Rocketship Education

Rocketship Education

The organization aims to give each student personalized instruction that targets their individual needs and learning styles. To do this, it has developed a blended learning model, leveraging instructional technology and tutoring.

State: California Number of Students: 6,766
School Type: Charter Management Org   Free and Reduced Lunch: 85.0%
Grade Level: K-5 English Language Learners: 55.0%

School Context

Excellent Teachers and Leaders: Rocketship invests a great deal of time and resources to train and develop teachers and schoolleaders. The organization aims to provide regular customized professional development opportunities, dedicated coaching andleadership programs.

Personalized Learning: The organization aims to give each student personalized instruction that targets their individual needsand learning styles. To do this, it has developed a blended learning model, leveraging instructional technology and tutoring.

Engaged Parents: Rocketship believes parents are an essential part to their work. The organization aims to train parentsto become advocates in the school and in the community. It trains parents to help with homework, lead school events, andparticipate in advocacy groups and school board meetings.

State of Technology

On A Mission: Rocketship Education was founded with the mission to closethe achievement gap in our lifetime. So far, data shows the network is on apath towards achieving its goals. The network’s California students regularlyscore in the top five percent of schools serving low-income students, boasting1.5 average growth in math on NWEA MAP and 1.3 average growth on NWEAMAP reading.

Lauded Model: Over the past six years, the San Jose, CA-based charterschool network has developed a replicable blended learning model. Studentsspend 75% of their time in traditional classes, where one teacher instructs 27students. They then rotate into a learning lab, where they spend the rest oftheir time on adaptive educational software to sharpen their skills. Tools usedin the lab include ST Math, Dreambox, EdElements, Typing Club, Lexia, MyONand iReady.

Shaking Things Up: At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, Rocketshipdecided to shake things up for its fourth and fifth grade students. Instead ofrotating between the learning lab and classroom, they were put in “flexible”classrooms, an open space that held 100 students for the entire schoolday. Three teachers and one learning coach decided everything from theclass schedule to how the 60 Chromebooks were used. However, afterexperimenting with the model, the network decided it was hard to replicateand needed too much professional development for teachers to execute. Ithas returned to its old model with the added enhancement in some schoolsof one block a day in flexible classrooms.

Growth: In the winter of 2013, Rocketship Education had aggressive plansto grow from nine schools in two states (California and Wisconsin) to over 50schools across seven new cities within four years. Plans have changed. TheSan Jose, CA-based network withdrew charter applications for eight schoolsin Dallas and San Antonio in July 2014. Plans to expand to Indianapolis, NewOrleans and Memphis have been delayed. However, the network is stillplanning to expand in Washington D.C. and Nashville.

EdTech Founder: In January 2013, John Danner, CEO and co-founder ofRocketship stepped down. In August 2014, Danner unveiled his new project:Zeal, an adaptive Common Core practice app. The tool is currently beingused in some Rocketship classrooms and most certainly was inspired byRocketship’s model.

Data and Assessment: Over the past year, Rocketship has implementeda digital assessment and data system across the network. They use acombination of Illuminate to deliver assessments and Schoolzilla tovisualize and merge all the data. Teachers now administer weekly formativeassessments and use data to inform their instruction.

Tech Needs & Requirements

Technology tools must have as many integration points as possible is helpful, easyintegration with Schoolzilla and PowerSchool preferred, software as a service preferred and low cost and sustainable preferred. Pictoral sign-on for Chromebooks so that young students can sign on without typing a username and password


Chromebook Rollout: This year Rocketship is rolling out a set of 10 Chromebooks in every classroom so that teachers haveaccess to technology both in their classrooms and in the learning labs. Teachers can pool their sets of Chromebooks across gradelevel teams to enable 1:1 ratios in different classrooms on different days.

*Content From 2015

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