Inside Rocketship’s School Culture and Core Values
If you’re considering sending your child to a Rocketship school, you’re probably curious about our school culture. So here are some things we thought you’d like to know:
At Rocketship Public Schools, we believe in the infinite possibility of human potential. We believe that every student deserves the right to dream, to discover, and to develop their unique potential. And it is our responsibility to unleash the potential inside every Rocketeer. Our non-profit network of public elementary charter schools propels student achievement, develops exceptional educators, and partners with parents who enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.
We believe that every student deserves the right to dream, to discover, and to develop their unique potential. And it is our responsibility to unleash that potential in every Rocketeer. Our non-profit network of public elementary charter schools propels student achievement, develops exceptional educators, and partners with parents who enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.
At Rocketship, we educate the whole child. We pride ourselves on creating schools that promote our core values of persistence, empathy, responsibility, and respect, something that’s instilled in our creed that’s recited as a school daily. We also supplement our core instruction in Humanities and STEM with social-emotional learning and positive behavior interventions and supports. All our schools also offer a diverse array of enrichment classes such as art, nutrition, gardening, music, dance, and more. Delivering a well-rounded education builds the critical thinking, teamwork, character skills, and values that our Rocketeers need to thrive in school and life.
Our Unique Core Values & School Culture
Rocketship schools are built by their families. Our founding families name our schools and help select the enrichment option and the school’s unique fifth core value. Some of those include grit, integrity, ganas, and love. Each school also has enrichment offerings such as science, Folklorico dance, visual arts, hands-on gardening and more.
Our school culture is also built on celebrating cultural diversity in our communities, encouraging positive mindsets where students believe in their own potential, and making school truly feel like a second home.
While our Rocketeers work hard, we’re also intentional about creating space for joy. Every morning, we kick off the school day with Launch – a time for singing, dancing, and getting inspired for the day ahead. Once per week, we gather again at Landing, where the entire school celebrates star students and cohorts. Students also enjoy free play at recess, as well as fun activities tailored to each school’s preferences like freeze dance on Fridays.
Bringing joy into the school day is a critical part of our culture. It’s something we heavily prioritized during distance learning. Even though schools are closed, morning Launch and afternoon Landing continue. But that’s not the only way we fuse fun into virtual learning. Our teachers get creative by celebrating students via TikTok and host lunchtime cooking sessions via Facebook Live. Our students inspire one another and celebrate our teachers who work hard day after day.
How Rocketship Parents Impact their Child’s Education
Besides naming their school, selecting its core value, and voting on its enrichment offering, Rocketship parents have many opportunities to get involved at their school.
It all starts with a home visit.
Every fall, our teachers and leaders visit the home of every student we serve to learn more about their family, life, and experiences outside of school. By changing the dynamic from parent in a teacher’s classroom, to teacher in a parent’s home we are able to develop much deeper ties with our parents that carry through the school year and beyond. Rocketship teachers frequently communicate with parents about their child’s progress.
We also offer three parent-teacher conferences throughout the year.
Rocketship Public Schools have an open-door policy.
That means as a parent, you’re welcome to drop in on-campus anytime to join us for our morning launch, sit in and observe a class, come say hello at lunch, or work in our staff/community room where we offer free WiFi access.
We host a rare and unique parent-run program called Los Dichos.
Every month, parents from each school are invited to join in our multilingual storytime where mothers and fathers read a storybook to students in their native language of Spanish or Vietnamese and English. Los Dichos started as a Spanish/English reading program to teach students about different cultural values and instill a sense of positive cultural identity and pride. Each Los Dichos lesson has a “dicho”, or saying, that reflects the story and guides the lesson. This program is so popular during the school year that we wanted to keep it going during distance learning. You can see an example of our virtual offering here.
Rocketship parents also learn to advocate for educational equity through our Parent Leadership Program.
Our Parent Leadership & Organizing team ignites, organizes, and propels parent power to advance educational equity, excellence, and options for their community. They leverage school-based communities to identify and develop parent leaders who join the parent organizing committee. These leaders accumulate and deploy power to advance an authentic parent-driven agenda for education equity.
Parents are encouraged to connect with their school’s Education Organizer to learn about opportunities for political engagement and join their school’s Parent Leadership Committee. Want to get a better idea of what this looks like? Read this interview with one of our long-standing parent leaders, Sol from Rocketship Mateo Sheedy.
Curious to hear more parents’ perspectives?
Watch why parents are thankful for their Rocketship communities in this video. You can also read more about the parent experience on our blog here.
Published on February 15, 2020