Roughly ten years ago, undertaking Father Mateo Sheedy’s vision, John Danner and Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education. Based in San Jose, this K-5 network of public elementary schools primarily serves low income areas, providing quality alternatives to the school system already in place. Their main goal is to eliminate the education gap in our schools today. To approach each child’s specific needs individually despite the usual, and not so usual differences typically found to be the wedge between our children and their quality of education.
With a more flexible, hands on approach, Rocketship teachers are free to use the tools most suited for their job; passion, ingenuity, intreage, and the ability to translate information into a language their students will understand. An intreaged mind, is an alert, and active mind.
Since communities can vary greatly from one another, even those directly neighboring each other, each Rocketship school shares the same 4 core principals; Respect, Empathy, Responsibility, and Persistence, with the 5th principal core being specific to the community surrounding each school. The founding families for each school decide on the 5th core, one more specific to the community they live in. The community their children’s education will be embarking in.
It is important to note, that one of the key factors in this new take on educating our kids, is the involvement of the parents. We need more of our parents to become engauged. We need more parents to take part in their children’s ongoing development.
The success thus far is the result of parents and teachers working together to provide a more practical, and applicable environment for learning. Its continued success relies on open-minded communities, with its leaders and members willing to look outside of the box, for a more flexible and realistic approach at preparing our children, for all of our futures.