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.
On Thursday, June 18, parent leaders filed a charter petition with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to open a new Rocketship school in Concord’s Monument Corridor. This school would be our first in the district, and comes after extensive advocacy and relationship building in the community with parents and local organizations.
What is the state of education in New Orleans ten years after the storm? Like crawfish boils in the spring, this question has become a staple in the social lexicon of families, teachers, church mothers and reformers in New Orleans. Responses to the question, more often than not, lead to a more complex set of conversations about crime, violence, prisons and the lack of opportunity. The proximal relationship I have to each often prompts a reflection of my own childhood experiences with these interwoven systems and helps explain how and why I became a reformer.
On April 14, 2015, Rocketship held a groundbreaking ceremony for our first elementary school in the Washington, DC region. The K-4th school in Ward 8, to be opened in August 2016, will be a 54,000 square foot building on a campus of nearly four acres. The school’s cafeteria, learning lab, outdoor gathering space, playgrounds and southern-facing classrooms will enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding trees and hills.