¡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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
All children have the right to an excellent education. They also have the right to get to and from school each day safely.
At Rocketship, we are continually seeking new ways to engage our students and our campus community.
One tool I have utilized in my classroom is chanting, a mnemonic strategy to help teach key concepts. This practice is especially useful for our English Language Learners (ELLs), who are able to recognize and engage in content by tying vocabulary to hand movements and sound.
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.
I was recently invited to present at the Global Schools Forum. My first instinct was to (politely) pass up the invitation. The forum was largely focused on education in the developing world, which I know very little about. But after further conversations with the forum organizers, I learned that they knew a lot about Rocketship. What’s more, their attendees were eager to learn from our model – and to explore how to hack it to serve communities in some of the poorest places on earth. And while we are squarely focused on eliminating the achievement gap in the United States, I realized that if we can make even a small dent in the global education crisis by inspiring others to learn from and adapt our model, surely it was worth a few days of knowledge-sharing.
What we are all working toward in the United States with education reform is transformative in so many ways, and inspires others across the globe. Case in point: SPARK Schools, a network modeled on Rocketship, which is now demonstrating what is possible for kids and families in South Africa. The Economist recently profiled SPARK Schools and asserted “the most important thing that schools like SPARK can do is nurture aspiration in more South African children than (just) the offspring of the elite.”
I reconnected with SPARK at the forum and asked one of its founders, former Rocketship teacher and emerging leader Bailey Thomson, to share her journey from San Jose to South Africa. Her story is powerful proof of the impact that all of us are making as leaders on the front lines of a global movement to create universal access to excellent education for all kids.