Leading a Movement: Parents Honored at the First Annual Bay Area Parent Leadership Awards Ceremony

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by BEYOND Editorial Team

Parents are the first teachers of their children. They are our Rocketeers’ strongest advocates, and the leaders in our collective movement for change. They are closing the achievement gap and bringing educational equity to communities where there are few to no options for an excellent, free, public education. 

Rocketship had the honor of celebrating these courageous and powerful parent leaders at our First Annual Bay Area Parent Leadership Awards Ceremony in early May. Over 20 awards were presented, and school leaders and parents from our 12 Bay Area schools gathered together to celebrate. Here are some highlights from the award winners:

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Padres involucrados organizan en 2016 Foro de Candidatos para eliminar la brecha académica en San Jose

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by Alexandra Martinez

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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First Day of School in Pictures for the 2016-2017 School Year

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by BEYOND Editorial Team

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.

Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Please keep them coming – we want to follow your Rocketeers’ success all year round!

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Los Dichos: Values, Partnership and Cultural Identity in the Classroom

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by Lorena Romero and Lety Gomez
Rocketship Parents, Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep

 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.

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11 Ways to Beat the Summer Slide

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by BEYOND Editorial Team
Bay Area
Summertime is here! The pros: fun in the sun, family time, and much-needed rest and relaxation. The cons: what educators refer to as the “summer slide” — the regression a student can experience from lost instructional time during summer break. Continue reading

Rocketship DC Partners With “Man the Block” To Ensure Safe Passage To School

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by Jacque Patterson
Regional Director, Washington DC

All children have the right to an excellent education. They also have the right to get to and from school each day safely.

With this in mind, Rocketship DC is working closely with community organizations to ensure the safe passage to and from school for our Rocketeers. We know this will help improve educational outcomes for our children and work to help improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and communities.

Padres en Concord Reciben Nueva Opción de Escuela Pública

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by Cristina Gutierrez
Parent, Concord 

La mayoría de los padres no piensan en escoger a qué escuela pública pueden enviar a sus hijos. Simplemente, los niños van a la escuela que el distrito les ha asignado. Eso fue lo que hicieron mis padres. Pero cuando yo estaba creciendo en Concord, mis padres no tenÍan otra opción. Me hubiera gustado que si la tuvieran. Mientras estuve en la escuela nunca recibí la ayuda que yo necesitaba. Batallé  durante la High School, y me gradué. Pero me pregunto que hubiera sido de mi vida si mis padres hubiesen tenido otra opción escolar pública para mi.

Ahora, los padres de Concord podemos escoger cual escuela pública es la apropiada para nuestros hijos. El mes pasado, la Mesa Directiva de Educación del Estado de California votó para aprobar la apertura de la escuela charter Rocketship. Esta escuela pública abrirá sus puertas este Agosto en Concord!

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Hot Days, Healthy Brains: Summer Activities That Keep Kids Learning

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Program Specialist
With spring break just ending, summer is just a few short months away. It’s never too early to start planning your summer activities! With so many amazing programs offered in our communities, it’s hard to keep track of them all – that’s why we did the work for you. Research shows students risk regression during summer months, so what better way to keep that brain healthy than by finding fun ways to keep learning? We hand-picked some great activities in each of our regions that will stretch your student’s thinking this summer.

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7 Spring Break Strategies for Growing Brains

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Program Specialist

Over the next few weeks, students across the country will abandon their desks and leave their pencils and papers behind. Classrooms will transform into ghost towns, and playgrounds will be empty. Why? It’s spring break! While our students may be opting to sleep in and play outside in the sunshine instead of dissecting paragraphs and working through math lessons, it doesn’t mean they can’t continue to grow their brains this week! Here are seven strategies that students and their caregivers can engage in to keep their brains active during this spring break.
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A Job Interview With Parents Transformed My Career

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by Joshua Pacos
Founding Principal, Rocketship DC

After spending the better part of the past decade teaching and working in charter schools in Washington D.C. and California, I thought I had it pretty well figured out. Then, while I was searching for a new public school leadership opportunity in 2014, I met four parents who – quite frankly – changed the course of my life and what I thought was possible in education. Continue reading

Getting the Most Out of Conferences

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by Dustin Lockwood
Academic Support Manager, Los Sueños Academy

Whether sharing data celebrations or problem solving homework difficulties, parents and teachers are the ultimate cheerleaders for all students, and conferences are an opportunity to collaborate around students’ academic and social progress. That, and research shows family engagement improves school readiness, student achievement and social skills.  Continue reading

The Power of Choice: Middle School and Beyond

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Program Specialist, Integrated Special Education
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

The power of choice is a beautiful thing. We have choice in our elected officials, choice in the kinds of sports we watch or play on the weekends and – thanks to the efforts of parents and community members – choice in where our children attend school. Hundreds of Rocketship families exercised this power of choice on a bright, sunny Saturday morning at Fuerza Community Prep for Rocketship’s third annual Middle School Expo on November 14.
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