The Texas State Board of Education publicly announced plans to permit three new charter schools in Texas on July 8. One of the new charter schools will be located in the Stop Six neighborhood of Fort Worth. Rocketship Public Schools will open a brand-new campus that will begin enrolling students for the 2022-23 school year.
In a press release, Redwood City, Calif.-based Rocketship Public Schools says the new campus aims to alleviate what the school says is 26,000 students who currently attend under-performing public education schools.
“Rocketship focuses on providing high-quality elementary education to low-income communities to build a solid foundation for students before middle school,” the non-profit said in a press release. “The group aims to create a more equitable public school system and eliminate the achievement gap by teaching students who would have gone to an underperforming elementary school.”
The group claims that at least 52 elementary schools in the North Texas region are failing to provide adequate education, leaving students behind their peers from other campuses. Texas is the newest state to welcome a Rocketship Public Schools charter program. Currently, the organization operates in California, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., and Tennessee.
The push to open a campus in Ft. Worth was led by former DeSoto ISD Chief of Schools SaJade Miller. Miller is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin and holds a master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and is currently working toward achieving a doctoral degree in Education Leadership at TCU.
The decision to approve plans for the new charter school was approved at a June 28 board meeting, the first with a live audience since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Two other charters were also approved that include campuses in San Antonio and Magnolia.
The Board voted against expansions for four other charter campuses that were aimed at the Houston and San Antonio areas. Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath had previously given his recommendation to approve the three new projects.
Rocketship schools use a non-traditional curriculum in the hope of providing a more well-rounded education to all students who attend. Classes are taught in one of four “blocks” that include Humanities, STEM, Enrichment, and Learning Lab. The organization takes significant strides to involve parents in the education process, even visiting the home of every enrolled student every fall to learn more about their lifestyle.
The organization hopes that by providing a community-focused learning environment, they will be able to reverse decades of declining school performance in the region and better prepare tomorrow’s youth for the future.
Around 50 parents and a broad coalition of local educators and administrators helped convince the SBOE to authorize the new charter campus. Pending the outcome of various contractual contingencies, Rocketship Public Schools Texas will open its doors in August 2022.
The campus will be located at 3520 E. Berry St. Parents interested in enrolling their children for the inaugural school year should contact Rocketship Public Schools through the organization’s website.