Vision 2018: Equipping and Support Students in a New Year


Christmas decorations return to attics, Menorahs are stored for another year, New Year’s Eve gowns and tuxedos are in mothballs for the next 11 months. When January 2 rolls around, it’s time to refocus on work and school and begin the follow-up stage of all the noteworthy resolutions we made before the stroke of midnight, December 31. For many students, January is a “reset” point in the school year. Refreshed by holiday vacation, and invigorated by the close of the first semester, students recognize that a new calendar year means new opportunities to deepen their successes, learn from earlier missteps, and prepare for the future. For innovative providers like Rocketship Education, a new year affords educators ample opportunity to remind students about their current educational goals, as well their ability to adopt “New Year’s Resolutions” that support the goals.


For “Daniel,” a 12-year-old in one of Rocketship Education’s charter schools, January is fertile ground to envision a verdant educational future. “I can’t find a better goal than working hard and prioritizing one’s studies,” Daniel says as he charts his academic course for 2018, adding, “I encourage my fellow students to embrace extra learning, work as a team so as to learn from each other and most importantly give more time to their studies.”[1] Recognizing his own disappointments and missed opportunities from the first semester of the school year, Daniel adds a bit of additional advice for his fellow classmates. “This New Year should be a time also to reflect on the past year and put more efforts in our weakest areas.”[2]


Daniel’s insights reflect Rocketship Education’s emphasis on personalized learning. A pillar of Rocketship’s innovative approach, personalized learning provides a rich and challenging educational experience for each student, highlighting the individual’s academic strengths while also providing additional supports for the areas marked by struggle. Believing that “every student deserves the right to dream, to discover, and to develop their unique potential,” Rocketship Education’s dedicated, talented staff unleash the potential of every student entering Rocketship’s classrooms by teaching great study techniques, offering powerful insights, and stressing the importance of planning and follow-through. “Our teachers always talk about good planning,” says Rocketeer Jean, “and I believe a clear academic plan can be a cornerstone towards a student’s excellence.”[3] Reflecting on her own planning approach as she ponders the possibilities of a new year, Jean encourages her classmates to use some of their own future holiday time to “plan how your year is going to be both academically and socially at school, set goals and stay focused.”[4]


Educators teaching with Rocketship Education deploy data to make sure their student’s individualized goals are being met in a timely manner. Coupled with great planning and sound instruction, data cultivation helps Rocketship educators, “map precisely where students need support to achieve mastery – from concept acquisition all the way through practice and repetition.”[5] Equipped with this sort of effectiveness feedback, Rocketship’s leadership team ensures “we are purposeful in our use of technology, targeted in our tutoring, and optimizing our teachers’ talent and instructional time.”[6] When a student’s goals are affirmed with data, there is evidence that the individualized approach for the student is effective.


For the Rocketship Education team, a strong family support network is a vital link in making sure a student’s New Year’s planning and goals move from the theoretical stage to implementation. In the Rocketship model, parent power is tapped and unleashed to “champion their children’s education, hold leaders accountable, and enable high-quality public schools to thrive.”[7] Because teachers spend time in their students’ homes learning about the student’s familial and educational contexts, barriers and assets to goal success can be identified and then either accessed or mitigated.


12-year-old Ineza knows that positive thinking is among the best resources she can carry into a new year. “Being confident and believing in one’s self has helped many to excel,” Ineza contends, “So this New Year it’s important that every pupil embraces self-confidence and passion in their studies.”[8] At Rocketship Education, self-confidence flourishes when the whole child is educated. “We educate the whole child at Rocketship. We pride ourselves on creating schools that promote our core values of persistence, empathy, responsibility, and respect. We also supplement our core instruction in Humanities and STEM with social emotional learning and positive behavior interventions and supports.”[9] For students like Ineza, the self-confidence that’s nourished in the classroom setting builds positive momentum for the student. Ineza reports, “Confidence gives energy to do more work and being passionate helps you to find courage, commitment and creativity to excel in your school work.”[10]


A new calendar year and a new semester arrives for students at Rocketship Education and a host of other schools. Armed with renewed energy and promising goals, students turn their eyes to deepened success in the classroom, and mastery of the troubled areas that slowed progress in the past. When innovative educational systems and engaged parents support the resolutions and goals of their students, success is most certainly on the horizon.

[1] Extracted from:

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5]Extracted from:

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.