Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

In most private and public schools, parents have no say on who educates their children. A group of charter schools under Rocketship Education is helping change that. At schools under Rocketship Education, parents are part of the process that selects teachers, months before classes start. Every teacher must be interviewed by a group parents before they get a job from a school under Rocketship Education. Feedback from the parents is taken into account before a school can offer the teacher a contract. All parents take this role seriously as it allows them to choose individuals who will have a positive impact on their children’s lives.

Rocketship Education, is a California Based charter school operator. The group operates only kindergartens and elementary schools. It was started in 2006 and started it first elementary school in 2007. Rocketship is known for blended learning approach and strong test scores. The blended learning approach combines computer assisted teaching with a traditional teaching approach to help keep administrative costs low.

In 2013, DC’s Charter School Board voted to give Rocketship permission to operate as many as eight schools in the School district. Rocketship has built its first school in Ward 8. Rocketship’s regional director, Jacque Patterson, has stated the school will operate as a neighborhood school. The school will accept students from any DC child but its main focus will be on enrolling students form Ward 8 neighborhood. The school will start with 350 students in kindergarten up to second grade. There are plans to expand up to fourth grade once the school is up and running.

The school’s structure reflects Rocketship’s aim of involving parents in their children’s education. The school has a room that can be used by parents while they wait to pick their children or during school functions. Many parents welcome the school as it is the first time they will have a proactive role in their children’s education. Instead of holding parent teacher meetings on school premises, Rocketship ensures that school official’s make a home visit during the academic year. Additionally, the school hosts numerous events that parents can attend during the academic year.