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The Power of Choice: Middle School and Beyond

The power of choice is a beautiful thing. We have choice in our elected officials, choice in the kinds of sports we watch or play on the weekends and – thanks to the efforts of parents and community members – choice in where our children attend school. Hundreds of Rocketship families exercised this power of choice on a bright, sunny Saturday morning at Fuerza Community Prep for Rocketship’s third annual Middle School Expo on November 14.

Parent involvement is crucial in every phase of education, and it only picks up steam with the transition to middle school. Families of our upper-grades students are busy researching tips on preparing for middle school, and may also have questions about which middle school options there are in the area. With that in mind, this growing annual event brings together families of fourth and fifth grade Rocketeers and representatives from local middle schools for a day of learning, questions, conversation and ultimately, application.

Click here to view a map of the Bay Area middle schools represented at this year's expo!

Click here to view a map of the Bay Area middle schools represented at this year’s expo!

“As we think about our 1,281 Rocketeers who will potentially graduate Rocketship in seven months, we want to ensure they continue to attend great schools, cementing their path to college and beyond,” says Esther Lin, math teacher and Middle School Expo Lead at Rocketship Redwood City Prep. “While choice is a key part of our Rocketeer Alumni unlocking their limitless potential, it is our job to set them and their families up to find the best school for their learning needs.”

In case you missed it, read on for the contact information of each middle school represented at the expo. After you’ve perused each site, be sure to check in with your child’s teacher if you have any questions!




ACE Charter Schools utilize a proven education model to successfully reach academically underserved students in high-need communities and move them to a performance level where they are ready to pursue their newly-inspired college and career goals.

  • Creative Arts Academy
    • Address: 1990 Kammerer Avenue San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 639-1352
    • Grades: 5-8
  • Empower Academy
    • Address: 625 South Sunset Avenue San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 729-3920
    • Grades: 5-8
  • Franklin McKinley
    • Address: 1665 Santee Drive San Jose, CA 95122
    • Phone: (408) 426-6361
    • Grades: 5-8




Alpha Public Schools is a network of public charter secondary schools that prepares students in low-income communities with the knowledge, skills and character traits they will need to succeed in college and career.

  • Blanca Alvarado
    • Address: 1601 Cunningham Ave. San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 780-0831 x 105
    • Grades: 6-8
  • Jose Hernandez
    • Address: 1601 Cunningham Ave. San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 780-1551 x 303
    • Grades: 5-8

Connect RWC


Connect Community Charter School offers a nurturing place for children to become change-makers, innovators, and lifelong learners. Our free, non-selective, public charter school serves children from kindergarten through 8th grade. At Connect, children learn by making and doing. They build skills in collaboration, leadership, and decision-making, and learn concrete ways to connect to and improve their communities.

  • Redwood City
    • Address: 635 Oakside Avenue Redwood City, CA 94063
    • Phone: (650) 562-7190
    • Grades: K-8

Downtown College Prep

Since 2000, DCP has been singularly focused on serving students who are the first in their family to go to college. Starting students on the path to college in 6th grade is critical to establishing the academic foundation, life skills and grit needed to make it to and through college. By launching students on a proactive path to college in 6th grade, DCP directly confronts the critical middle school achievement gap. We work alongside families to build a long-lasting and multi-generational vision and commitment to college completion.

  • El Camino
    • Address: 1155 E. Julian St. San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 384-4554
    • Grades: 6-8
  • Alum Rock
    • Address: 2800 Ocala Ave. San Jose, CA 95148
    • Phone: (408) 942-7000
    • Grades: 6-8




The mission of KIPP is to create a respected, influential, and national network of public schools that are successful in helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, character and habits needed to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond. Our vision is that, one day, all public schools will help children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to achieve their dreams while making the world a better place.

  • Excelencia Community Prep
    • Address: 1440 Connecticut Dr., Redwood City, CA 94061
    • Phone: (650) 465-3616
    • Grades: 5
  • Heartwood
    • Address: 1250 South King Road San Jose, CA 95122
    • Phone: (408) 926-5477
    • Grades: 5-8
  • Heritage
    • Address: 2545 Sherlock Drive San Jose, CA 95121
    • Phone:
    • Grades:
  • Prize Preparatory Academy
    • Address: 1250 South King Road San Jose, CA 95122
    • Phone: (408) 318-7526
    • Grades: 5-8



Renaissance Academy

Renaissance Academy is a safe, equitable, rigorous and relationship-centered learning environment which nurtures individual passion, inquiry, and creativity, raises consciousness of social justice, and develops academic skills and habits of mind thereby equipping individual students to achieve their full potential and to make the world a better place.

  • Renaissance Academy 1
    • Address: 1720 Hopkins Drive San Jose, CA 95122
    • Phone: (408) 928-1950
    • Grades: 6-8
  • Renaissance Academy 2
    • Address: 2050 Kammerer Ave. San Jose, CA 95116
    • Phone: (408) 928-8501
    • Grades: 6-8


Summit PS


We believe that every student is capable of college and career readiness. While some students will select career paths or community colleges, the process of preparing to attend a four-year college helps young people avoid the academic and skill deficit that results from placement in a non-college prep, high school diploma program. Regardless of the life path Summit students ultimately choose, we offer access to high-performing public schools that pave the way for them to succeed in college, career and life..

  • Summit Denali
    • Address: 495 Mercury Drive Sunnyvale, CA 94085
    • Phone: (669) 600-5695
    • Grades: 6-9




Voices College-Bound Language Academy will prepare all students for the challenges of higher education through the context of an academically rigorous dual-language program. In addition we will ensure students demonstrate high academic achievement and apply critical thinking skills while making sense of their role within their own culture and the greater society.

  • San Jose
    • Address: 715 Hellyer Ave, San Jose, CA 95111
    • Phone: (408) 361-1960
    • Grades: K-8

Parents, were you at the Middle School Expo? Do you have a Rocketeer now in middle school? Share with us and other Rocketeers ➟ @RocketshipEd.

Logan came to Rocketship in 2013 after spending three years in a neighboring district in east San Jose. She learned about Rocketship’s inclusion model and knew within her first days as a Rocketeer that she was in the right place. Logan is most inspired by her students who seem to inherently understand that learning can be messy and difficult, but who are willing to jump in headfirst anyway. Logan lives with her husband and her dog in sunny Santa Cruz and spends her extra time playing on the beaches or hiking underneath the redwood trees in her backyard.

Follow Logan on Twitter: @loganjuve

Published on November 18, 2015

Read more stories about: Parent Experience.