October 06, 2018

Education Engages the Parents in the Learning Process with @rocketshiped

A group called Innovate Public Schools has recently issued a report in which they recognized the schools in the San Francisco Bay area that are achieving the best results in helping Latino and African-American students in low-income areas to achieve outstanding educational results. Rocketship Matteo Sheedy, a public charter school, was one of the schools that received the highest praise from Innovate Public Schools. 

Rocketship Education is an organization that operates public charter schools. Rocketship opened its first school in 2007, and now they have several public charter schools in several areas in the United States including Washington, DC and Nashville, Tennessee. 

One of the reasons that Rocketship Matteo Sheedy and other Rocketship schools have achieved such outstanding levels of success is due to the fact that the Rocketship educational model calls for a child's parents to be significantly involved in the child's educational program. Rocketship schools have several ways that they utilize to make sure that parents stay involved. 

Rocketship educators encourage parents to model for their children the educational outcomes that they desire. For instance, one parent came to a Rocketship teacher concerned that her child was not reading enough. She wanted her child to love reading and to learn through reading. The Rocketship teacher encouraged the parent to read in the child's presence. If the child saw that the parent was interested in reading and found reading to be a thing of value, the child would be more apt to want to read as well. 

Another way that Rocketship Education keeps parents involved in the educational process is by allowing the parents to be decision makers in the educational process. At Rocketship Matteo Sheedy, the principal of the school meets with parents once each month. In these group meetings, parents are able to discuss developments at the school, and they are able to share ideas that they might have as to how the school can improve the educational experience for the children. In one meeting, the parents expressed the concern that students didn't have enough time to eat lunch. Responding to the parent's concern, the school extended the lunch period thereby increasing the students' overall satisfaction. 

Rocketship also makes a connection with the family outside of the school. All teachers are expected to visit the home of their students at least once every school year. Too often, parents just come to the school for a parent and teacher meeting. These meetings can be stiff and formal. The teacher isn't really able to learn that much about the student's family. 

When the teacher is able to visit the family home, the teacher is able to learn more about what makes the child who he or she is. These visits also demonstrate that the teachers care about their students, and they want to see their students succeed both in and out of school. 

Another important way that Rocketship helps to get parents involved is through cultural encounters within the schools. Parents are often asked to come to the school and read stories to the students in their native language. Other parents come and help with projects, and some parents come to the school and tell students about their culture. 

Rocketship Education continues to be an innovator in the public charter school movement. Their educational outcomes demonstrate the importance of engaging the parents in the child's educational program.


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