gmail.com) and Frank Chavez (frank.chavez@arusd.org) who voted in support of Rocketship Alum Rock and spoke passionately in favor of school choice for all parents, regardless of income. Please send Trustee Martinez and Trustee Chavez a thank you email for their courageous leadership for Alum Rock families.

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Alicia grew up in Anaheim, but has lived in the Bay Area and Sacramento for the last 16 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Santa Clara University and a Master of Liberal Arts in Spirituality from Naropa University. Alicia worked in the field of community organizing with the PICO National Network for the last decade. She served as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT) for six years, where she expanded ACT’s “Stand Together Campaign” to decrease youth violence by helping to spearhead the creation of a local parcel tax campaign to generate resources for youth jobs and the piloting of the Ceasefire Strategy to reduce gang violence in Sacramento. Prior to this, Alicia was a community organizer with People Acting in Community Together (PACT) in San Jose, where she was extensively involved in education reform efforts, helping to create new small, autonomous public schools and advocate for increased parent participation in district decisions. Alicia led a successful parent organizing effort to launch the first ACE Charter Middle School in the Alum Rock Union School District. Outside of her work with Rocketship, Alicia enjoys vegetarian cooking, exploring spirituality, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends.  

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