DC School Facility Prepares for Launch
by Barry Brinkley, Director of Community Development, Washington DC
There has been much buzz over the past year about the expansion of Rocketship Education to our nation’s capital. Community members and partners are excited about the possibilities that Rocketship’s innovative personalized learning approach will bring to the Ward 8. In Woodland Terrace, a longstanding member of the community echoes this sentiment.
Ms. Juanita Britton, who owns and operates a local art gallery in the community, says she is “looking forward to the unique relationship between the Rocketship DC school and the community at large — particularly the Woodland Terrace community.” Britton has worked in Woodland Terrace for years and has quickly become a supporter of Rocketship DC. Other Ward 8 community partners like Horton’s Kids are also looking forward to building a strong partnership with Rocketship DC.
We’re incredibly excited about the facility for our first school in DC. It will be our best facility to date, probably the best we will ever build. We are working to create a learning environment that is both an asset to the community and conducive to student learning. The two-story, 54,000 square foot building will feature a glass entrance, an outdoor terrace, two playground structures and incredible views.
“One of the unique assets of the site on Raynolds Place is the rolling forested landscape. It’s the driving force behind the campus design,” explains Harrison Tucker, Rocketship’s Facilities Project Manager.
“The cafeteria, learning lab, outdoor gathering space, playgrounds and southern-facing classrooms will all enjoy spectacular views of the trees and hills. There will even be a nature trail within the campus grounds for the students to enjoy the natural landscape in an urban setting. We are very excited about this 3.87 acre site and this design for Rocketship’s flagship DC campus.”
After meeting with families and community members for more than I year, I know Woodland Terrace is a small community of families who truly want the best for their children. Our goal is to create a flagship Rocketship school in this community that is a source of pride and excitement for adults and students alike.
In this spirit, we are asking community members to weigh in on the design of our outdoor front entrance seating area. We also want community input on a mural to be featured on the front of the gymnasium. The neighborhood feeling a sense of ownership of the school is a top priority for us. We want to provide another high-quality option that not only achieves academically, but that also connects with the community.
Barry lives in DC where he’s been working to engage the community before we open our first school. Prior to his work at Rocketship, Barry was the Director of School Services at Metro TeenAIDS. He earned his BA in Psychology with an emphasis on Family and Child Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MA in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. When he’s not working, Barry enjoys mentoring, all things Tar Heel basketball and eating great food.
Published on July 18, 2014