Rocketship Charter School is a nonprofit school, with the headquarters based out of Redwood, California. The school was founded by Preston Smith and John Danner in 2006. In 2007, just starting out with 7 passionate teachers and 160 willing to learn students, they opened their school in a church located in San Jose, California. Over the next 5 years they opened 6 additional schools across the San Jose area. In August 2013, Milwaukee, Wisconsin was the first school to open outside of California. A year later opened in Nashville, Tennessee. The network opened in Washington D.C. in 2016, which offered the first preschool. With 16 schools and over 15,000 students, 2017 makes 10 years since the first school opened.
Rocketship Charter Schools offer the majority of the day in classrooms with licensed teachers, but also spend 2 hours with tutors in learning labs. They use computers in the classroom, which help the teachers make unique lesson plans for each individual student. They also offer physical education along with art & enrichment programs. In addition the school offers a special education program. The charter school serves over 600 students with moderate to severe learning needs across the grid. Students with special needs still get interaction time with their classmates not in the special education program. They spend at least half their day in normal classrooms. This helps the special need students get the same general education as any other typical child. Kids with Individual Education Plan (IEP) have gained 1.3 year growth in math and 1.2 years in reading.
Following the 4 main core values; Responsibility, respect, empathy, and persistence, each school gets to pick their own core value to follow. 87% of parents say they would recommend Rocketship Charter Schools to another family. With 3.3 million in funding, 92.5% comes from public sources. The main focus is for low-income families get an excellent education. With students from every background, the school offers equal opportunities for every student.