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The Power of Choice: Fourth Annual Middle School Expo

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by Michael Yeung
Fifth Grade teacher at Rocketship Fuerza

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. Continue reading

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New Study Finds Rocketship Graduates are a Year Ahead of Their Peers

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder and CEO

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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How to Prepare for the Middle School Transition

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Coach
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

Editor’s Note: We know that success in middle school is built upon a strong foundation of academics, character, creativity and social-emotional intelligence. We are proud that an independent study by SRI International found that our Rocketeers are thriving in middle school. As families at Rocketship and beyond prepare to transition to middle school we’re publishing this post again to help guide your way.

As temperatures rise and spring birds make their way back to our windowsill, many families will begin to think about the next step in their student’s educational trajectory: middle school. While we know this change can bring with it anxiety, it’s also an exciting time to exercise the power of school choice in ensuring all Rocketeers continue to thrive. We connected with Manny Barrera, Director of Academics at Alpha Public Schools, to answer some of your questions about the next step.

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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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Rocketship Education Graduation

SRI International Study Finds Rocketship Alumni Outperform their Peers

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by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO

Middle School has often been described as the “Black Hole” in education. These critical years are filled with challenges ranging from the academic to the social and emotional. It is a time of great transition and often where the achievement gap between students widens. Continue reading

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How to Prepare for the Middle School Transition

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Coach
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

As temperatures rise and spring birds make their way back to our windowsill, many families will begin to think about the next step in their student’s educational trajectory: middle school. While we know this change can bring with it anxiety, it’s also an exciting time to exercise the power of school choice in ensuring all Rocketeers continue to thrive. We connected with Manny Barrera, Director of Academics at Alpha Public Schools, to answer some of your questions about the next step.

Continue reading