Although construction for the new Rocketship Education school in Southeast Washington has barely begun parents are already excited. They can already picture the gymnasium, nursing station, and computer lab. The new building will be two stories high and 54,000 square feet. Interviews for teachers have already started due to Rocketship Education wanting the parents to be involved. Prior to a teacher being offered a position with the school they are interviewed by a group consisting of parents. The feedback from the parents has changed the decision of the school in numerous cases as to who will be hired and who will not. The parents take their responsibility seriously and candidates receive a close inspection.
Rocketship Education is a charter school based out of California. When their elementary school opened their doors in 2007 their strong test scores, approach to learning, and mixture of computer, online, and traditional teaching placed them in the spotlight. The Public Charter School Board in D.C. voted and agreed to let Rocketship Education open eight schools in their district in 2013. The charter school is bringing much needed competition to the area’s public schools. Rocketship wants their school to be more along the lines of a neighborhood school and the other charters in the district. Although they have to accept applications from all possible students they have placed their focus on the neighborhood of Ward 8.
Rocketship Education will accommodate 350 students beginning with kindergarten up to the second grade during the first school year in 2016-2017. A preschool at Rocketship will be available through the Appletree Institute. Approximately forty percent of all current applications are from the Woodland Terrace housing complex. The administrators at Rocketship Education want the students families to become involved with the school and their children’s education. A special room will be built where the parents will have access to computers and the internet. The school wants parents to have the ability to send in applications for jobs while they are at the school. Parents generally come to Rocketship Education to attend school functions and activities or to pick up their kids.