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Celebrating Black Excellence

Black History Month is traditionally celebrated by remembering the historic achievements of Black leaders, but at Rocketship, we go a step further and foster a culture where our Black students and educators feel seen, heard, and valued every single day. And we have evidence that we are moving in the right direction. As a network, we continue to outperform the state average by nine points in Math and four points in ELA among Black students. Only 3.9% of public school teachers in the state identify as Black, whereas at Rocketship, we’ve tripled that number and continue to focus on the recruitment of teachers of color. Lastly, our staff who identify as Black or African American have the highest staff satisfaction across all ethnicity groups, with 95% of Black educators agreeing that they’d recommend Rocketship as a great place to work. We know that our DEI work is always in constant progress, but I am proud to lead a community of schools that understands the importance of disrupting the status quo and unleashing the potential of our Black students.

Celebration of Black history and Black culture could be found across all 13 campuses so take a look at some of the other ways our schools honored Black History Month. These celebrations are representative of Rocketship’s commitment to fostering a culturally-responsive school environment for all families and their identities. We strive to create spaces of community and a foundation for trust, power, and relationships rooted in a culturally responsive approach and vulnerability. Check them out!

Rocketship Mateo Sheedy

RMS held a Black Month History Month week where they celebrated Black Excellence in the past and present. They shared that that many things we take for granted came from African Americans and did a day without African American inventions.* At night they held Black Excellence Bedtime Stories, where staff got on Facebook Live and read stories to our Rocketeers written by Black authors.

*Every 30 minutes, RMS lost access to a Black invention. Rocketeers were able to reflect on how difficult their day-to-day was without some of these common classroom materials!

8:00 – Pencil Sharpeners

8:30 – Pen

9:00 – Clock

9:30 – Dust Pan

10:00 – Heat

10:30 – Lightbulb

11:00 – Telephone System

11:30 – Projector


Rocketship Sí Se Puede Academy

RSSP held a Black History Month festival titled “Black Bridge Builders: Amplifying Black Stories” where hundreds of families came together to celebrate and learn about Black history in both English and Spanish. The event featured music, dancing, student presentations and exhibits that feature Black stories – check out Principal Danisha West and RSSP families in a live feature segment on Univision 14!

Rocketship Los Sueños

RLS celebrated Black History with a special celebration displaying Black student speakers, artwork, and a local Black performer and artist. Rocketeers also learned about a local Black-owned business that they can support in San Jose!

Rocketship Mosaic Elementary

ROMO celebrated Black History Month by learning and presenting on various historical figures and participating in cultural dress and celebrations!

Rocketship Discovery Prep

In addition to holding a Black History Museum, RDP hosted a Black History Month Landing and welcomed Naby and a West African dance group to lead RDP Rocketeers in reflection, celebration and learning of Black History. A former parent also provided traditional African-American meals to feed all students and staff!

Rocketship Brilliant Minds

At Rocketship Brilliant Minds, the Kinder- 2nd grade students designed tiles for a grade level freedom quilt in their art class.

Rocketship Alma Academy

As Rocketship Alma gets ready for their Black History Month celebration at the beginning of March, they are participating in cultural dress spirit days and held spirit week the week before spring break.

Rocketship Spark Academy

At Rocketship Spark, Rocketeers learned about influential Black leaders each day. On 2/29 RSK held a cultural dress day in honor of Black History Month!

Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep

RFZ Rocketeers started every single school day in February by learning about influential Black leaders, current and past, and had a big celebration at the end of the month.

Rocketship Redwood City Prep

During launch, Rocketship Redwood City honored the impact of Black leaders by celebrating their impact and further building on our Rocketeers’ prior knowledge of their accomplishments and history.

Rocketship Rising Stars Academy

Rising Stars students learned about the incredible talent that is Kehinde Wiley, an African American painter based in New York City known for his naturalistic paintings of Black people that reference the work of Old Master paintings. Check out their art!

Rocketship Futuro Academy

The team at RFA spent the month of February celebrating the lives and impact of Black Americans throughout history. Every classroom door was decorated to reflect the influence of key historical figures and pivotal moments in time. The celebrations culminated in an interactive experience for families and community members involving classroom visits and student performances!

Rocketship Delta Prep

A rainy day didn’t stop RDL from celebrating Black History Month with food, dance, and music! With a DJ, a restaurant, multiple vendors, and a space for fresh hair cuts and slick edges, a dull moment didn’t exist at RDL’s Black History Month event.

We look forward to continuing to celebrate Black history, accomplishments, and brilliance throughout the rest of this year with families, community members, and Rocketeers.

Published on March 4, 2024

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