At Rocketship, we focus on rethinking elementary school because we believe a solid foundation in the early years is critical to success in the future. As we start this new year, many of our families are beginning to think about the next steps in their Rocketeer’s education. Middle school is a critical time, with challenges ranging from the academic to the social and emotional arising as students navigate this change. It is a time of great transition and often where the achievement gap between students widens. We are committed to helping our families navigate through this transition equipped to make the right choices for their children.
Appointed by President Obama, Secretary King is an inspiring and proven leader in our movement to close the achievement gap. He began his career as a high school teacher and went on to co-found Roxbury Preparatory Charter School which became one of the highest-performing urban middle schools in Massachusetts, closing the racial achievement gap, and outperforming schools in Boston’s affluent suburbs. Roxbury Prep later joined Uncommon Schools, where Secretary King served as managing director before becoming Commissioner of Education for the State of New York.
Secretary King knows what it takes to run a high-performing public school network in underserved communities. As we walked the halls of Rising Stars he told me he’s heard great things about Rocketship but wanted to see for himself what is driving our impressive performance.
Rocketship is celebrating Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11) this month by hosting the global learning movement, Hour of Code, in our classrooms for a second year. Last year we noticed that our students went from video gamers to video game designers, and discovering algorithms was just as exciting as discovering cheat codes to defeat virtual opponents. Rocketship is continuously integrating enriching programs into our students’ learning to gain both exposure and opportunities for our communities. We are excited to host the event again this year, and want to continue to give our students the tools they need to take tech advancement to the next level and represent their communities at the forefront of the coding movement.
I can still remember the day my coach suggested I should apply to be in Rocketship’s Rising Leaders program. I was excited by the challenge and the opportunity to grow professionally. As a member of the Rising Leaders cohort 15-16, I have grown professionally by being honest about my development areas, being pushed out of my comfort zone and sharing openly with those in my cohort. Sitting in a room with other highly effective teachers who want to grow and learn as a professional inspires me.
Rising Leaders is a leadership development program that is offered to teachers at Rocketship who are interested in growing their adult management skills and have taught for more than two years. The program is designed both for teachers who want to grow their leadership in the classroom or begin the transition into school leadership. We meet once a month with our cohort, which is composed of about 20 teachers across the network.
Me llamo Alexandra Martinez y soy un padre líder de Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep. El jueves, 27 de Octubre, padres de Rocketship Education, Voices College Bound Language Academies, Alpha Public Schools y otras escuelas chárter se unieron para acoger a los candidatos de la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Santa Clara y también de la Asamblea del Distrito 27 de California en el 2016 Foro de Candidatos. Mas de 1.300 miembros de la comunidad asistieron para abogar para la educación y para escuchar los puntos de vista de los candidatos sobre problemas que afectan nuestras comunidades como recursos para inmigrantes, libre elección de escuelas y vivienda.
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On Friday September 30th, the Rocketship Bay Area community gathered at our newest San Jose school, Rocketship Rising Stars Academy. Located at 3167 Senter Road in South San Jose, Rising Stars is our 10th school in San Jose and one of 12 in the greater Bay Area.
The ribbon-cutting brought together Rocketship students, parents, teachers, national staff, board members, supporters, and community members to celebrate this new school and their focus on Rising Stars’ fifth core value of advocacy.
When we launched Rocketship ten years ago, we decided to focus exclusively on elementary school. We believed that if we helped our Rocketeers build a solid foundation in those early years, they would thrive in middle school, high school and beyond.
But those tween years are tough. Navigating new social codes can wreak havoc on a student’s self-esteem. And learning how to manage a radical shift in academic independence takes time to develop. There’s no doubt that middle school is one of the most challenging transitions in a student’s academic journey.
So we decided it was time to examine how our Rocketeer alumni perform in middle school. We engaged SRI International, an independent nonprofit research center, to conduct a three-year study on the performance of our Rocketeers in middle school. This study followed nearly 2,000 students in seven San Jose middle schools with high concentrations of Rocketship graduates. SRI rigorously compared academic performance, socio-emotional skills, and student confidence navigating the middle school transition between Rocketeer alumni and their peers in middle school.
The results are in. Rocketeers are a year ahead of their classmates in math and reading after the first and second years of middle school.
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El Jueves 27 de Octubre será un día especial para muchos de nuestros padres en la comunidad de San José. Esta fecha marca el 2016 Foro de Candidatos, un evento organizado enteramente por padres líderes. Este dedicado grupo de padres de Rocketship, KIIP, Alpha y Voices llevan seis meses planeando y promocionando este foro para crear un espacio donde la comunidad pueda escuchar las plataformas de los candidatos locales. Han retransmitido por la radio, distribuido folletos y llamado a cientos de familias, todo para garantizar que la voz de su comunidad sea presente e escuchada.
¡El Mes de la Herencia Hispana se inició oficialmente el 15 de Septiembre, y nuestros “Rocketeers” han estado celebrando! Aquí en Rocketship rendimos tributo a la diversidad cultural durante todo el año, pero este mes nuestros estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de vestirse, divertirse, y reconocer algo de la gran historia, cultura, y tradición de la diversa cultural hispana.
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.