Rocketship Education is a public charter school with nearly 20 locations across the United States. Since the nonprofit organization was founded by John Danner and Preston Smith – Mr. Smith is currently President; under his responsibility is the entire line of Rocketship schools across the nation – in 2007, its locations have collectively served more than 15,000 kids. Its facilities are spread across the San Francisco Bay Area, Milwaukee, Nashville, and the capital of the United States – Washington, D.C.
Rocketship does such a good job for several reasons; the primary reason, however, is because of students’ parents being so involved in the process of learning
The San Francisco Bay Area in central California is home to tons of people. Even though the area is particularly wealthy, it does have its low-income areas just outside of the true Bay Area region.
Rocketship’s locations are all planned out to be in some of the poorest neighborhoods in each of its four target markets. Preston Smith purposefully designed the school like this because he remembered as a child that the school he attended was in such an area. As most low-income-area schools are, Smith’s childhood school system was terrible.
He always wanted to change that for future generations of children who grew up in low-income areas. Just earlier this year, Smith’s dream truly came to fruition – the San Francisco Bay Area’s very own Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary was named the only elementary facility to provide education of such a high quality to black students in the study of English Language Arts that their skills closed the achievement gap between themselves and their better-off white counterparts.
It’s time to learn about Aned Sanchez and her parent story
Just a few years after Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary school was founded, Aned Sanchez was brought onboard as an office manager; although Ms. Sanchez wasn’t a teacher and was hired to be primarily involved with the administrative aspects of Rocketship Education’s very own Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary school facility.
Sanchez was the only child of a married couple who immigrated into the United States from Mexico. They didn’t know any English whatsoever, leaving Aned at a disadvantage when it came time to ask her parents for help on homework she didn’t quite understand.
During Ms. Aned Sanchez’s interview for the spot of office manager, she was asked by Preston Smith, “Why do you want to work at this school?”
Sanchez replied, “Because I am one of these families. This is my story, too.”
As most of the kids who go to Rocketship’s schools hail from low-income backgrounds – most of its schools are in California, too, which is home to more Latino people than white people, something that doesn’t often happen anywhere else in the United States – and have parents who can’t speak great English, Sanchez felt this job was right up her proverbial alley.
Teachers and administrators go so very far out of their way to get on the same page as familiaes outside of school
A fifth-grade STEM teacher who works at Rocketship Education – it’s the hottest public charter school across the nation – named Vishal Patel remembers from his past years of serving Rocketship as a whole and Mateo Sheedy Elementary individually that getting together with parents, their kids, and other family members outside of school was incredibly beneficial to all of them.
Being able to bond as a unit helped kids try harder in class – that’s one of many manifestations of parents getting involved with their Rocketeer children.