ROCKETSHIP EDUCATION: EDUCATING THE MIND IN A DIFFERENT APPROACH
The impact of Rocketship Education in the low-income neighborhood areas of the bay area has been far reaching and widely felt. Since 2007 Rocketship has introduced a different approach to education including a system where parents have an opportunity to vet teachers who would be guiding their children.
With a network of 18 schools, Rocketship Education has worked to ensure that the teacher is equally empowered, in order to make a substantial impact on the child. The schools are spread across the Bay Area, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Washington.
Another strength that has given the institution a millage is a deliberate use of research data. Through this data, they have been able to identify that students from communities exposed to higher poverty levels are exposed to more “toxic stress” which eventually contributes to their inability to resolve conflicts and manage emotions. In order to bridge this gap, Rocketship Education has put up measures in their school environments that enable their students to grow social-emotionally, ensuring they can cope with life eventualities.
Among the qualities that the school has strongly stressed in their values are respect, responsibility, empathy, and persistence. These values are spread across all the academies, while each school is also expected to point out values that auger well with the community in which it operates. To emphasize the importance of these values students recites them as part of their creed.
The history of the Rocketship Education can be traced to the around 1999 when Fr. Mateo Sheedy, of the Sacred Heart Parish, created the Juan Diego Scholarship to Santa Clara University. It is through the scholarship that he came face to face with a large number of students who could not meet the basic academic requirements needed to join college. He reached out to his community to try and improve the education standards. Though he passed on before he saw the seeds he had planted, his parishioners carried on his work and invited education entrepreneurs John Danner and Preston Smith who further developed the Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary. It has grown in leaps and bounds and continues to impact the lives of many children.