In 2017, catastrophic floods struck San Jose, California and left many of the low-income students of the Rocketship Education charter schools system struggling to cope with the demands placed on them at home. What marks the Rocketship Education experience out as different from the efforts of public school educators is the desire to find new ways of building a school community including assisting those in the deepest need; when members of the Rocketship Education community came together to assist at school and at home the success of this program was seen as having been achieved in California.
The parent experience at Rocketship Education is almost as important as the one undertaken by students who are seen as the leaders of tomorrow by educators and other members of the school community. In creating a community, Rocketship Education founders, Preston Smith and John Danner decided it was important for educators to understand the issues facing each student in their home environment; teachers are, therefore, required to make sporadic home visits to engage with the parents of low-income students to make sure their needs are being met.
At Rocketship Education every member of a family is made to feel as though they are part of a wider school community which came together in 2017 to help those affected by flooding. Not only did the interaction of educators with flood-affected families ensure they could aid students in helping with their everyday needs, it also meant students could feel their school was a safe place dedicated to their education and everyday life.
The feeling that Rocketship Education is not solely dedicated to advancing the charter schools options available to students and their families has been backed up by a recent name change to Rocketship Public Schools. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Rocketship is headed by former public school educator, Preston Smith who has become one of the key members of the charter schools community.