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Rocketship Public Schools Texas Breaks Ground on Second Fort Worth Elementary School Campus

Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens and Founding Principal Speak at Ceremony

Construction is now underway in Eastside Fort Worth on the second campus for Rocketship Public Schools Texas. A groundbreaking ceremony was held today at the site of the future school located at 300 East Loop 820. The elementary school is set to open later this year in time for the 2023-24 school year.

Rocketship Texas is building a network of public charter schools in the Fort Worth area to provide access to high-quality schools in historically under-served communities. The organization’s flagship campus, Rocketship Dennis Dunkins Elementary, opened in the fall of 2022 in the Stop Six neighborhood.

“Today is about students and this investment in the community is about collective efficacy and impact for the entire public school system in Tarrant County. We will relentlessly use our personalized learning model to accelerate academic growth for both the highest-achieving students and students with the greatest needs,” said Rocketship Texas Superintendent SaJade Miller. “There is untapped cultural capital in the Eastside community – families whose children have the potential to be the next generation of great leaders and creative minds in Fort Worth. We are partnering with parents to build a school that reflects and celebrates the local community, while also providing their children with a pathway for social mobility.”

Rocketship’s second campus in the Fort Worth community is an adaptive reuse and expansion of a former private technical college campus that sat empty for several years. Rocketship is renovating the building to create 24 classrooms for students in grades Pre-K to 5, as well as a cafeteria, gymnasium, learning lab, and other common spaces. In addition, the building will have office space and teacher learning space to accommodate administrative and professional development activities across the Rocketship Texas network. This is Rocketship’s second campus to feature an innovative monolithic dome building that will serve as a gymnasium and is rated as a tornado shelter in case of emergencies. The building was designed by Element Architects and construction is being managed by Key Construction with financial support from the Charter School Growth fund.

“The quality of our public schools affects every facet of our city, but most importantly, it shapes the future opportunity available to our children,” Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens said. “We know that the earliest years of a child’s education can set the course for the rest of their lives. Every family in Fort Worth, regardless of their zip code, deserves access to a school that will help their children not just survive, but thrive. Rocketship’s intervention at the elementary school level is helping strengthen the whole of our public education system by giving children in our most high-need communities an education that will set them up for success in middle school, high school and the rest of their lives.”

To lead the new campus, Rocketship recruited an innovative educator who is bilingual and experienced working with diverse school communities. Amaris Salazar will serve as the school’s founding principal. Salazar is a native Texan with 27 years of experience as an educator in the United States and internationally, working as a teacher, counselor, administrator, and consultant at some of the world’s top-notch educational organizations.

“I firmly believe that every child can achieve great things and that the partnership between home and school builds confidence in students to use their powers to shape their future and the future of our city,” Salazar said. “It is a privilege to have been chosen as the leader of this new school and to help build our school community from the ground up alongside our founding parents. Our parents will help us interview teachers and name our school, as they help us shape a learning environment to meet the unique needs of this community.”

Founding Rocketship parent Perla Vidales spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. Her son currently attends Rocketship Dennis Dunkins and will transfer to the eastside campus when it opens.

“My son’s education is a priority because I know that it will be the only weapon and inheritance that I will leave him,” Vidales said. “Together with Rocketship, parents educate and advocate for educational opportunities for children who dream of being future leaders.”

The Eastside Rocketship campus will offer open enrollment to Tarrant County students in grades pre-K-4. Families can learn more by completing the school’s online interest form.

Published on February 9, 2023

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