Category Archives: Non-profit Organization

Rocketship Education Provides A Foundation For Success

Rocketship Education, founded by Preston Smith and John Danner, is a K-5 public charter school network founded in 2006 and opened its first school in San Jose, California in 2007. Rocketship grew rapidly and six additional schools were added in the San Jose area by 2012. A year later Rocketship opened its first school outside of California, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the next year the network expanded to Nashville, Tennessee. Over 400 parents campaigned for and brought Rocketship to Redwood City, California in 2015. In Washington, D.C. Rocketship opened Rocketship Rise Academy in 2016. Danner left in 2013.

Rocketship Education has gained a reputation for successfully serving low-income students and putting them on a path to college by tailoring instruction to the student and engaging parents in their child’s education where parents are even involved in choosing the teachers Rocketship hires.

By utilizing blended learning where a flexible space for teachers can use the tools of tutoring, online learning and peers, they are able to offer students a personalized learning experience.

Rocketship’s success is impressive since it has performed in the top 5% of low-income districts in California. Their students have met Common Core standards at twice the rate of surrounding districts. And once the students go on to middle schools they retain that level of performance.

Rocketship Education provides an environment for children who may experience “toxic stress” caused by living in low-income communities by offering consistency and a positive experience that helps them establish the social-emotional skills necessary to succeed in school and in life beyond school. Four core values, persistence, empathy, responsibility and respect are important cornerstones of the Rocketship methods and philosophy.

The co-founder and CEO, Preston Smith has been highly involved in Rocketship in roles such as teacher, principal, Director of Schools and Chief Achievement Officer and his own children study at a Rocketship school.