John Danner and Preston Smith established Rocketship Education in 2006. Based out of San Jose, California, where they opened their first school, the group of public schools has been gaining in profile lately. The school has earned praises across the nation for being an innovative alternative for students from low-income households. Thus, Rocketship experienced unwavering support from the local communities as well as unprecedented growth seen in its enrollment rate. Subsequently, the group of schools expanded quickly with expansions in the San Jose area, where they opened six more charter schools over the next half decade.
In January 2013, following a leadership restructuring, Smith was named the new chief executive officer of the schools. In August the same year, Rocketship opened its first class, notably outside of California, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The following year, 2014, the company made establishments in Tennessee’s Nashville. Due to its increasing public traction and love, 2015 saw a group of more than 400 parents coordinate and conduct a successful campaign to bring Rocketship Education to California’s Redwood City. The company opened its fourth region in 2016, which was in Washington, D.C. In D.C., the charter’s K-5 schools provide preschool through a sustainable partnership with the renowned Apple Tree Institute.
Currently, referencing the statistics from the school, the Rocketship Education has successfully served more than 15,000 students, 85 percent of whom are from low-income families. The group of schools leverages a well-designed Rocketship approach. The transformational public schools are built on three stringently developed pillars. The first pillar involved personalized learning. This is successfully done through tailoring of content, instruction, pace and learning experience to help unleash the full potential of every student. Talent development is the second pillar. This pillar entails investing in both the growth and development of all the team members to unleash their potential, not just in the classroom, but beyond the school as well.
The third pillar in the Rocketship approach entails parent power. The Rocketship Education strives to unleash the power of parents to enable them to champion the education of their kids. This is in addition to allowing the thriving of high-quality public schools as well as holding leaders accountable. Rocketship Education is committed to delivering transparency in their work through assessing how they grow and learn with humility and honesty.