Rocketship is a network of elementary schools opened mainly for low-income students, in neighborhoods with no access to quality education. The schools are non-profitable. The creation of the Rocketship schools aims to give children from suburb and country communities the chance for a good education, create an inspirational ground for teachers to work upon, engage parents into the lives of their children, and develop communities.
Rocketship Schools began opening in 2007, and now there are 18 schools in three regions of the United States. Most of these schools are located in the Bay Area, California. In the center of the Silicon Valley, the Bay Area is a center of innovation and technology. Opportunity and potential of the area, through education, can become accessible its diverse ethnic and immigrant population. Due to the significant demand for Rocketship Schools in the area and large waiting lists, there will be more schools opened up in the future.
The schools are not meant only for the children attending them. Parents are encouraged to participate actively in the school activities of their children and in events within the community. These are organized constantly for them to attend. When opening up a new school, the parents of future children participate in the choosing of staff members and teachers. Rocketship schools usually open up buildings in troubled neighborhoods to transform the community by offering a fresh start for young children, some of which go on to become the first college attendees in their families.
Rocketship School’s idea began in 1999 when Mateo Sheedy, a pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, started the Juan Diego Scholarship for the Santa Clara University. He found out that most of the children attending his parish did not meet the requirements to attend college. He passed away, but in 2006 two people from his parish and two educational entrepreneurs started an elementary school in a low-income neighborhood. This was the first Rocketship School.
Rocketship schools have certain values which make them so progressive. Rocketship schools invest in excellent teachers and professionals who can engage the community to work together with its children. Each child is given the opportunity for instructional education as well as education through technology and tutoring. Most important of all, Rocketship schools encourage parents to participate in their children’s education and achievements in every possible way.