Rocketship Schools Named Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students

by Beyond Editorial Staff
The accolades keep rolling in for our Rocketeers! In the fall, Innovate Public Schools released their 2016 report titled “Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students.” Their findings show that for the third year in a row, the majority of Rocketship schools made their lists for top schools closing the achievement gap. Six Rocketship schools in San Jose made at least one list of top schools getting results for low-income Latino or African-American students. In math results for low-income Latino students, six Rocketship schools made the list of the top 18 schools, the most of any district or charter management organization. We are so proud of our Rocketeers who are beating the odds and getting on the path to college and career. This report is just one of many testaments to the results our Rocketeers achieve through their hard work and dedication.
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Kindergartners Conquering Personalized “Quests” Learn To Love Reading

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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Frustrated, Curious, Optimistic: How Teaching Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Students & Teachers

by Alyssa Warren
Senior Associate, Rocketship Schools Team
Aiden and I started the year off strong. At our home visit before the school year had started, we played “Chutes and Ladders” and ate ice cream and he showed me all of his books, reading the title of every single one. He was a new first grader, excited to start at a new school with uniforms, multiple teachers, dancing, and his big brother across the hall. Aiden was a quick learner, eager to participate, and always winning new friends at recess with his bright eyes, wide smile, and silly jokes. Continue reading
Rocketeers demonstrate teamwork and friendship after a match.

They Shoot, They Score: Rocketship’s Annual Special Olympics

by Emma Brady
Associate Director, Integrated Special Education

Goooooooal! Last Friday’s Special Olympics soccer tournament was a day sure to be remembered by many.  Cheers erupted from all sides of the soccer fields while students raced past family, friends and teachers on the sidelines to make that coveted goal for their school team. This tournament marked Rocketship’s second partnership with the Special Olympics.

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Hour of code Rocketship Education

Coding for the Future: Hour of Code

by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Discovery Prep

Next week, Rocketeers will be celebrating Computer Science Education Week by joining in the “Hour of Code,” an international coding educational event. With this early introduction to coding, young Rocketeers can nurture their problem-solving and logic skills and express their creativity. Our students will become the future of medicine, politics, law and education. A solid STEM foundation will help them continue on a college-bound path and open up doors to careers in the sciences. Continue reading

Mu Phi Gamma Fraternity - men

Boys to Men: Mu Phi Gamma Fraternity

by Cameron Frazier
Teacher, Nashville Northeast Elementary

Great schools do more than teach kids how to read and write. They teach kids to engage, think critically and lead. When I first began teaching, I realized many of boys had room to improve both their academic and leadership skills. So, in October of 2012, I partnered with two colleagues at Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida to unite the male population at our school. We envisioned a program that would help build the boys in our school into young men. Modeled after a fraternity, we focused on the pillars of scholarship, brotherhood and leadership. When I began teaching at Nashville Northeast Elementary in 2015, I extended the organization and created the Beta Chapter. I’m proud to share Mu Phi Gamma has already made an impression on our campus. Currently the Beta Chapter is impacting  18 young men. The Mu Phi Gamma Rocketeers participate in community service projects, tutoring, brotherhood gatherings, awareness seminars and have even formed a step dance group.

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Rocketship Education Love of Reading

December is Love of Reading Month!

by Brooke Pfaff
Associate Director of Humanities

If you asked me to name three of my favorite things, it would be challenging, maybe even impossible. However if you let me cheat a little, I would simply say books. Please just don’t make me say which three. That wouldn’t be fair to the others.

Growing up, my family had a Tuesday routine. Every week, for two hours, I felt like the luckiest girl. Continue reading


A Look into our Personalized Learning Toolbox

by Stephen Pham
Senior Associate, Personalized Learning

Here at Rocketship, we strive to deliver personalized instruction to our Rocketeers, giving them the right level of academic support right when they need it. By strategically leveraging teacher-led instruction, in-class activities, small-group instruction and our suite of blended learning programs, we do our best to balance the modalities of learning and give every student the academic supports they need.

Zooming into our blended learning programs, you’ll find that we don’t just depend on one online program to meet all of the needs of our students. Rather, we utilize a suite of programs – our personalized learning toolbox. After putting these programs through methodical pilots, assessing their benefits based on a disciplined rubric and ensuring each fits into our suite, we’ve put together a group of programs that support our instructional model. Below, you’ll find an infographic that compares our online learning programs side-by-side and forms our comprehensive suite.

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A (Not-So-Secret) Formula for Incredible Student Growth

by Anna Layden
Teacher, Southside Community Prep

When one of my students, Sarah*, achieved the most growth in her grade, I wasn’t surprised. Her incredible drive to work hard always stood out; for a kindergartner, that level of dedication was unique for her. She came in wanting to learn and improve.

When Sarah also achieved one of the highest overall scorers on her middle and end of the school year assessments, I was in awe. Her success was a testament to how personalized learning, the right school environment and a dedicated team of educators can make an extraordinary difference in a child’s learning. Continue reading

Personalized Learning at Rocketship Education

Rocketship’s Personalized Learning Pilots for 2015 – 16

by Stephen Pham
Senior Associate, Personalized Learning

To eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime, Rocketship continues to rethink what elementary schools could look and feel like. We continue to innovate and further personalize the learning experience for our Rocketeers, whether it’s whole-class instruction or individualized lessons using technology. Over the last eight years, our approach has evolved and this year is no different. Rocketship’s personalized learning team will pilot a number of programs to further refine our approach to meet the unique needs of each student. Our scientifically designed pilots will range from small ones testing specific areas to larger ones exploring large questions and critical ideas. Below, I describe a few of the primary pilots we’re planning. Though we’re still in the development stages, we’re excited to share our vision for what personalized learning can become at our schools. Continue reading

Rocketship Education Tech

Getting Started with Blended Learning

by Stephen Pham
Senior Associate, Personalized Learning

The beginning of the school year is always full of excitement and new things: new starts, new classes, new students and new opportunities. After a restful summer break, chances are you’re jumping into the school year ready to try some new teaching strategies. Leveraging technology may be one of those strategies to push beyond differentiation and better personalize learning for your students. But before you dive deeply into the world of edtech tools and adaptive learning programs, make sure you spend enough time setting up for a culture where students are authentically invested in their learning. Continue reading

Rocketship We Are Rocketeers

We are Rocketeers

by Ximena Valverde-Betancourt, Anjana Aravindakshan, Corina Carillo, Karla Barboza and Bryana Murillo
Fifth Grade Students, Los Sueños Academy

We are Rocketeers because we believe in empathy and community. We have been at Rocketship Los Sueños Academy for five years and we can honestly say they have been extraordinary. Despite our different background experiences, our teachers at RLS taught us being different is not only interesting: it makes us special.

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