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

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

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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

Telemundo Toma un Vistazo a Rocketship

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by Beyond Editorial Team
Bay Area

Nuestras puertas están siempre abiertas en Rocketship, donde damos la bienvenida a las familias, visitantes e invitados especiales durante todo el día, todos los días. El 13 de abril, le dimos la bienvenida a Telemundo para transmitir su programa de noticias en vivo  en una de nuestras escuelas. En el transcurso de la hora, Telemundo destacó tres programas que hacen Rocketship Discovery Prep una escuela de mejor desempeño para los estudiantes en el este de San José. En caso de que no lo pudo verlo e en vivo a las 6:00 am el 13 de abril, estamos compartiendo cada uno de esos segmentos aquí.

Creating Equity in the ‘Land of Opportunity’

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO, Rocketship Education
According to a fascinating new article in the Atlantic Monthly, San Jose used to be a launching pad for the American dream, a place where immigrant families gathered, drawn by affordable houses and abundant economic opportunity, and worked together to help their children succeed. The article cites a landmark study released in 2014 by the economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues at Harvard University and University of California – Berkeley, which showed that “a child born in the early 1980s into a low-income family in San Jose had a 12.9 percent chance of becoming a high earner as an adult” which gave those children a better shot at prosperity than their parents, and put the city’s children in a better position than even those from progressive cities like Boston and on par with affluent countries like Denmark and Canada.

Landing: A Fun Friday with Teachers and Staff

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by Clayton Tran
Student, Rocketship Spark Academy

Every Friday, Rocketeers gather outside on Rocketship Spark’s blacktop to dance their hearts out and celebrate the end of the week at Landing. Landing is when students have a fun time with teachers by dancing to songs like “Happy” and more. It teaches us how to have a fun last day of the week with students, teachers and family.

“It is so much fun because we get to dance, and have a time for dancing with our friends,” said second grader Brooklee Tran.  Continue reading

MLK: A Guide to Teaching Tolerance

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Program Specialist
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is around the corner, presenting an opportunity to teach students about character alongside an important time in American history. While teaching King’s lessons of tolerance and respect are lifelong ones, beginning or continuing these conversations in the classroom can be a challenging yet important opportunity. Continue reading

Boys to Men: Mu Phi Gamma Fraternity

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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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Remember All of the Veterans – By Every Definition

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Discovery Prep

Veterans Day is a time where we remember those who sacrifice their lives for the safety and livelihood of our country. It is also a time I like to reflect on everyone who dedicates great time and effort to help make daily life in this country peaceful and prosperous, members of the military included. I have always had a deep respect for veterans – in every definition of the word. Continue reading

How to Help Students Unlock their Power & Find Their Voice

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Discovery Prep

There is great power in self-advocacy. Above all skills, this is the one that will drive our student outcomes further than anything else. The ability to ask a clarifying question, risk giving the wrong answer and speak up when something seems unjust empowers students to constantly strive for excellence. A successful and fulfilling future starts with self-advocacy. It encourages students to work and fight relentlessly for what they want and need, whether they’re vying for a spot at a top law school or protesting discriminatory laws in their local government. They have the power to make their dreams a reality. Continue reading

How to Build Engagement Beyond Attention Grabbers

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Discovery Prep

Attention grabbers, songs and chants are tools educators use to capture and keep the attention of students. Sometimes though, this only lasts for a few minutes or moments. Because of this, many educators have grappled with the idea of engaging students in a way that keeps their investment consistent. At Rocketship, one of our core values is responsibility; we want our students to be responsible and accountable for their education. Continue reading