Today I had the pleasure of visiting one of the reknowned Rocketship schools. They were incredibly hospitable, the pupils were working hard, and the instructors answered all my hundreds of questions. Thanks to all, especially the principal, Mr Elliot-Chandler.
School Type: primary school (K-5)
Model: Lab rotation model where students spend ~25% of their day in the learning lab. In the lab, students work on adaptive literacy and maths software and are occasionally pulled out for small group instruction. Data suggests that the time pupils are spending in the learning lab contributes to an extra quarter of a year’s growth in one year.
Points of Strength
Strong lab culture
The Individualised Learning Specialists in the lab (i.e. paraprofessionals) were very impressive. They were communicating with each other via headsets and engaging with the students, constantly helping with questions.
Rocketship metaphor works well
The school day begins with ‘lift-off’, a chant that is very motivating.
There are a lot of links back to the rocketship metaphor (i.e jetpacks, Rocketeers, maths meteors, etc.)
Rocketship is constantly tweaking the model
It is clear that Rocketship is working to identify the problem areas and tweak the model accordingly – this iteration process is run centrally by the charter management organisation.
Rocketship is currently piloting a whole new model
The computers will be in the classroom rather than a learning lab and students will rotate through the stations.