Improving Parent, Teacher, and Student Relations: A Model Adopted by Rocketship Education

In April 2014, Wang MT and colleagues carried out a study assessing the impact of parental involvement in a child’s education. The results inferred that parental involvement in a child’s education had a positive impact on that child’s academic engagement and achievements. This study, hand-in-hand with similar studies carried out worldwide, highlight the importance of schools partnering with parents to support the education of their children. Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education is a nonprofit organization with a network of elementary public charter schools aiming to provide low-cost eduation to poor and minority students.

“It is an organizational ethos at Rocketship Education to encourage parents to act as co-educators to their children; this ensures that parents champion their children’s education, hold leaders accountable, and take part in the smooth-running of this organization alongside school leaders.”

Parents get involved in their children’s education by being; an audience, a volunteer, a leader, a paraprofessional, a teacher, a learner, and a decision maker. Not only does this directly benefit the child whose parents act as co-educators, but also indirectly benefits the child’s classmates and peers.

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Not only does this public charter school bring parents closer to their children’s education, but it also strengthens the relationship of the teacher and their students. Teachers are expected to conduct home visits of their students by January each year, where each student is visted at least once a year. This ensures that teachers learn more about and understand their students, their students’ environment and their students’ culture.

Also, it ensures that students get to see their teachers in a nonacademic milieu, thereby strengthening the bond between student and teacher. By so doing, this public charter school arms teachers with the necessary know-how, much needed in helping students achieve academic success. Educational districts have seen the success of Rocketship Education and have been implementing similary foundations within their own organization.

For example, Innovate Public Schools, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the quality of public schools in the Bay Area, now encourages parents to partner with school leaders in efforts to strengthen and support their child’s education, both in and out of the classroom setting. Innovate Public Schools recognizes the efforts of Rocketship Education, and hopes to bring the same success to their organization. Backed by Wang’s study, studies carried out elsewhere, and success stories recorded at Rocketship Mateo Sheedy, one can conclude that there is an association between parents acting as co-educators and an increase in the academic achievements of their children.

Parents, teachers, and students are empowered when they are encouraged and allowed to help each other. This mode of operation has benefited Rocketship’s network of elementary public schools, and is evident through the excellent results produced by Rocketship Mateo Sheedy in the 2016/2017 academic year. This organization propels student achievement, develops outstanding educators, and partners with parents thereby closing the achievement gap. For parents, Rocketship has found a remarkable and indispensable partner.

Sandra Mercuri
Author: Sandra Mercuri

Dr. Mercuri is a nationally and internationally recognized educational consultant in the area of second language acquisition, dual language education, and curriculum integration for biliteracy development. She has over 28 years of experience in teaching in K-12 schools and at the university level in Argentina and the United States. After retiring as a professor from the University of Texas System, she continued to work on research on the development of academic language across the content areas, the use of translanguaging practices for language transfer, and the effect of long-term professional development on dual language, bilingual and ESL teachers’ instructional practices. Dr. Mercuri provides professional development for teachers and administrators as well as for parents. She presents at national and international conferences on issues of second language acquisition and bilingualism, dual language education, translanguaging pedagogy, and ESL strategies. Dr. Mercuri has published articles in the TESOL Quarterly, Talking Points, EJLTS, JMER, TESOL Connections, MEXTESOL, and the NABE journal as well as the Spanish professional journals The Colombian Journal of Bilingual Education: GIST and the Revista Educación y Pedagogía and more than twelve book chapters. Dr. Mercuri is the author of the book titled Supporting Literacy Through Science: The Challenge of Teaching...

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