In 2006, former public school teachers, Preston Smith and John Danner had a dream to start their own charter school program and assist low-income families in the San Jose area of California with improving the opportunities available to students. In 2018, the charter school program they founded, Rocketship Education has expanded to other areas of California, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. with a major investment being made into the expansion of the San Jose campus which has become the flagship of the school program.
The Rocketship Education program is constantly evolving with new areas of interest and programs always being found including the development of experimental programs such as its flex model approach. The flex model took the school system into a new era of educational development with three teachers and a single school leader guiding the learning of students; rolled out as a test program, the flex approach worked in some areas but was not a success in others and gave Rocketship Education pause for thought before the program was eventually shelved. The charter school system had become a part of the learning process by challenging itself in a way similar to the challenges facing students and making sure the right approach is always undertaken for the good of the Rocketship Education community.
Encouraging the use of the flex model showed how parents were willing to play a major role in the development of the school system which has now produced a number of advocates looking to extend the reach of the charter school program beyond elementary school. Parents and educators are encouraged to work as a team with teachers making annual home visits to gain a better understanding of the lives of students and families welcomed in Rocketship Education schools as part of the learning process.
Rocketship Education encourages continuous learning and has seen this extend to educators who are monitored by coaches every week to ensure they are providing the best possible environment for students to learn. Continuous learning means every person entering a Rocketship Education campus is challenged to achieve as much as possible over the course of their visit.