Rocketship Education was a prize winner at CSGF‘s Innovation Competition last month (I served as ajudge). My friend Gisele Huff has been trying to get me to visit them for years because of their interesting blended model that incorporates online learning. The first school of San Jose nonprofit is in the rarified 900 club (CA API score).
John Danner, Rocketship’s CEO, is a former software entrepreneur. He’s build a talented management team and describes their model this way:
Rocketship’s elementary school model combines a full day of classroom instruction with 2 hours of computer-based individualized instruction. The model gives students more practice and saves Rocketship $.5 million per year per school. They pump that money back into the schools in the form of – a full-time Academic Dean mentoring teachers at each school, a year of training for every new Principal, a full Response to Intervention program with after-school tutoring, 20% higher salaries for teachers, and building a new school building for every new school they start. Using this approach, their flagship school earned a 926 API last year and became the #3 low-income elementary school in California. Rocketship opened their second school this year. Their eventual goal is to completely eliminate the achievement gap at the elementary level in San Jose.
Earlier this year, Rocketship received $5M to open six more schools. Watch them fly!